As one of the most environmentally impactful sectors, the international transport and logistics industry is actively committed to mitigating its greenhouse gas emissions. The Smart Freight Centre (SFC)’s mission is crucial in helping reduce air pollution. It assists all stakeholders within the freight transportation industry to significantly reduce their carbon footprint.
How the Smart Freight Centre leads the way to greener freight transportation
Smart Freight Centre (SFC) is a global, non-profit organization that helps companies reduce their environmental impact from freight transportation. SFC provides a framework for companies to measure, manage, and reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from freight and logistics activities. It is driven by over 400 members from around the world, coming from a variety of industries, including logistics, of course, but also retail, manufacturing…
The Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) framework
The SFC has established the GLEC (Global Logistics Emissions Council) framework, which is now acknowledged as the industry’s primary guidance document. This framework formalizes a widespread consensus on the principles of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission calculation and reporting. This remarkable initiative effectively addresses the challenge of lack of harmonization of methodology, assumptions, and data, fostering a more unified and standardized approach across the industry.
The GLEC framework adoption is quickly spreading among shippers, logistics service providers, carriers, as well as associations, green freight programs, and technology providers.
Companies have the option to entrust SFC-accredited partners with their accounting and reporting needs for precise GHG emissions calculation and reporting, aligning seamlessly with the industry-standard GLEC Framework. This enables them to confidently verify their environmental footprint and effectively communicate it, both within the organization and to external stakeholders.
The SFC resources, tools and missions
SFC offers a variety of resources and tools to help companies implement its framework, including:
- A CO2 emissions calculator for freight transportation. (Sinay has its own CO2 emissions calculator)
- A guide to developing and implementing a freight sustainability program.
- Best practices for reducing the carbon footprint from freight transportation.
- A Conformity Assessment Scheme for validating and verifying GHG emissions statements for transport chains.
- The SFC’s SmartWay Transport Partnership provides a platform for freight carriers to benchmark and report their environmental performance. This information can be used by cargo owners to make informed decisions about which carriers to use.
- The SFC’s Sustainable Freight Buyers Alliance brings together shippers to share knowledge and experiences on how to reduce the environmental impact of their freight transportation.
The SFC can intervene in various ways:
- Conducting market surveys to comprehensively grasp the requirements of shippers, logistics service providers, and carriers. This insight enables the implementation of effective measures to lower carbon emissions in freight, ultimately mitigating the harmful effects of climate change.
- Developing a customized training program along with a range of educational materials available in different formats such as online training, webinars, and traditional classroom teaching. This approach ensures sustainability and long-term adoption by all global supply chain stakeholders.
- Setting up a book and claim chain of custody system for transport decarbonization. This system could help to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and other low-carbon freight transportation solutions.
- Advocating for policy changes that support the adoption of sustainable and smart freight transportation solutions.
The SFC collaborates not only with companies but also with initiatives such as the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). The SBTi is a partnership that involves the Carbon Disclosure Project, the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute, and the WWF.
The SFC helps SBTi in crafting transport sector guidelines and related resources (for example the 2022 SBTi Maritime Guidance) designed to establish and facilitate corporate decarbonization. They will continue to develop and update materials, while also establishing best practices for measuring, monitoring, and reporting transportation emissions.
The importance of SFC in the shipping industry
The Smart Freight Centre is pivotal in an ever-evolving shipping industry, facilitating its modernization and improvement by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and data-driven solutions that enhance its efficiency, sustainability, and safety. Here are some key aspects of the importance of the Smart Freight Centre in the shipping industry:
The work of the SFC is crucial due to the substantial contribution of the international freight and logistics sector to greenhouse gas emissions in general, and the shipping industry in particular. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), international transportation (sea, air, road, rail, inland waterways) is responsible for approximately 37% of GHG emissions from end‐use sectors.
Without urgent and drastic measures from all parties involved, this share is poised to grow further, with the International Transport Forum projecting a 100% increase in cargo transport activity from now up to 2050. However, in the IEA’s Net Zero Scenario, a reduction of approximately 25% in transport sector emissions by 2030 is necessary, despite the ongoing rise in demand.
