Top Asian supply chains embrace sustainable practices

By 2016, Emerging Asia is expected to account for 25% of the global consumer product market and will generate 38% of total consumer product growth. Along with this growth comes a growing awareness of the importance of sustainability. In fact a 2013 study by Globescan, a market research company, found that four in ten Chinese and nearly three in ten Indonesians now expect companies to go beyond their traditional economic role and actively help create a better society.

Indeed, in this year’s ranking of top Asia-Pacific supply chains, Gartner notes two companies that have embraced sustainability practices. Ranked number two in the listing, Lenovo’s pallet pooling initiative was highlighted. Officially launched in 2013, the programme began with the collection of used pallets from carriers’ facilities in Hong Kong and then reuse in Lenovo’s distribution centre in Shenzhen. It was estimated that this would reduce about 640MTCO2e (million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) per year. As a result, the company now plans to expand this practice to eastern China and to the rest of the world.

Pallet-pooling is just one of several such initiatives Lenovo is implementing. It also supports the incorporation of Green Freight Asia Network practices. This network consists of private companies working to increase the fuel/ CO2 efficiency and to lower the air pollution of freight transportation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Huawei, ranked number five in this year’s Gartner listing, also implements measures to reduce its carbon footprint through logistics optimization and innovative packaging. Other logistics activities it pursues includes the utilizing the efficiency of regional warehouses to save warehouse space, increase the proportion of direct shipments from supply centres outside of China reducing the environmental impact of transshipments and develop diverse transport solutions such as sea-air, air-land, air-sea.

Although such logistics practices adopted by the likes of Lenovo and Huawei are not immediately observed by consumers, there is an impact on the environment and as more companies adopt such measures, practices such as these will become the norm for the logistics industry.

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