Shipping’s Carbon Footprint and your Small Business >> Your Vote

….You can vote your influence on sea, air and land shipping by how much you use it.

In this post:
Climate News,
Marine Shipping is in-between countries,
local versus long distance suppliers,
Air Shipping has no boarders,
Who is responsible for the CO2 emissions from planes and ships?
…a list at the bottom of this series on Carbon Footprint

I can not find an update of the above graph. It is from 2014. No improvement?

Shipping's Carbon Footprint

Climate News
From: MarineLink
………………..Published:  8 February, 2019
Woodmac: 10% of Marine Fuel to be Scrubbed
* Research firm Woodmac sees a rise in the use on ships of “scrubbers”, the equipment to clean up sulfur emissions, before the International Maritime Organization imposes new rules from 1 Jan. 2020 to limit sulfur content in fuel.

Maritime shipping accounts for 8% (some say 13%) of global emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), making the industry an important source of acid rain as well as respiratory diseases.

I ask: Why are they waiting until 2020 to use scrubbers. Why did they not start adding them years ago, when they saw the wind changing….getting stronger.

There is an inconvenient truth in the 2015 Paris climate Agreement. 
As much as it has commitments from “countries” to lower Greenhouse Gases (GHG) >>> Where is the commitment for what is not bound by the boarders of a country?  How about shipping by sea, shipping by air and even shipping by land across boarders?  Marine Shippings’ Carbon Footprint does not cross boarders or cover land, but are some of the worst polluters on planet Earth. 

Shipping's Carbon Footprint

And with the increasing extreme weather patterns, is this form of shipping getting more dangerous?  You want your supply orders to show up on time, at your nearest port, not at the bottom of the ocean.

Who is checking the GHG of these important industries that allow us to get what we need and want.  Is it good business to use less shipping?…. until they change their habits…..

Shipping's Carbon Footprint

Marine Shipping is in-between countries. Who can control their habits?

….we can vote our influence on any kind of shipping by how much we use it.

Sourcing local versus long distance suppliers

Shipping's Carbon Footprint
Photo by Andrew Kambel on Unsplash

There is a positive trend moving back to local / domestic suppliers.  One of the major reasons for this is shorter, less costly shipping.  But there are a lot of other reasons to consider local suppliers for your production.  Why?  How?

For Example:
Consider the cost of ordering locally produced foods packaged in jars – glass.  Rather than a container that must be thrown away, your company returns the empty jars and gets a discount on the unit price of the next order; reduced delivery cost, no waste expense, reduced price, better relations with the supplier.

If you buy something that is made cheaper in another country, what does the shipping add to the cost?   Have you considered geopolitical and logistics barriers, government stability, bad weather, and port costs.  What about unstable currencies, trade protection, economic disruptions?  Are you considering the regulatory fees, tracking the stock shipped from far away and ocean carrier costs; insurance, terms and timeframes.

Compare all the costs of buying your supplies from far away versus locally.  If your local currency is weak compared to overseas, maybe it is cheaper to buy materials locally.

8 benefits of Local Sourcing

While local sourcing is often less complicated than global sourcing, here are some key tips to consider.

  1. Use Local suppliers when quality is critical.
    It is easier for buyers to maintain communication and controls.  You can meet more often with your supplier to discuss quality issues or future needs.
  2. Domestic suppliers can help hold inventory.
    Maybe you can order in smaller quantities.
  3. Improved Speed to Market
    Local suppliers help you with your delivery requirements.
  4. In the face of demand uncertainty, at least find domestic supplier options.
    Allows for flexibility in the face of unpredictable demand. 
  5. Greater control of sensitive technology.
    If you have patent, copyright or a trademark to consider, these sensitive industry documents are easier to copy/pirate if the supplier is far away.
  6. Easier supplier relationships, a true partnership
    When you can meet regularly with your domestic suppliers it is possible to negotiate better terms; Net 90 day invoicing, fee-for-use inventory in the customer’s warehouse, billed as used.
  7. Improved public image
    Consumers like to see domestic content in the products they buy. 
  8. Reduced tax and tariff burdens and more accurate Budget Forecasting
    There can be real savings in taxes and fees when goods are produced locally.

Conclusions……………….
It is a good idea to look at the entire life cycle of the product and also at different aspects of ESG; Environmental, Social and Governance.
Keeping these factors in mind will lead to focused analysis of the two alternatives – local or global sourcing – in order to make more informed decisions. 
An on-going local sourcing programme can lead to improvements in your local economy and/or rural communities.   Who knows????

Current practice shows an average of 65:35 mix of domestic sourcing versus global sourcing.  Can you come close to this formula?

1:30 min

Air Shipping has no boarders

Climate News
From: 
Transport & Environment………………..Published:  4 May 2018
Planes and ships can’t escape Paris climate commitments

Who is responsible for the CO2 emissions from planes and ships? 

There are two UN agencies that regulate air and sea – the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Has the Paris agreement put these two UN agencies in charge of controlling Shipping’s Carbon Footprint?  These agencies have done more in the last two years, than in the last two decades.  However, hoping that the ICAO and IMO will help the “clean-up” is leaving a lot to speculation.
ICAO has agreed to establish an offsett mechanism for some emissions starting in the 2020s.  Will they deliver?  Will they do more needed work? What about finding clean fuels?
The IMO agreed to a long-term goal to cut at least 50% of COemissions by 2050 from their fuel and continue to pursue efforts for full decarbonisation.  

Or can they escape?

How Fast?  How Effective?  Even if these agencies were to turn overnight into self-appointed climate regulators, they do not have the ability to clean-up these sectors, yet.

  • Little internal agreement among their members
  • Few financial and legal powers to get the job done
  • No legal mechanism to enforce the offsetting scheme they committed to
  • Missing financial resources to move forward with alternative fuel solutions
  • An agency to promote aviation’s growth may not be willing to restrict their members, based on the goals of the Paris agreement.

Maybe the Paris countries have a little more power than I think. They regulate who comes into their sea ports and air ports.

A world-wide vote for less long distance shipping will hit these shippers in their pocket-book, and may lighten yours.

There are 3 posts in this series on Carbon Footprint:
#1: Carbon Footprint: Everyone and Everything has one.
#2: Do you know Your Business Carbon Footprint?
#3: Shipping’s Carbon Footprint And Your Small Business >> Your Vote

Your eco-business concerns are the motive for my blog. Tell me what’s on your mind, good or bad.

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