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Monitoring CO2 Emissions for Sustainable Logistics Practices

Monitoring CO2 Emissions for Sustainable Logistics Practices

Survey says…

A recent report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Transportation and Logistics, and Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), revealed that nearly half (49%) of all companies have corporate supply chain sustainability goals. The report “State of Supply Chain Sustainability 2020” and first annual of its kind, was released to MIT and CSCMP members in mid-July.

The report, which included a survey of 1,128 supply chain professionals during the fall of 2019, also revealed that “carbon emissions and energy management were the most common environmental issues companies outlined in sustainability goals.”

And of those supply chain professionals surveyed, 80% said they play an important role and influence their company’s sustainability efforts. That isn’t surprising considering the majority of a company’s carbon footprint comes from its supply chain. Research from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that CO2 emissions from global freight transportation are set to increase fourfold in the coming years.


Why the increase? Contributing factors include changes in buying behavior, changes in delivery expectations, global supply chains, offshore sourcing and manufacturing, etcetera…and all these drivers directly impact the complexity of logistics networks and the demands placed on them. The result? More frequent and smaller freight shipments, fewer full containers, more empty runs, and increased demand for energy-intensive transportation such as air freight.

So, what can companies do to comply with growing regulations around CO2 emissions or meet customer demands for greener business practices? What can supply chain professionals do to further corporate sustainability initiatives? And how can Alpega help?


In order to determine sustainability goals around CO2 emissions within your supply chain, you must first assess your current GHG (Greenhouse Gas) contributions to the environment. Alpega recently introduced an integrated CO2 calculator via our partnership with EcoTransit, which interfaces with Alpega TMS for direct data collection and GHG calculations.

The CO2 calculator inside Alpega TMS provides complete visibility over loads in real-time. As soon as loads have been assigned to a carrier, instant GHG calculations are executed from well-to-wheel, and can be configured per carrier, mode or lane. Parameters such as fuel type and emission class can also be configured per carrier, mode or lane.

All data is collected and retrievable via Alpega Analytics, and can be used for reporting, comparisons, and as the basis for future freight tenders.

Data provided includes:

  • Greenhouse gases as CO2 and CO2e
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOX)
  • Sulphur oxides (SOX)
  • Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC)
  • Particles as PM10
  • Distances/detailed routing information


This ability to calculate and monitor the CO2 footprint of shipments provides visibility into your company’s logistics practices and allows you to make data-driven decisions around transportation mode choice and the physical locations (suppliers, DCs, production centers, customers) in your network – both of which can influence C02 emissions.

The transportation planning and optimization capabilities of Alpega TMS, combined with the data from the CO2 calculator and other analytics, provides customers with insights needed to move their sustainability efforts forward. By consolidating shipments, optimizing routes, utilizing capacity, and selecting shipping modes with lower environmental impact (intermodal, multimodal), you reduce miles driven and fuel consumed – thus lowering your carbon footprint.


Employee working with Alpega SaaS

Supply chain managers can position themselves for success by understanding the many areas where logistics can positively impact sustainability targets and corporate brand image. By continually measuring, reporting and improving GHG values, you bring transparency to your environmental efforts and can use the data as the basis for greener decision-making.

So, per the MIT/CSCMP report, if you’re in that percentage of companies without supply chain sustainability goals, get the ball rolling. Sustainable business practices can improve a company’s overall performance and competitive position. And make a positive impact on our world.

Transportation technology solutions to support supply chain sustainability

Alpega offers cloud-based solutions that support transportation sustainability. Learn more about our solutions such as freight procurement, Alpega TMSreusable/returnable packaging management, and our CO2 Calculator. Let us help you achieve greener logistics practices.

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