Logistics & carbon emissions

Bigblue aims to reduce the impact of logistics on the environment. This implies an accurate assessment of shipping emissions and the implementation of best practices in this field. Read this article to learn more about this crucial topic!

Greenhouse gases

Let's start with a recap on what greenhouse gases are. The Earth's atmosphere is made up of many gases. Nitrogen accounts for 78 percent, Oxygen for 21 percent. Out of the remaining gases, several are chemically inert: they do not take part in any chemical reaction and therefore do not have a direct impact on the environment. However, others have the ability to absorb and reemit infrared radiation. The energy of sun-rays is reflected back by the earth towards its atmosphere. These gases then behave exactly like a greenhouse, returning this energy towards the earth and increasing the total energy that the earth receives. They are known as greenhouse gases (GHG) πŸŒͺ️

Source: World101

Why should we reduce the impact of logistics?

A 2050 target for halving global greenhouse gas emissions (all sectors combined) compared to 1990 levels has been set on an international level. However, at the current pace, logistics emissions will more than double by 2050, according to the GLEC (Global Logistics Emissions Council) framework for Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reporting. In France, transport is the main emitting sector: 29% of emissions are due to the transport of people and goods. Commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles each represent nearly 20% of emissions from the transport sector in France in 2018. 🚚

E-commerce is not an exception and induces important emissions: as an example, Amazon emits 8.87 million tonnes of CO2 per year, which is the equivalent of Bolivia's GHG emissions. It is, therefore, necessary to take action to reduce emissions from logistics, and particularly transportation.

First reduction actions

It's is possible to take action to reduce your emissions by following some simple guidelines:

  • Encourage the use of pick-up points: this reduces the impact of last-mile delivery, as long as your customers do not come with their own car πŸͺ
  • Avoid express delivery, which leads to the circulation of partly empty trucks ⏳

Assessing the GHG emissions the transport of parcels to your customers is the next step towards this goal. This is why at Bigblue, we created a tool that gives you a clear insight into your shipping emissions. For each order, you will have access to the details of its shipping emissions, from its departure from the warehouse to its delivery to your customer. πŸ”Ž

How do we assess GHG emissions?

For the assessment of shipping emissions, we follow the ADEME methodological guide and ADEME carbon base.

General methodology

  • First step: A parcel never goes straight from the warehouse to the final customer. It stops several times along the way, in carriers' hubs or local agencies. To assess GHG emissions, we breakdown the shipping into segments. Each segment represents a part of the journey of the parcel, traveled in a given vehicle.

    France - We divide each delivery in mainland France into three segments:

    1. Warehouse β†’ Carrier hub
    2. Carrier hub β†’ Local agency
    3. Local agency β†’ Destination

    ex: Warehouse β†’ Rouen β†’ Toulouse β†’ final destination

    International - We divide each international delivery into five segments:

    1. Warehouse β†’ Carrier hub
    2. Carrier hub β†’ International platform in France
    3. International platform in France β†’ International platform in the destination country
    4. International platform in the destination country β†’ Local agency
    5. Local agency β†’ Destination
  • Second step: For each segment, we calculate the amount of energy source consumed thanks to the distance estimation, the consumption of the vehicle, and the filling rate of the truck.
  • Third step: We compute the GHG emission of each segment from the amount of energy used.
  • Fourth step: We add up the quantities of greenhouse gases from the different segments.

On the tool provided by Bigblue, you will have access to the GHG emissions of each segment.

General functioning of the calculator

To get access to our carbon footprint calculator, simply ask our team at help@bigblue.io ! πŸ˜‰

1. Choose the language of the tool (French or English)

2. Select the destination country, the weight of the parcel, and the carrier

  • If the shipping is in Mainland France, you must select the postal code:

  • If the shipping is in Overseas France, you must select the destination (e.g. La RΓ©union):

⚠️ Make sure to update the carrier and the postal code each time you change the destination country!

3. The results of the assessment are displayed for each segment

As an example, the delivery of a 1.5 kg package to Marseille results in the emission of 568g of CO2. This corresponds to the impact of:

  • 3km by car πŸš—
  • 2km by plane ✈️
  • sending 50 emails πŸ“§
  • a 100g can of canned tuna 🐟
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