Sustainability in Logistics

Sustainability in Logistics | India and Slovenia (2024)

Dive into the forefront of sustainability in logistics sector with a keen focus on the advancements poised to redefine the industry in 2024. This article illuminates the pivotal role of sustainability in revolutionising logistics practices, particularly in the contexts of India and Slovenia. Join us as we navigate through innovative strategies, partnerships, and technological innovations, driving a greener, more efficient future for the global logistics landscape.


Logistics is a crucial aspect of supply chain management, ensuring the smooth movement of goods, services, and related information from their origin to consumption while meeting the unique requirements of customers. Logistics involves customer service, demand forecasting, efficient warehousing, material handling, inventory control, order processing, and transportation. It involves ensuring customer satisfaction, predicting future demand, managing inventory, facilitating order fulfilment, and ensuring efficient movement of goods within facilities.

Military logistics involves maintaining supply lines for troops, including food, armaments, ammunition, and spare parts, while civilian logistics involves acquiring, moving, and storing raw materials, semi-finished goods, and finished goods and managing services like garbage collection and mail deliveries.

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Sustainable Logistics

Sustainable logistics, also known as green logistics, is a strategy aimed at reducing the environmental impact of companies in the supply chain, from raw material processing to product delivery, by minimising the ecological footprint associated with logistics, freight, and transportation.

In today's supply chains, logistics sustainability is essential. It entails putting procedures into place that lessen the negative effects that distribution and transportation operations have on the environment. 

Importance of Sustainability in Logistics

Environmental Impact: The logistics and transport sector significantly influences climate change. By adopting sustainable practices, we can mitigate this impact.

Long-Term Viability: Sustainable logistics ensures the long-term viability of supply chains by minimising resource depletion and environmental harm.

Regulatory Compliance: Many countries and regions have regulations related to emissions, waste, and energy use. Sustainable logistics helps companies comply with these standards.

Getting Started with Sustainable Logistics

To start well is to end well, in general. Going the sustainable route is a long-term solution that will improve the lives of humans. We will delve into some aspects:

Efficiency: Ensure your logistics process is as efficient as possible. Use a mix of transport options (e.g., road, train, inland water) to optimise journeys.

Carbon Offsetting: Consider carbon offset programs to balance emissions.

Electric Vehicles: Transition to electric vehicles for transportation.

Collaborate: Work with partners and suppliers to promote sustainability throughout the supply chain.

Best Practices for Sustainable Logistics

Let's delve into the importance of sustainable logistics and explore some best practices.

  • Assessment: Evaluate your overall logistics strategy to identify areas where sustainable practices can be implemented.
  • Optimise Routes: Minimize unnecessary travel and waiting times to reduce fuel consumption.
  • Renewable Energy and Technology: Explore green or renewable energy sources and technologies for logistics operations.
  • Maximise Capacity: Avoid wasted energy by ensuring containers and transport are packed to maximum capacity.
  • Sustainable Packaging: Introduce recyclable or sustainable packaging.
  • Integrated Logistics: Align supply chain processes across departments for overall efficiency.
  • Greener Transport Options: Consider electric-powered vehicles and other eco-friendly alternatives.

Green Economy of India

India's transition to a green economy presents a remarkable opportunity for both economic growth and environmental sustainability. Let's delve into the details:

Economic Impact

A recent report by the World Economic Forum outlines how India's path to decarbonisation could have a significant economic impact:

  • By 2030, the estimated economic impact is over $1 trillion.
  • By 2070, this impact could soar to around $15 trillion.

The report emphasises that India's role in achieving global climate targets is critical.

Sectoral Roadmap

The Mission 2070: A Green New Deal for a Net-Zero India report identifies five sectoral pillars and four cross-sectoral enablers: 


Energy: Addressing energy-related emissions.

Mobility: Transforming transportation systems.

Industry: Promoting sustainable industrial practices.

Infrastructure and Cities: Building eco-friendly urban spaces.

Agriculture: Enhancing agricultural practices.


