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Examining CO2e reduction within the German logistics sector

Jens Tacken (Shipping and Logistics Unit, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)
Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues (Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Robert Mason (Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 6 May 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent to which the measures outlined in frameworks for guiding CO2e emissions reduction in road freight transport in the academic literature are actually being realised at a practical level.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative evaluation is carried out of the transport-related CO2e measurement and reduction initiatives in the German logistics sector through ten case study logistics service providers. For each, senior managers are interviewed with the findings synthesised through content-analysis. The initiatives are evaluated against an accepted leading framework model used to categorise CO2e emissions reduction initiatives.

Findings

The investigated firms, although at different evolutionary stages, understand that logistics and ecology do not, for the most part, contradict each other and both need to be considered in their companies’ long-term planning. The framework used to categorise CO2e emissions reduction initiatives in logistics provision is largely confirmed, but also refined.

Research limitations/implications

The research reaffirms and refines frameworks developed to encourage and assess green logistics practice, in a specific country's (Germany) logistics industry.

Practical implications

The analysis shows strong evidence that the options identified in theory are also valid for the German logistics service provider companies that were investigated. Most of the participating companies apply many of the operational options to reduce the environmental impact, although no one company is pursuing all the possible initiatives.

Originality/value

There is a lack of empirical studies which assess the application of green logistics initiatives identified in academic literature to practice. This paper contributes to filling this gap.

Keywords

Citation

Tacken, J., Sanchez Rodrigues, V. and Mason, R. (2014), "Examining CO2e reduction within the German logistics sector", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 54-84. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-09-2011-0073

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited