On behalf of 450 companies in Europe, Connekt presented Lean & Green EUROPE at the Climate Conference in Paris. All of these companies are a member of Lean & Green, and committed to reduce their CO2-emissions by optimising their logistics and mobility. Their total reduction is more than 400.000 tonnes CO2, and exponential growth is to be expected. Lean & Green is an international sustainability programme initiated by Connekt (NL), with official Chapters in 5 European countries, now expanding to southern, eastern and northern Europe with the launch of Lean & Green Spain on 26 January 2016. Lean & Green welcomes congenial programmes to cooperate.

Business case
“Sustainability is a business case,” Connekt managing director Nico Anten said in the Dutch Pavilion at the COP21. “Optimizing your logistics and mobility, by innovative collaborations and efficient planning, is synonymous with reducing waste. That does not only yield cost savings, but also reduces the burden on the environment. That makes Lean & Green, or any congenial initiative, a must for every thriving company. And for every country with serious climate ambitions.”

COP21_1 COP21_2

Considerable impact
The CO2-impact of transport and mobility is 25% on the scale of sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, and the opportunities to optimize are considerable. Still 45% of Europe’s freight moves by road in trucks that, in weight terms, achieve an average load factor of only 43%. COO Leon Simons of Moonen Packaging, European leader in environmentally-friendly packaging: “We need trustworthy partners to optimize our routes and facilitate innovative collaborations in the supply chain. That’s what the Lean & Green network has to offer.”

Call for Action: join Lean & Green
The Lean & Green community is growing. Connekt’s call for action is to join the community. Not only countries and companies can join, also cities and other programs can join the Lean & Green approach:
* countries can adopt the Lean & Green program
* companies can join on a national and on a European level
* cities can join via the Green Deal Zero Emission Urban Distribution
* programs can join the Lean & Green approach (by adopting the Lean & Green Values, while maintaining your own identity as a programme).

What is Lean & Green
If an organisation can demonstrate through a plan of action that it will be able to reduce its CO2-emissions by 20% within five years’ time, it becomes eligible for the Lean and Green Award. If the objective in the plan of action is actually achieved, the organisation is awarded its first Lean and Green Star. More Lean & Green Stars are awarded for innovative collaborations, more (and absolute) reduction of CO2. The ultimate target is five Lean & Green Stars for zero emission.

Leon Simons: “Start with creating your scope as a company, set ambitious but feasible targets. This is how we started with Lean & Green in 2010, and now we are already working together with other companies on the third Lean & Green Star. The community of Lean & Green is very important. Small and medium-sized enterprises and multinationals are working together in the programme.”

Innovations needed
Professor Alan McKinnon of Kühne Logistics University said: “Adaptation is not enough to reduce the emissions in an absolute sense. Due to economic growth, emissions will increase, despite the measures of companies, so this will continue to be a problem for our climate challenge. That means we will have to do much more to realize the breakthrough we need.”

Share principles and values
Sophie Punte, director of Smart Freight Centre, explained the differences in logistics differs per country (Brazil, India and China): “We cannot implement programmes via copy-paste. It is important to look into cultural differences, the role of the government and national pride. Governments have an important role to fulfil, they can support programs and tell them it’s better to collaborate than create isolated programs. The EU can do this, too. It’s better to share the principles and values of Lean & Green than to force the Lean & Green programme on others.”

Conclusion Lean & Green COP21 Paris
The logistics sector is far too inefficient. That conclusion is not only a challenge, but also a great opportunity. Who will disrupt the sector?