Today, Lantech is featuring Jill Brown as a guest blogger:
The global logistics field is still far from its goal of being a 100% sustainable industry. At the same time, as proven in the recent sustainability-focused discussions at the 2019 edition of The Packaging Conference, the emerging technologies in the development of more sustainable materials and methods in logistics are allowing us to get there faster. One of these emerging technologies is the Internet itself, which has been integral in pushing sustainability in logistics in a variety of ways.
This fact has been highly apparent during April 2020’s Kingpins24, which was the first-ever online denim supply chain event in the world. While the denim industry lacked the physical spaces available to The Packaging Conference in 2019, the focus of discussion was the same: sustainability. In an online meeting of the greatest minds in the denim industry, experts debated the role of education in pushing sustainability and transparency in the supply chain. As Soorty executive director for sales and marketing Ebru Debbağ explains, there can be no lasting change without consumer education, expounding that the responsibility of educating customers should be shared among denim brands and mills alike. To this end, Soorty’s mill has published a sustainability dictionary aimed at consumers who want to learn more about organic materials, water consumption, and other factors related to sustainability. This type of initiative can also aid in a brand’s online social media engagement, as the demand for sustainability education also increases among consumers.
In fact, the denim industry is far from being alone in seeing education as a key tool for promoting and installing sustainability in the supply chain. Some of the top universities in the world have taken similar web-driven approaches to developing and promoting sustainability through higher education courses. Maryville University’s online sustainability degree graduates are trained in key skills like environmental law, urban planning, and technical protection methods. Trained in 100% online classes, these digital natives and experts in sustainability can land careers in urban and regional planning, environmental protection, conservation science, sustainability management, and more. In short, online technologies have been paving the way for sustainability training through higher education.
Meanwhile, other big players in global logistics are combining online technologies with other emerging tech to provide direct supply chain sustainability interventions. In a partnership with Australian-based Fresh Supply Co., multinational financial firm Mastercard is using private blockchain technology to introduce new sustainability measures across industries. Dynamic Business reports that through Mastercard’s Provenance Solution, Fresh Supply’s shipments of avocados to different Asian countries can be digitized through web-connected devices. This will allow distributors to track shipment temperatures, identify contamination risks, and better ensure the integrity of their products across their supply chain. With the end-to-end visibility provided to consumers through the blockchain-enabled digital identities of products, they can make more sustainable buying decisions. At the same time, the business data provided by these blockchain transactions will greatly aid in Fresh Supply’s future efforts towards more sustainable logistical practices.
As online technologies continue to evolve at a rapid pace, so too will the web-based sustainability efforts of any and all companies with a stake in the global supply chain. Given these developments, we’re bound to see more online sustainability initiatives being created and deployed in the near future.
Jill Brown is a freelance blogger with a passion for sustainability and fighting climate change. She believes that in order to beat climate change, how the world works needs to fundamentally transform. Through her posts she want to be positive and show that big moves are being made to protect the environment at all levels.