Shoppers drive greener supply chains

19 October 2009

20 October 2009 | Allie Anderson

Consumer demand will be a major factor in tracking and reducing supply chain carbon emissions in the future, according to the latest study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The consultancy interviewed 48 transport and logistics executives from 20 countries and found that increased understanding of sustainability issues among shoppers would have an impact on future supply chains.

"Heightened awareness of sustainability issues have begun to be reflected in purchasing patterns, where some consumers prefer environmentally friendly products, whose supply chain is transparent and can be retraced to the original manufacturer," the report found.

Almost 70 per cent of respondents predicted that by 2030, all emissions including CO2, nitrogen and noise, will not only be monitored throughout the supply chain, but factored into the price of a product.

Locally sourced produce will be the consumer choice by 2030, according to 60 per cent. The reduced transportation costs associated with this will contribute to cutting carbon emissions, the report said.

Some 68 per cent anticipated that the cost of tracking emissions and implementing more environmentally friendly transport and logistics technology will be passed on to the end customer.

Klaus-Dieter Ruske, transportation and logistics leader at PwC, said: "Energy prices, climate change and regional sourcing will drive a fundamental shift in the transport and logistics sectors by 2030.

"Companies - from express mail services to airlines - will face more than just technical problems through tracking, evaluating and documenting all emissions in their supply chain. However, when they do these emissions will be factored into the price of products.

"Increased awareness of consumers about sustainability will change behaviour and in turn, global supply chains."


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