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Sustainability: IWLA announces the Sustainable Logistics Initiative

The International Warehouse Logistics Association announces the first metric-driven, facility-output-based sustainable logistics program for warehouse operations in North America
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
July 13, 2011

The International Warehouse Logistics Association announces the first metric-driven, facility-output-based sustainable logistics program for warehouse operations in North America, called the Sustainable Logistics Initiative (SLI).

“The warehouse-based logistics industry is taking an innovative approach toward planet, people and profits” said IWLA Chairman Linda C. Hothem, chief executive officer of Pacific American Group and senior advisor to Matson Global Distribution Services Inc. in Oakland, California. “Many IWLA members have already adopted the practices needed to demonstrate their continuous improvement process in supply chain sustainability, and others will learn quickly how to become part of the program – and a more sustainable solution – through participation in SLI. The data collected through SLI will inform our industry and our customers on the best and most efficient means to improve sustainable warehouse-logistics practices.”

SLI participants – 3PL facilities – report and engage in a rigorous and objective measurement process. Continuous improvement of each facility is the benchmark. The entire process is verified by an outside independent organization, The Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation.

“The data-collection technologically will be cutting edge, employing the most advanced Internet-based, easy-to-use tools,” Hothem said. “We assembled an incredible team to lead the challenge of establishing output-based metrics that will provide the first-ever benchmark for the warehouse-based logistics industry.”

Participating organizations will self report and have data verified in many areas:

  • Environmental Responsibilities – the green aspects of sustainability such as electrical use, fuel and water consumption, and recycling;

  • Social Responsibilities – including safety and community activity measurements; and

  • Profit Responsibilities – sustainability will generate a cost savings through increased efficiencies and improved operational excellence. (This enables participants to provide clients with proof of sustainable practices.)

Participating facilities will receive a Sustainable Logistics Initiative certificate to display as proof of their participation in creating an ecological supply chain. As their metrics improve, facilities can achieve silver, gold or platinum status in the program.

“SLI meets the market and regulatory challenges demanded by the public, logistics services clients and government procurement offices, such as General Services Administration and Department of Defense, for an output-based, continuous improvement and commitment to sustainability. The process is inexpensive, user friendly and data input is easy to complete,” said IWLA President & Chief Executive Officer Joel Anderson.

Richard K. Bank, director of the Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation, said, “SLI does not require substantial allocation of resources by IWLA member companies in order to achieve significant progress in making the industry more sustainable and more profitable.”

In addition, Anderson and Bank said members who participate in the new program can be assured that their data will be handled with strictly maintained confidentiality at all times by IWLA and SSFC.

The SLI program is available only to member companies of the International Warehouse Logistics Association.

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