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Logistics slow to embrace Sustainability

LONDON: A new business trends survey finds logistics companies think sustainable business is "recognized but not a priority" – the lowest level of engagement on sustainable business within any sector.

Produced by 2Degrees, an online collaboration platform with 33,000 members, the survey canvassed 700 respondents from small
and medium-sized enterprises with up to 250 employees to multinational businesses with more than 5,000 personnel.
For the purpose of the survey, sustainable business was defined as "initiatives which help businesses cut costs, reduce risk and grow by being more sustainable".

Results by industry sector suggest retail, heavy industry, government/NGOs, telecoms/media and utilities have the highest levels of engagement, with around 40 percent saying that sustainability is central to their business strategy.

coca cola greenpeace2Degrees says the response from the logistics industry is "surprising given the sector's significant contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, and the scale of the potential benefits associated with addressing it."

The organization adds, however, that with 52 percent of respondents in this sector acknowledging sustainability as an increasing priority, "we would expect this sector to focus more intently on this issue in the future."

The survey found that engaging senior management or colleagues remains at the top of most sustainable business priorities – whether it is energy efficiency, waste, water or raw materials.

According to 2Degrees, with less than 40 percent of all respondents integrating sustainable business practices into strategic decision-making, there is "still progress to be made in responding to the shifting realities of an increasingly resource-constrained world."

And with few companies setting sustainable business targets for 10 years or more, it says there is still a tendency to view sustainability measures not as long-term strategic drivers but items against which short-term progress can be made.

Businesses in the UK and Ireland comprised 55 percent of respondents, with companies in the US and Continental Europe making up 18 percent and 11 percent respectively. The remaining 17 percent were from the rest of world. Companies that participated in the survey included Unilever, Tesco, Coca-Cola, Centrica, Royal Bank of Scotland, Britvic, The Body Shop, BT and McDonald's.

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