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The Journey to Net Zero for 3PL & Fulfilment Services

The Journey to Net Zero for 3PL and Fulfilment Services

The Journey to Net Zero

The 95-year-old naturalist, Sir David Attenborough challenged world leaders at the COP26 summit in Glasgow 2021 to “rewrite our story” and transform the potential tragedy of climate change into triumph:
“We are after all the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on earth. We now understand this problem. We know how to stop the number rising and put it in reverse. We must halt carbon emissions this decade.”

It’s time for business to heed his words and we all have a part to play in rewriting that story. The UK has set the target of 2050 to achieve net zero, in order to prevent the most devastating effects of climate change.


Prolog’s Journey to Net Zero – Carbon Neutrality

Like many other businesses in our sector, Prolog’s journey to net zero started a while back when we initiated our carbon neutrality roadmap. The Carbon Trust Standard invites businesses to step up to the plate and take action on climate change by reducing carbon emissions, water usage and waste generation. We approached our task on a step-by-step basis:

  • Step 1. We measured Prolog Fulfilment’s carbon emissions using global standards.
  • Step 2. Ambitious but realistic carbon neutrality targets were set for the business.
  • Step 3. We began reducing emissions: renewable energy, energy efficient lighting, carbon emission training for staff, heat conservation.
  • Step 4. Carbon credits were procured in order make our target emissions goal.
  • Step 5. Carbon Neutral status achieved.
carbon trust logo

Prolog’s Journey to Net Zero – The Roadmap

As with all great quest narratives, the journey to net zero for 3PL and fulfilment services tends to start well, and then the challenges get tougher as it progresses. At Prolog we recognise that much of the technology we need in order to achieve our net zero target is still in development, but we refuse to give in to chicken-and-egg inertia. Instead, we’ve identified the things we need to do, prioritising those that can be tackled right now:

Short-Term

  • Minimise business travel – staff use technology as default for business meetings.
  • Reduction of staff commuting – awareness campaign; encouraging those who can, to take public transport, or car share.

Ongoing

  • Research alternative fuel solutions that work for the business.
  • Remove waste from the operation.
  • Flexible working to encourage staff to work at home where possible.

Long-Term

  • Work with transport partners to identify further carbon neutral solutions: route planning software, stop-start tech, driver training, fuel management

Recent research into net zero logistics found that “key barriers to rolling out ‘Green’ fuelled vehicles include infrastructure, disproportionate costs and poor vehicle range”. We await detail from the government on their roadmap for developing the necessary technology. In the meantime, we continue to identify projects that are in our control.


Case Study – Finding Sustainable Alternatives for Packaging

At current levels, the emissions created in the plastic lifecycle reduce the ability of global population to keep the temperature rise below 1.5°. Prolog Fulfilment recognises that plastic isn’t our ‘enemy’, and that it remains a necessity within the correct application. However, we have undertaken to reduce our use of plastic packaging, where a sustainable alternative is available.

To date we have replaced the following types of packaging with eco-friendly substitutes:

  • Air Pillows
  • Bubble-lined mailing bags
  • Grey mailing bags
  • Plastic tape replaced by paper tape
  • Bubble wrap replaced by paper alternative
  • Black stretch wrap alternative

Net Zero is a Journey We’re Taking Alongside Our Customers

Our journey to net zero began because we wanted to be part of the solution to climate change but, ultimately, we’re all on this journey together. At Prolog Fulfilment we work in partnership with our customers, offering help where we can and learning from their good practice. Together we can substantially reduce our collective impact on the planet and its fragile eco-systems.

“It’s the right thing to do for the planet and for the environment. It’s our future. We’re not waiting for the legislation; Prolog intends to be ahead of the curve.”

– James Coleman, Business Development Director


For more information about Prolog Fulfilment services, systems, and sustainability, call us today on 01623 724000

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