Green Technology Innovation: Accelerating green tech adoption.

Green Finance Framework: Catalyzing sustainable finance.

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage: Integrating carbon solutions.

Climate Adaptation Plan: Preparing for climate impacts.

Job Creation

India's transition to a green economy could create over 50 million net new jobs by 2030.

These jobs span various sectors, contributing to economic growth and livelihoods

Climate Commitments

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Prime Minister Modi pledged India's commitment to ambitious climate goals. India's five-part Panchamrit pledge is foundational for achieving the 1.5-degree Celsius global warming target.

Green Growth in the Budget

India's Union Budget for 2023-24 prioritises green growth, focusing on green industries, sustainable agriculture, and clean energy. India's transition to a green economy is not only an environmental imperative but also a powerful driver of economic prosperity and resilience.

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India's Innovative and Sustainable Solutions in the Logistics Sector

The logistics sector in India is undergoing a significant transformation, focusing on sustainability to facilitate the movement of goods and connect producers with consumers. India faces high logistics costs, accounting for 14% of GDP, but government policies promote sustainable freight, while the private sector and civil society drive significant changes for a sustainable future.

Indian logistics companies are implementing green technologies, optimising routes, embracing multimodal transportation, and focusing on sustainable packaging solutions while adhering to global sustainability benchmarks. Sustainability initiatives are driving economic growth and environmental responsibility in the Indian logistics industry, promoting sustainable practices and playing a crucial role in India's economic development.

Sustainable Airport Infrastructure in India

India's airports have made significant strides in sustainability, with Cochin International Airport becoming the first to run on solar power in August 2015. Delhi and Mumbai airports have achieved Level 4+ Carbon Accreditation, while Hyderabad and Bengaluru have also achieved Level 3+ Carbon Neutral status. Chandigarh Airport has installed solar power plants for its operations.

Sustainable Road Infrastructure in India

The Green National Highways Corridor Project (GNHCP) is constructing 800 km of climate-resilient highways across Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh, while the Gati Shakti Program consolidates 81 high-impact road infrastructure projects, while Ghaziabad Aligarh Expressway Private Limited implements speedy, safe, and sustainable road construction.

The National Institute of Disaster Management and the Central Road Research Institute conducted a webinar on sustainable infrastructure management for hill roads, examining the use of life cycle cost analysis and Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI).

Sustainable Shipping Industry in India

India is making significant strides towards sustainable practices in the shipping industry. Here are some examples:

India has set a deadline for a green shipping transformation by 2029, aiming to convert all coastal and inland vessels to renewable energy sources within eight years. A study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) evaluates the potential of LNG and solar-assisted electric boats in reducing emissions from Inland Water Transport and coastal shipping. India is also selected for a pilot project related to Green Shipping.

India's Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways has launched the Green Tug Transition Programme (GTTP) and the National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS34), aiming to transition to Green Hybrid Tugs powered by Green Hybrid Propulsion systems by 2025. India aims to increase renewable energy usage in major ports to 60% of total power demand, primarily solar and wind-generated, by 2030 and decrease carbon emissions per ton of cargo handled by 30%.

India has set a deadline for a green shipping transformation by 2029, aiming to convert all coastal and inland vessels to renewable energy sources within eight years. A study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) evaluates the potential of LNG and solar-assisted electric boats in reducing emissions from Inland Water Transport and coastal shipping. India is also selected for a pilot project related to Green Shipping.

Sustainable Railway Infrastructure in India

Indian Railways, the world's fourth-largest network railway, aims to become a green transporter by reducing its carbon footprint. With 42,354 route kilometres electrified as of January 2021, the company has committed to 100% broad gauge electrification by December 2023 and has installed over 1000 rooftop solar panels for non-traction power requirements. Sustainable development in India is being achieved through increased use of solar energy, biogas, bio-toilets, LED lights, rainwater harvesting, reforestation, and electrification to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

The government is implementing digital transformation in railway infrastructure, rolling stock, customer services, modernised stations, digitising operations, predictive asset management, and implementing Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) to promote sustainable mobility, passenger experience, and economic growth.

