As companies face increasing pressure from customers and investors to decarbonize and pursue greener operations, cloud-based logistics company Blume Global joined industry leaders by announcing it is carbon neutral on Monday.
In addition to implementing emission-reduction strategies, Blume Global is purchasing carbon credits to offset the 1,805 tons of CO2 it emitted in 2020, which is the amount of CO2 that 393 passenger vehicles emit in a year.
The focus of Blume Global since its launch has been to reduce waste in logistics and reduce carbon emissions, Pervinder Johar, CEO of Blume Global, told FreightWaves. He said Blume Global also has a large impact on its customers’ carbon footprints.
“It was only the right thing to do — that we become carbon neutral versus just talking about how to minimize [emissions].”
The carbon offset details
Though experts have mixed feelings about carbon offsets, Johar said Blume Global will use them to compensate for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are unavoidable or that the company is working to reduce. The company will purchase carbon credits to offset the 1,805 tons of CO2 emissions from two of South Pole’s projects.
The first project funds solar panel installations across the roofs of Delhi Metro Rail Corp. stations in India. South Pole said the current solar panels produce 19,000 megawatt hours of clean energy per year, reducing 18,000 tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions annually.
The second project is a forest protection project in Zimbabwe. Since its launch in 2011, the Kariba forest project has protected nearly 785,000 hectares from deforestation and land degradation. In that same time period, the CO2e emissions savings averaged 3.6 million tons per year. As one of the largest REDD+ projects in the world, Kariba Forest Protection acts as a biodiversity corridor and provides habitat for endangered species. It also supplies 37,000 people with clean drinking water, according to South Pole.
Blume Global is using carbon offsets along with strategies to reduce its scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 emissions. Last month, the company announced it was in the final stages of gathering employee survey data and calculating its carbon footprint. Johar said employee travel was a big emissions contributor, but the COVID-19 pandemic lessened that category because meetings generally moved online. He said it will be interesting to see how much this changes as people start going back to the office.
Office supplies, power sources, travel, data center decisions and the company culture have all been considerations that Blume Global has had to make, Johar said. “These sound like little things, but in the end, they add up.”
He said awareness of how actions translate into emissions makes a big difference in terms of emissions that employees have control over. Johar said Blume Global is growing quickly, and he aims to establish good habits that are built into the company culture.
Helping customers reduce emissions
“I think if you look at the larger goal, it’s less related to us being carbon neutral and more of our customers who are willing to do it — how we make them aware of their carbon footprint and how we reduce it,” Johar said.
He said Blume Global’s street turns and domestic reloads strategies are only the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to reducing emissions. The constant balance between logistics and inventory costs is something the company works with customers to optimize. The faster the mode of transportation, the lower the volume of inventory a company needs. However, moving goods more quickly via aircraft or truck results in more GHG emissions per mile than rail or ocean shipping.
Blume Global shows customers the emissions, time and costs related to each shipping method relevant for that lane so that they can compare the environmental impacts along with the other factors, Johar said.
Global logistics industry spending amounts to $16 trillion to $20 trillion, he said. “We think that we can actually help optimize about $1 trillion of that waste and the associated carbon footprint usage.”
Johar said his team is limited to helping companies that choose to work with Blume Global, but modeling shows logistics-related emissions can be reduced 5% to 7% when using its technology.