Its stakeholders need to accelerate their transformation, actively contribute to industry-wide decarbonization, and keep the 1.5°C global temperature goal set in the Paris Agreement within reach. In this regard, the SFC plays a pivotal role by providing guidance on the development and execution of company-specific roadmaps for attaining their carbon neutrality objectives.
The SFC promotes environmentally friendly transportation practices. It advocates for the shift towards cleaner energy sources instead of traditional fossil fuels for combustion engines in various modes of motorized transportation.
Addressing emissions in the freight transportation sector, which is a major driver of economic growth, is an economic imperative. As the world transitions towards a more sustainable and low-carbon economy, the implementation of smart solutions can lead to lower costs and financial risks for both businesses and consumers.
The Smart Freight Centre assists them through various means:
- improved fuel efficiency;
- adoption of more efficient travel options that minimize unnecessary empty trips;
- lower maintenance costs through a predictive approach;
- avoidance of costly delays and penalties due to non-compliance with regulations.
Furthermore, companies that embrace SFC technologies are more likely to remain competitive and innovative. They can quickly adapt to changing market demands and consumer expectations more effectively.
With the guidance and support of the SFC, companies are empowered to optimize the flow of goods, maximize asset utilization, and leverage existing infrastructure, thereby enhancing their operational efficiency and competitiveness.
The SFC employs digital tools and platforms to streamline shipping operations, providing invaluable assistance to stakeholders within the shipping industry. These tools ease route planning, load optimization, and real-time tracking, resulting in reduced fuel consumption, shorter transit times, and decreased operational costs. Consequently, this optimization benefits both shippers and carriers.
Lastly, through the analysis of the wealth of data furnished by SFCs, companies can make more informed decisions to support long-term strategic planning and pinpoint areas for operational enhancement.
The SFC employs technologies such as GPS tracking, telematics, the Internet of Things, etc., to improve safety in the shipping industry. Real-time monitoring and data analytics help identify and mitigate risks, reduce accidents, and improve overall safety for truck drivers and the public.
Enhanced tracking and communication facilitated by the SFC tools elevate the customer experience. Carriers can offer more precise estimated arrival times, minimize instances of lost or damaged shipments and promptly address customer concerns. Moreover, technology and data enable greater transparency in the shipping process, fostering trust and accountability within the supply chain and ultimately resulting in heightened customer satisfaction.
Today, environmental awareness is surging, with individuals and organizations alike recognizing the vital importance of sustainable practices. When choosing suppliers and business partners, there is a growing inclination to favor those who share similar values. Adopting a strategy centered around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) therefore fosters stronger relationships with like-minded partners and draws an ever-expanding base of eco-conscious consumers. Actively engaging in the pursuit of the UN SDGs goes beyond merely following a global trend; it signifies a deep commitment to creating a better future, hence shaping a positive and responsible corporate image, and enhancing one’s reputation.
The SFC provides invaluable assistance to companies in navigating complex environmental and operational regulations and policies, both at the local and international levels. It ensures that they achieve full compliance with legal requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions about Smart Freight Centre
The Smart Freight Centre (SFC) is a global, non-profit organization dedicated to helping companies minimize their environmental impact in freight transportation. SFC offers a framework for measuring, managing, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
With over 400 members from various industries, SFC’s mission is to standardize and mitigate the industry’s carbon footprint.
The SFC provides various resources and tools, including a CO2 emissions calculator, guides for sustainability programs, best practices to reduce carbon footprints, a Conformity Assessment Scheme, the SmartWay Transport Partnership, and the Sustainable Freight Buyers Alliance.
Additionally, the SFC intervenes through market surveys, training programs, and advocating for policy changes to support sustainable freight transportation.
The GLEC framework, spearheaded by SFC, serves as the primary guidance document in the industry for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.
It resolves the lack of methodology harmonization, fostering a standardized approach. Its adoption is rapidly spreading among stakeholders, offering precise emission calculations and reporting methods aligned with industry standards.
The SFC plays a crucial role in four key areas: decarbonization, cost reduction, operational efficiency, and safety.
By promoting environmentally friendly practices, optimizing operations, enhancing safety measures, and supporting compliance, SFC empowers the industry to be more sustainable, cost-efficient, and customer-oriented.
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