According to the latest reports, 40% of the CO2 we emit worldwide is produced during energy generation and heat production, 20% comes from transport activities (goods and people), and another 20% from industry, mainly from the manufacture of building materials. This means that 80% of the pollutant gases emitted into the atmosphere are caused by the energy, logistics and manufacturing sectors. This fact positions them as key players in the fight against global warming.
In this regard, reducing the carbon footprint has become one of the major challenges for companies in these sectors in recent years. What environmental policies and measures can they adopt to contribute to the reduction of polluting emissions?
What is carbon footprint and how to reduce it?
Companies carry out activities that produce greenhouse gases, especially during the production and distribution processes of products, energy, etc. The carbon footprint measures all greenhouse gas emissions emitted as a result of a company’s operations. Both direct emissions are controlled by the organisation itself (facilities, machinery and company vehicles), and indirect emissions are associated with energy consumption or its production activity (transport and distribution, waste generated in operations, end-of-life treatment of products, etc.).
To reduce them in a direct way companies can:
- Contract energy from 100% renewable sources.
- Digitise all possible processes to reduce paper consumption.
- Use low-consumption lighting and air conditioning systems.
- Use sustainable mobility (bicycles or electric vehicles).
- Encourage teleworking and videoconferencing to reduce travel.
- Invest in the 3R approach: reduce, reuse and recycle.
- Implement eco-design measures in the manufacture of products.
- Program the automatic shutdown and disconnection of equipment.
- Change refrigerant gases for others with lower global warming potential.
Some examples: the energy company Ecopetrol has started an integrated waste management plan to reduce the quantity and hazardousness of waste generated; the Colombian company Terpel has invested in the implementation of solar panels and process optimisation, or the organisations Promigas and Sumitomo Corporation Andes have signed an agreement to promote electric mobility with hydrogen in Colombia.
Did you know that you can reduce your carbon footprint just by better allocating your resources?
Yes, it is possible to reduce the carbon footprint only by improving the allocation of the company’s available resources. Good planning of personnel, transport routes or production operations can significantly minimise the number of trips, mileage and fuel usage, and waste or downtime, respectively.
- Inventory and production planning: reducing waste and idle energy use
Poor inventory or production planning can result in long machine downtimes due to a lack of raw materials, material changes in equipment for the production of different products, etc. A machine running in the plant without display is avoidable energy waste.
Good planning can minimise the waste generated and equipment downtime, which is key to contributing to the reduction of the carbon footprint.
- Maintenance planning: reduce trips and avoid breakdowns
By optimally planning maintenance tasks, companies can reduce the number of trips to carry out interventions and anticipate potential breakdowns before they incur higher pollutant emissions.
Using predictive maintenance, companies can replace parts or components before they fail and renew equipment or the fleet at the optimal time. They can also monitor key aspects of maintenance to reduce fuel consumption, such as tyre wear.
- Logistics planning and route optimisation: reduce mileage and fuel usage
Proper fleet sizing or optimal transport planning maximises the use of vehicles and eliminates empty journeys. Thus, if we can make the day’s deliveries on time with 20 trucks, it will not be necessary to use 30 vehicles, saving fuel and pollution.
Optimising transport routes helps drivers to take the fastest route, reduce mileage, and fuel use and therefore reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20%.
Planning deliveries with tight time windows, well in advance and maintaining continuous communication with the customer will reduce the volume of missed deliveries, and therefore unnecessary fuel kilometres.
With this better planning, organisations can:
- Avoid unforeseen difficulties: Knowing resources in advance and planning how to use them can address gaps or problems before they arise.
- Prevent attrition: effective resource management helps to avoid “over-allocation” or “dependency” on resources by providing an overview of the team’s workload.
- Have greater transparency: it allows for greater visibility of operations, capacity, or workloads at all times.
At decide4AI we are experts in the development and implementation of software solutions for the planning and optimisation of operations throughout the supply chain. We cover the planning of the logistics network in a comprehensive way and connected with the rest of the players. We help you from the analysis of possible improvements to the analysis of results after the implementation of the tool and its ROI.
Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint by better planning your resources?
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