Green Economy of Slovenia

Slovenia, with its lush green landscape, is a country that places significant emphasis on protecting the natural and social environment. Let's delve into Slovenia's commitment to sustainability and its transition toward a circular economy:

Circular Economy Focus

Slovenia is at the forefront of countries embracing circular economy principles. This approach centres around sustainability, green technologies, and corporate social responsibility.

The country prioritises a transition to a low-carbon and circular economy, aligning with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 8, 9, 12, and 131.

Key areas include:

  • Raising awareness about the transition process.
  • Comprehensive efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (SDG 13).
  • Promoting renewable energy sources (SDG 7).
  • Developing sustainable mobility (SDG 9).

Statistics and Challenges

Slovenia's productivity levels in terms of material, energy, and emissions are below the EU average. Monitoring circularity in resource use remains a challenge.

The country's dependency on imported raw materials underscores the need for sustainable practices.

Biodiversity and Urban Development

  • Slovenia considers SDG 14 (preserving biodiversity) a priority.
  • The Spatial Development Strategy until 2050 emphasises the role of cities, green urban systems, and sustainable mobility (SDG 11).

Development Strategies

The National Development Strategy 2030 aims for a balanced approach:

  • Resilient, inclusive, and responsible society.
  • Inclusive and green economic growth.
  • Preservation of the natural environment.

Slovenia actively incorporates SDGs into its development framework, engaging stakeholders from local, regional, and national bodies, civil society, and businesses.

In summary, Slovenia's commitment to sustainability, circular economy practices, and alignment with SDGs reflects its dedication to a greener future.

Innovative and Sustainable Solutions in Slovenia

Slovenia is making significant strides in the logistics sector with its innovative and sustainable solutions. Here are some key areas of focus:

Green Economy: Slovenia is a front-runner in the shift to a circular economy, emphasising green technologies, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability. In order to foster a circular economy, the nation has created regulations and unveiled the "circular triangle" model, which brings together citizens, government policies, and business models. This model encourages sustainability and a circular culture. Slovenia's economy is innovative, user-focused, and sustainable, and it supports long-term societal growth. Another important industry is logistics, which is known for its high-quality goods and services.

Multimodal Transport Systems: Slovenia's strategic location between the Northern Adriatic and the Alps makes it an ideal location for sustainable logistics and integrated, multimodal freight transport systems.

Port of Koper: Slovenia's Port of Koper, the shortest route from South Asia via the Suez Canal, offers a 2,000 nautical mile and 5-7 day transit time, showcasing its commitment to efficient and sustainable logistics solutions.

Infrastructure Development: Slovenia is dedicated to improving airport and railway infrastructure, promoting sustainable logistics and enhancing the region's business environment.

Eco-Innovation: Slovenia is a top EU member in eco-innovation, prioritising education, training, and industry-driven research to support high technology and other high-value-added sectors.

Smart Country Solutions: Slovenia is actively participating in EU initiatives on smart cities, data, AI, and interoperability to become a digital leader, with many Slovenian companies being world leaders in high-tech and niche technologies.

Digital Innovation: Slovenia's size and high AI application usage make it an ideal country for national digital innovation, with numerous world-class companies offering innovative solutions in this field, surpassing the European Union average.

Innovation in Logistics Services: Slovenian transport and logistics companies are crucial in international supply chains, offering environmentally sustainable, energy-efficient, and innovative solutions that meet high standards.

Slovenia's initiatives promote sustainable development and innovation, contributing to economic growth, environmental sustainability, and enhancing citizens' quality of life.

Slovenia's Multimodal Transport Systems

Slovenia has been actively working on its multimodal transport systems to enhance mobility and sustainability. Let's delve into the details:

Sustainable Mobility Programme (SMP) in Slovenia

The Novo Mesto City Municipality is the final beneficiary of a program promoting active urban mobility, particularly cycling, and accelerating electrification through Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), which are crucial for improving public transport and creating a multimodal system.

