CSR a step further

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The first step to build a socially responsible business is to undertake actions inside the company. Taking the next step requires engaging subcontractors in these activities. How to do it in a transport, forwarding and logistics business?

James Hindson believes that "people are interested in ecology as long as it has no special impact on their everyday life, when they can have everything they are accustomed to whereas a step further calls for higher awareness which accepts sacrifice." Paraphrasing his words one could say that in logistics managers are interested in social responsibility as long as it applies only to their company. Taking a step further, i.e. engaging other logistics enterprises in the activities requires higher awareness which accepts the hardship of verifying data provided by companies which cooperate in the whole value chain.

 

WHAT AND WHERE TO MEASURE

Ecological actions should be of key importance for all logistics companies. It is connected with basic resources of companies from that sector: with the number of trucks and greenhouse gases they emit as well as the consumption of utilities in warehouses. Care for the whole value chain must assume that subcontractors meet the same standards.

As a rule drivers are not employed by a logistics operator and they only render services on his behalf. Ultimately, they are the ones who are most frequently associated with the brand because they are visible in the traffic and they are the only point of contact between the company and the consignee. The image of the operator largely depends on them and their behaviours.

 

HOW TO MEASURE

Answering the question what to measure when analysing the impact on the environment, the answer is simple: fuel and electricity consumption. Answering the question how to measure is more complicated since it requires collecting data from hundreds and even thousands of partner companies. In order to do that first they should be provided with the common measurement algorithm, trained in using it, and then encouraged to collect data. The obtained results should be analysed and the actions should be assessed.

A good solution is also to reward subcontractors whose fuel consumption stands out against the others. Following Ikea which implemented a program for the best partner companies called Ten stars of Ikea, it may be worth implementing the initiative for the best transport companies, e.g. 10 wheels of Raben.

 

CORNERSTONE

Certainly a good start is the common cornerstone, non-negotiable rules, such as respecting human  and employee rights, care for the core value - health, i.e. for everyone to come back home safely each day. All of them have been included in the Code of Ethics of Raben Group Subcontractors, which is an appendix to all contracts.

This is just the first step. The next step is verification if all those rules are adhered to. This is what we can call a step further which calls for higher awareness that accepts sacrifice.  It is worth taking so that you could go on steadily, without fears that you are treading on thin ice.

08.06.2016
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