The new online tool REff (Resource Efficiency at Logistics Sites), developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, enables logistics companies to calculate the carbon footprint of each of their individual locations. IML explains that all companies have to do is enter their consumption data into the free application – for instance how much electricity, diesel or refrigerant is used – and their annual carbon footprint will be calculated along with key figures on average emissions per shipment. To find out which data are relevant, the researchers started by looking into widely differing warehouse and transshipment locations at various companies. Fraunhofer IML’s researchers are hoping to go a step further and anonymize the collected data to use it in determining industry averages. Once enough data are available, participating companies will be able to compare their results with these averages.
Although numerous studies on transportation emissions have already been conducted, says IML, there are barely any data available on greenhouse gas emissions from logistics centers because there is no uniform standard for calculating them, making this new project all the more important. Experts estimate that logistics centers in Germany account for around 15% of all logistics-related emissions. “With our new REff tool, companies can guarantee the transparency expected by customers who specifically wish to use green logistics services. In the age of climate change, this is essential for companies to establish themselves as sustainable market players. It also prepares them for all possible political decisions on carbon emissions,” stresses Prof. Dr. Uwe Clausen, Director of Fraunhofer IML.
Corporate sourcing to be a key topic at EM-Power
It is for these reasons that corporate sourcing and companies’ carbon footprints will be one key area of focus at next year’s EM-Power exhibition. The goal is to show how companies can meet customers’ and investors’ demands for greater sustainability and how they can keep CO2 emissions from their energy supply as low as possible. EM-Power will take place in Munich from June 17 to 19, 2020.
For more information on the REff online tool, visit Fraunhofer IML’s website.