Planned Investments 

Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure implementation: Slovenia is implementing innovative mobility solutions, including the world's first serially produced electric airplane, parts for electric and hybrid cars, and in-wheel electric motors.

Purchase of EVs (cars, vans, scooters, etc.): There are approximately 1,064,000 registered passenger cars in Slovenia. The market share of EVs is relatively low but has been growing rapidly.

  • Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) account for 0.47% of the market.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) make up 0.27% of the market.
  • EVs for public transport and municipal use (electric buses, utility vehicles)
  • Active mobility measures implementation (cycling infrastructure, bike-sharing systems, etc.)

ITS Services for Transport Efficiency Improvement

Slovenia is implementing intelligent traffic lights, IoT-based traffic management, smart parking systems, a central information system for sustainable mobility, multi-modal public transport management, and Park and Ride facilities to improve accessibility and use of public transport, thereby enhancing overall city life.

European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) Project Factsheet

The Project Development Services (PDS) financed by ELENA are supporting the Investment Programme (IP) in nine Slovenian municipalities, focusing on active mobility promotion and transport electrification. The IP includes cycling infrastructure, electric vehicle adoption, and ITS deployment, aiming to create a seamless multimodal transport system benefiting residents and the environment.

Participation in Slovenia's Active Mobility Initiatives

Slovenia is actively promoting sustainable and healthy mobility through various initiatives. Let's explore some of these efforts:

European Mobility Week: The European Mobility Week campaign in Slovenia, involving 96 municipalities, aims to promote sustainable travel methods. This year's focus is on "Shared Public Space," promoting healthier, less harmful, and less wasteful alternatives to car usage. The Minister of the Environment, Climate, and Energy emphasises the need for broad awareness and sustainable solutions for daily journeys, addressing associated expenses like infrastructure, accidents, pollution, and climate change.

Health-Focused Initiatives: The Ministry of Health co-funds programs promoting healthier environments, such as Going Out for Health, which encourages green space design, and Active Travel to School and Healthy City, which aims to create conducive environments for active travel to school and work.

Cycling Infrastructure: Slovenia is enhancing cycling infrastructure for commuting and holidays, with many routes that are part of European long-distance connections, making it a popular cycling destination.

Innovative Solutions: Slovenia is implementing innovative mobility solutions, including the world's first serially produced electric airplane, parts for electric and hybrid cars, and in-wheel electric motors.

These initiatives demonstrate Slovenia's commitment to sustainable and active mobility, promoting healthier lifestyles and environmental well-being. 

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

Environmental, social, and governance considerations are increasingly influencing warehouse development. Sustainable practices are being integrated into logistics operations, aligning with investor and developer ambitions.

Environmental (E): Logistics providers are redefining their approach to sustainability. They collaborate with customers to design innovative solutions that create greener supply chains. These partnerships focus on finding sustainable ways to transport products to end consumers and efficiently handle product returns. By doing so, both customers and logistics providers can reduce their environmental impact. 

Social (S): Logistics companies foster a safe, supportive work environment by promoting diversity, inclusion, and belonging. They enhance their value proposition and leverage ESG factors to gain a competitive advantage.

Governance (G): Smart risk management and strong governance practices in logistics providers boost stakeholder confidence, adding value beyond efficiency and productivity. This commitment influences organisational culture and results delivery.

ESG in Slovenia

Slovenia, a country nestled in the heart of Europe, places significant emphasis on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations. 

Environmental Priorities

Slovenia is prioritising the transition to a low-carbon and circular economy, aligning with the country's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 8, 9, 12, and 13. The country is focusing on raising awareness, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, utilising renewable energy, and promoting sustainable mobility development.

Slovenia prioritises SDG 14, focusing on the preservation of biodiversity in land, marine, and inland aquatic ecosystems.

