Can Corporate Social Responsibility really assist your business?
There is much more to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) than ticking boxes as businesses throughout the logistics chain are now discovering – sometimes to their cost.
The pressure comes, not just from legislation, but from larger corporate organisations putting CSR ever-more central to their operations.
Emphasising the importance of CSR to suppliers, researching their existing supply chain and sending out CSR check-sheets to existing suppliers are seen as vital to keeping programmes on track.
At KC Group Shipping, we fully recognize that CSR is all about the way an organisation works with its community, to its relationship with its staff and its attitude to a cleaner and greener environment.
There is absolutely no doubt this pressure, correctly so, will remain on the shipping industry – with continuing investigations and demands growing on the transportation chain. Companies that fail to keep up will be at a growing disadvantage.
Here at KC Group Shipping, we are already working with many of our customers to ensure we meet and support their CSR and environmental goals.
That may mean complying with their wishes to see more of their freight on rail rather than road – or it can mean demonstrating to them our commitment to the environment and our CSR by the policies and actions we take.
We also have ISO18001 accreditation that highlights our sustainability and environmental awareness and we work with our local community in sponsoring youth development.
All this is about much more than box-ticking. CSR is good for business and it's also good for the way we do business and work with our clients, colleagues and partners.
As for the environment: the World Shipping Council stresses that maritime shipping is the world's most carbon-efficient form of transporting goods - far more efficient than road or air transport.
However, the work goes on to further improve the fuel efficiency and carbon footprint of vessels – and to reduce the carbon footprint of freight once it is landed at its destination.
On land, as highlighted by KC Group, developments like the new London Gateway deepwater container terminal are being hailed as a way of reducing emissions.
A study has estimated that the newly-opened port and its new logistics park will save 148,000 tons of carbon dioxide from British supply chains per year, because of shorter journey times for 2,000 trucks per day.
At sea we are also seeing efforts being made by shipping companies to reduce their carbon footprints. Slower steaming, pioneered by Maersk Line, is helping cut emissions.
So is technology. At a Green Technologies Seminar held in Singapore recently over 150 shipping industry executives gathered to discuss the subject.
Meanwhile, shipbuilders continue to make strides to create greener vessels. That drive for cleaner technology, fuelled by the volatility of energy prices, will continue to accelerate.
So too will the demand on companies, like KC Group Shipping, to demonstrate clear CSR policies, commitment and action.
There is no doubt that CSR makes sound business sense, with the consumers of the future also aware of its importance when it comes to their decision-making.
A study by the Good Research Partnership and British Youth Council found young people aged 11-25 are more likely to buy from firms that invest in local areas, support community projects and give to good causes.
The internet-savvy consumer of the future understands and believes in the need for social responsibility and is prepared to make decisions based on how organisations are performing.
That is what all businesses, including logistics and freight shipping, have to respond to.
KC Group Shipping offers a complete supply chain solution and full-cycle consultancy.
The consultancy offering enables the group to audit its customers' entire shipping activities and advise on the best solutions to optimise shipping and logistics, maximise cost-effectiveness and to reduce their carbon footprint.
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