The logistics industry accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and with the growing awareness around global warming and climate change, companies need to act.

And while we know there’s still heaps more we can be doing to work towards sustainable delivery, here’s a few ways our industry is trying to be a little greener.


First up: What do we mean by ‘Green Logistics’?

Green logistics refers to how logistics companies can handle operations more sustainably. It’s all about minimising the harm to the environment while keeping the business running smoothly.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and companies have a bunch of ‘green’ options to try.


Going Green: Use cases and how to get started

Below are a few examples of green logistics, how you can implement them, and what benefits they bring to your business and the environment as a whole.


Carbon Offsetting

Now, carbon offsetting isn’t going to save the world… but it’s a good place to start. 

We offset 100% of the carbon released from our deliveries with our partner Ecologi, who support renewable projects around the world.

It’s super easy to do. Just find a partner, calculate your carbon footprint and choose which projects to support. 


Sustainable Packaging

Another easy, but small improvement companies can make towards greener goals is using sustainable packaging, from the material to the size and the shape of their packaging.

Materials of Packaging

There are plenty of sustainable packaging options that you can choose from. From biodegradable poly mailers from Packhelp to compostable takeout boxes from No Issue.

Or you can opt for cornstarch, corrugated, cellulose, glassine, even mushroom packaging, which are just as effective as their less sustainable counterparts.

If you aren’t able to source recycled packaging, you can look for responsibly-grown raw materials. A great example is the cardboard jewellery boxes from Westpack. They are FSC-certified and are made from materials that support responsible forestry.

Size & Shape of Packaging

When it comes to the size of the packaging, you want it to have as little empty space as possible. 

That way, the product inside the package will not only be better protected, but it’ll also help you save on packaging materials and minimise the carbon footprint of that order.

Companies like Bloom & Wild, Treatbox, and Moonpig have already found success in achieving more sustainable packaging. Their solution? Letterbox-sized packaging. 

By using packaging that can fit through a standard letterbox, they’ve not only resolved the issue of missed deliveries, but they’ve minimised their environmental impact by avoiding excess packaging.


Route Optimisation

The fuel that is being used by logistics companies is the primary contributor to carbon emissions. And while logistics companies can’t totally abandon the use of it at this stage, there are ways to reduce the amount of fuel used per delivery.

Route optimisation finds the shortest, most efficient routes for drivers take.

In the past, it used to take a lot of time and manpower to optimise routes. Today, that process is simplified through the use of software and AI, which can do the bulk of the work in seconds.

This type of technology has revolutionised the logistics industry and has delivery routes (esp. multi-drops) as efficient as possible.


Reducing Failed Deliveries

In the UK alone, approximately 336 million (8%) of online orders fail to get delivered on the first attempt, costing companies over £3.5bn each year (plus the negative impact on the environment).

Failed deliveries are a challenge that many companies still struggle to solve. HelloFresh UK reported that failed deliveries ranked in the top 3 reasons why customers are cancelling their subscriptions.

The solution? Become aware of every possible point of failure along the way. Here are three solutions:

  • Offer order tracking & communicate with the customer every step of the way
  • Allow the customers to give you as much details about their location as possible
  • Ditch the failed delivery slip and replace it with a ‘leave safe’ instruction note that is easy to follow 


Localising Inventory

In the battle to make their logistics greener, companies are starting to introduce ship-from-store and micro-fulfilment centres (MFCs) into their operations. 

The goal of these is to bring products closer to consumers, which will reduce delivery times and make delivery routes a lot more efficient.

Right now, Amazon is localising inventory on a large scale across, which is one of the reasons they can offer same day or even 2-hour delivery to most addresses in most major cities of the UK.

The trick with localising inventory isn’t to bring all products closer to the customer, although that would be ideal. The goal is to identify the most popular products among customers in a particular area and have them in stock at those MFCs, ready to be delivered.


Using Electric Vehicles

As fuel is one of the logistics industry’s biggest contributors to carbon emissions, the introduction of electric vehicles will be a game-changer for companies who want to make their logistics activities greener. 

The trouble is that the widespread adoption of EVs is a massive challenge that no major company has yet been able to achieve. 

For starters, the infrastructure for EVs is still fairly limited. Substituting all diesel and petrol-fueled vehicles with EVs will also cost companies a lot of money upfront.

Then we have the smaller but still significant challenges such as range anxiety (what if the delivery truck runs out of power?) and charging time. With EVs, you can’t stop at a petrol station and refuel in 5 minutes. 

Charging up the battery takes time, which logistics companies have very little of as demand for next-day or same-day deliveries continues to grow.

The solution to adopting electric vehicles is complex and requires everyone to do their part for the greater good, including the customers, businesses, and the government. 

Industry insiders believe that a mix of government incentives and penalties can be the key to forcing companies to move quicker with the adoption of EVs, but whether that is true or not, only time will tell.


While the logistics industry faces numerous challenges on the way to sustainability, it’s important to acknowledge the small steps that are being taken to achieve a greener and more sustainable future.

By embracing innovation, rethinking traditional practices, and adopting eco-friendly technologies, the logistics industry can edge closer to sustainable goals. But there’s no denying we have a long way to go.


If you want to talk green logistics with one of our same day experts, drop us a message at