Social Considerations

Slovenia's National Development Strategy 2030 aims for a resilient, inclusive, and responsible society, involving stakeholders, vulnerable groups, bodies, civil society, and businesses to achieve this balance. Slovenia acknowledges the right to a healthy environment but faces challenges like toxic pollution, limited safe drinking water access for vulnerable populations, and poor air quality.

Governance Focus

Slovenia's development cooperation prioritises fostering peaceful, inclusive societies through good governance, equal opportunities, gender equality, and high-quality education. Slovenia is actively working towards addressing climate change by sustainably managing its natural and energy resources.

Best Practices

Efficient route planning and sustainable fleet investments are crucial for logistics companies to reduce fuel consumption, emissions, and transportation costs. By leveraging technology and data analytics, logistics companies can optimise delivery routes, considering factors like traffic, weather, and road conditions. Transitioning to electric or hybrid vehicles and regularly maintaining them can contribute to environmental goals. Collaborating with local businesses or using shared delivery networks can also enhance last-mile delivery efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Sustainability Assessment: Evaluate your overall logistics strategy to identify areas where more sustainable practices can be implemented.

Optimise Travel Routes: Minimize unnecessary travel and waiting times to reduce fuel consumption.

Renewable Energy and Technology: Explore incorporating green or renewable energy sources and technologies.

Avoid Partial Capacity Waste: Ensure containers and transport are packed to maximum capacity to minimise energy waste.

Sustainable Packaging: Introduce recyclable or sustainable packaging.

Integrated Logistics: Align your supply chain across all departments for overall efficiency.

Greener Transport Options: Consider alternatives like electric-powered vehicles.

Collaboration Between India and Slovenia

Sustainability has to be at the heart of logistical planning and execution.

The collaboration between India and Slovenia holds significant promise. Let's distil the key takeaways from our exploration:

Green Logistics as a Necessity: The logistics sector, a major contributor to environmental degradation, is adopting sustainable practices, focusing on eco-friendly transportation solutions like electric vehicles. India's transition to clean mobility is disrupting the logistics market, with startups leading the charge.

India's Green Mobility Revolution: COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of e-commerce and direct-to-consumer channels, enhancing logistics and delivery services. This has benefited startups but also raised concerns about carbon footprint, as consumers are increasingly environmentally conscious.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Sustainability: EV adoption in e-commerce, food delivery, grocery, and logistics is increasing, with collaborations with EV rental companies ensuring carbon-free delivery. India's $160 billion logistics market is experiencing disruption.

The Road Ahead: India's commitment to sustainable transportation can reduce fuel costs and CO2 emissions. Green logistics, powered by electric vehicles (EVs), will significantly shape India's logistics landscape. As the world transitions towards a circular economy, India and Slovenia can exchange best practices.

In conclusion, the green economy in India, especially within the logistics sector, is poised for transformation. By embracing innovation, sustainable practices, and collaborative efforts, India and Slovenia can pave the way for a more environmentally conscious future. 

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Logistics involves the entire process of moving goods from their origin to the end customer, including procurement, inventory management, distribution, warehousing, transportation, packaging, and risk management. Sustainability in logistics involves reducing environmental impact through carbon offsetting, optimising transport routes, and transitioning to electric vehicles.

Circular logistics in Europe can reduce carbon emissions by 50%, emphasising resource efficiency and waste minimisation. The Black Sea conflict disrupted grain and vegetable oil logistics, while the Israel-Hamas conflict increased risks in the Red Sea. The industry is focusing on sustainable practices to reduce environmental impact, with expected normalcy in 2024 due to elastic logistics, transformative technologies, and strategic responses.

With several companies making great strides in innovation on the logistics front, the industry is poised to grow exponentially. Along with huge growth comes huge responsibility, with sustainable growth being the mantra to follow.

Usha Menon

With over 25 years of experience as an architect, urban designer, and green building consultant, Usha has been designing sustainable, and visionary spaces. She has published a book, has been actively blogging, and is on social media. Now, her journey is transitioning to full-time writing. Her words will continue to craft stories, not brick and mortar, but in the realm of ideas, fostering a better, more inspired world.


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