Ahlers Belgium, Gosselin Logistics & Jas Forwarding winners of the Lean & Green award for forwarders
On December 11, 2017 Ahlers, Gosselin Logistics and Jas Forwarding, 3 renowned Antwerp forwarders in and around the Port of Antwerp, won the Lean & Green award. This acknowledgement is being awarded to logistic companies who engage themselves to reduce their CO2-exhaust by 20% within 5 years’ time. This commitment led to an extensive report from each of the 3 winners with analysis and action plans of which the first results are already measurable.
The Lean & Green project, led by VIL in the Port of Antwerp and VEA, entered Belgium coming from the Netherlands several years ago. For the first time it is now being organized for forwarders, companies without rolling stock. A 20% reduction of CO2-exhaust is huge, certainly when it needs to come from mainly administrative tasks. Yet the 3 parties are, together with the organizers of the award, convinced they can make it happen. By optimizing the traffic of the goods of their customers and by convincing them to choose the most environmental friendly solution but still allowing them to keep an eye on their priorities.
The project itself consists of two bigger parts: internal and external initiatives. But before these can be implemented, each company has to create a reliable CO2-calculator to map the current situation. Together with the release of any initiative, KPI’s can be created to monitor the impact of the different measures.
When it comes to external initiatives, the 3 companies will use CO2-exhaust of customers and suppliers. They will ask suppliers certain guarantees when it comes to a sustainable way of working.
Gosselin, Ahlers en Jas Forwarding each have their own accents towards customers, but the project managers all see a bright future in a well handled modal shift (truck to barge and sea to rail) and a mental shift that will be necessary. By making customers aware of the CO2-exhaust certain choices are responsible for, they will also want an environmental friendly alternative. Also pro-active transport-optimization is such an environmental friendly choice. Modern technology allows us to visualize the different modes of transportation. These visualizations often suggest further optimization.
By offering education programs, the companies create a basis that allow their employees to make clear and conscious choices for themselves (carpooling, switching off the lights,…) as for their customers (what is the best solution?).
However the forwarders are extremely proud to have won this award, the acknowledgement for them was not a target, but a new way of working.
Roel Vanmaele, managing director of Ahlers Western Europe explains: “As a logistic company we get confronted with the necessity of these kind of initiatives on a daily basis. The traffic jams get harder every day and the cost for man and environment raise day by day. It is our duty to help and fix this to the benefit of all. So I’m very glad Gosselin and Jas Forwarding share this concern as I know we can do a lot more when combining efforts.”
Geert De Wilde, managing director of Gosselin Logistics, confirms that sustainability will gain importance in the strategic targets of their customers: “The Lean & Green Award shows that we take the reduction of CO2-exhaust to the heart and take the necessary actions to help customers reach their target.”
The customers of Jas Forwarding put sustainability higher up the agenda. Sam Jespers, implementation manager: “The Lean & Green program of the VIL allowed us to turn our initiatives into real plans. The created Implementation Plan is not a mere statement, but a real and effective action plan.”
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