For a number of years, environmental issues have been a growing concerns in society, particularly in the business practices. Under influences of lobby, customers or stakeholders, the idea of sustainable development and of ecological respect has become more popular. Thus, as many other activities within the firms, logistics was not an exception, and had to face these new challenges. This concept has been called "green logistics" or "environmental logistics", suggesting that logistics should be more environmentally friendly. In this essay, we will try to discuss about the introduction of this concept and its integration within the firms. First, we will see that logistics is particularly concerned with the problems resulting from the environmental issues. Then, by looking at legislation and norms, we will see that "green issues" are more and more imposed to the firms, and finally we will be able to discuss about the opportunities and implementation of "green logistics".
[...] With the emergence of the environmental issues, and of new legislation, some authors enunciated three hypotheses, to explain how enterprises will adapt and respond to this new imposition The study of these different scenarios can also give to us clues to explain why firms should be involved in these issues. In the first one, the issues are imposed to the firms, by legislation and government policies. In this situation, the environment is seen as a constraint and can be a big cost for the societies. [...]
[...] This point is important because it can be run by legislations or by image issues, to communicate good values to the market. Nevertheless, even if recycling (thanks to reverse logistics) is an element of sustainability, a lot of other domains of logistics are currently environmentally ineffective. Reverse logistics had success because firms found a way to gain profitability but the others solutions to improve “greenness” of logistics have not been developed in the same way. For L Enarsson most environmentally friendly solution comes from the transportation, notably from an “inter-organisational” effort. [...]
[...] So, green logistics will be lead up by all new environmental issues. These issues can involve changes in the all system of a firm and are directed by government or customer. The fact that Exel, the main actor of logistics industry in UK, offer a green option to its customer is a sure sign that logistics will be more and more involved in this process After the reverse logistics, designed to manage the recycling and reusing, next improvement will have to focus on the problems brought by transport, particularly emissions and congestion. [...]
[...] First, the organisation must control the entry gate; that is to say, determine which product will be integrated in the reverse logistics system. Then, there are collection of products, selection, to decide what must be done with each type of product, and finally treatment of the products. Different authors recognized the same basic key elements of an efficient reverse logistics - The “Gatekeeping”, intends to filter and control the access point of the reverse flow, imperative to reach profitability. - The Shortening of return and recycling cycle thanks to established processes. [...]
[...] These legislations can come from national or international institutions and are based on the fact that the impact of all activities should be evaluated in term of total cost for the environment. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach is designed to calculate the impact on environment, of production, distribution, uses of raw material and collect after uses. This analysis is then an approach from “cradle to grave”, able to evaluate all damaging effects generated by an activity, and it permits to implement the principle of “polluter / payer”. [...]
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