The logistics of moving products from A to Z is a complex matter, as you would expect, for an international company such as Givaudan. From a sustainability perspective, the implications are clear, given that transport is a major source of CO2 emissions. Givaudan has been taking steps to map and reduce our CO2 footprint in relation to transport, with an evolving strategy, coordinated between the Flavour and Fragrance divisions.
Two divisions, one goal
Tibor works for Fragrances as Global Transport Manager based at Givaudan’s global Headquarters in Vernier, Switzerland. Tibor’s colleague in Flavours in Singapore is Dhan, a Regional Supply Chain Project Manager who takes care of projects relating to transport and customs duties. They may represent different sides of the business, and sit on opposite sides of the world – but they share the same goal: to gain much greater visibility on developing an ever increasingly efficient transport policy, which in turn, will help to create sustainable benefits.
“We’re working with the four regions to understand their transportation needs, but also learning best practice so we can apply this across the Company,” explains Tibor. “We also have an ‘open door’ policy across the two divisions, so we can share and capture information that will benefit the ongoing re-formulation of our transport operations. We are gradually gaining momentum towards establishing a more unified, sustainable approach.”
As a way of illustrating the successes in 2014, Dhan talks about gains made in reducing airfreight volume that also contributed to reducing our CO2 emissions. “Approximately 12% of our transport needs are covered by air, and one of my projects was to gain visibility on our airfreight spend. Through looking at the route scheduling, we’ve been able to identify inefficiencies, and to actually reduce the number of flights we need, which brings savings and reduces our CO2 imprint. The problem was that we were moving packages as low as 50kg by air cargo from our sites, particularly in Asia, where we rely heavily on airfreight, because of the distances we have to cover. Now we bundle products into 1,000kg and 2,000kg packages and use fewer flights.”
As a consequence of this greater visibility and efficiency, there has been a 14% reduction (by weight) of air cargo, just from the Flavour Division alone, and it’s a policy that is set to fly across the entire business.
CO2 transparency on raw materials
A further progressive move in 2014 saw the carbon footprint data of inbound raw materials collected for the first time, as part of gaining greater transparency on all aspects of our transport activities. As Tibor explains: “We hadn’t measured inbound raw material data before, and weren’t even sure how to go about it, so we had to capture the number of raw materials purchased, the number of journeys made to move materials, the distances covered and the actual methods of transportation. In breaking it down we calculated that for 26,000 tonnes of raw materials, the transport footprint was approximately 4,760 tonnes of CO2. This work will help to form a raw materials/carbon KPI, thus achieving the transparency needed, which will enable us to reduce our carbon footprint.”
The driving force behind gaining visibility on the topic and strategising sustainability is a common one, which is cited again and again in relation to creating a more sustainable business – it’s about a mindset. “Logistics is not a job that you can own from the back office, it’s about people on the ground taking ownership and responsibility to think and act more sustainably. This takes good communication and planning within the business and with our customers. If we plan better, and think sustainably, then we can do things like arrange more sea freight, which is cost-effective and kinder on CO2 outputs – but if we plan last minute, then there will be more need for air cargo. So all our people have to take this responsibility and work with the guidelines and advice that we provide,” says Tibor.
Our transport logistics team is itself on a journey: to provide the very best service to our customers, reducing costs where possible, and increasingly, to build in factors that will make it a much more sustainable event, whenever we use a truck, ship or plane. Dhan points to the collective responsibility already evident in our transportation efforts: “Team members from all of our sites collaborated effectively to realise our airfreight initiative, and this kind of support and shared approach will be at the heart of driving transport sustainability across the business. When we move, we move together!”