Zero waste logistics is possible
Updated: Jan 10
FM Logistic is investing in a zero waste business with a long-term strategy.
With the importance of cutting pollution and waste, logistics has to find a way to do its share. FM Logistic, a leading company in the industry, has embarked on a journey to become zero waste. Pénélope Laigo, sustainable performance and environmental development manager at FM Logistic, talked to The Logistics Point and shared how the firm is planning to achieve its goals.
What made FM Logistic take on the challenge to create zero waste business?
There are multiple reasons for committing to waste reduction. Traditional warehousing, transport and co-packing activities produce a significant amount of waste paper and cardboard. Think, for instance, of oversized boxes or styrofoam packing peanuts used to protect items in packages.
The overuse of plastic wrap for securing pallets is another issue. Yet at the same time, products, boxes and pallets have to be protected, so we are looking at ways to use less consumables and re-use what we can, while ensuring products are properly packed, stacked and shipped. This is both good for the environment and the bottom line, be it in terms of cost savings or innovative solutions.
As always, customer demand is a driving force behind these changes. Some of our customers are major consumer brands and they have announced commitments to reduce plastic waste. As they increasingly plan ethical or environmentally sustainable changes to their supply chains, we want to help them reach their goals. Playing a role in the circular economy is also one of our priorities.
On top of this, we see more and more employees who want to reduce waste at work, such as single use plastic in the office. One’s waste is another’s resource, as they say.
What are the first steps in order to achieve zero waste in logistics?
We have a plan but this isn’t going to happen overnight. The first step is to reach a shared understanding of the need to tackle waste. There are increasing incentives to do so, if only to reduce costs.. The changes in the environmental protection legislation have led to large increases in the costs of waste disposal.
A second step is to involve all the stakeholders in the waste management process. In 2019, FM Logistic set up a team comprising in-house business solutions engineers, purchasing specialists and sustainable development experts, not to mention representatives of management at site level. Gaining local management buy-in is essential.
In parallel, we are talking with several customers to check how we can use less consumables and recycle more materials. For instance, we meet regularly with a renowned consumer goods company that has committed to reducing the use of virgin plastic. We are also talking with a customer in the beauty sector on how to give a second life to unsold products. It is all about cooperation.
Next to this...
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE MAGAZINE - Out 20th January 2020
Pénélope Laigo is sustainable performance and environmental
development manager with FM Logistic with experience in delivering multiple projects on sustainability and environment transformation, as well as green IT projects.