Green Logistics – Reduce Emissions, Increase Efficiency

Transport logistics is responsible for around 11% of global CO2 emissions. Thus to achieve the agreed climate targets, a massive reduction in emissions caused by transport is needed - and within a very short time. But how can this transformation be achieved? Read how you can make logistics processes more sustainable, resource-efficient and climate-friendly with Green Logistics.

Governments around the world have set ambitious climate protection targets. The European Union, for example, has announced its Green New Deal and set a goal of reducing emissions by 55% by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. To achieve these climate goals, a massive and rapid reduction of emissions caused by transport is necessary. At the same time, the logistics industry is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and e-commerce and next- or same-day last-mile deliveries mean underutilized vehicles and high fuel consumption.

But how is the transformation to sustainable logistics to be financed? In the transport industry, there is a high need for investment, margins are low, and customers are only willing to pay a premium for sustainable delivery to a limited extent. This is where the concept of green logistics comes in.

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What is Green Logistics?

The term Green Logistics covers measures and strategies to make logistics processes more sustainable, resource-efficient and climate-friendly. The aim is to reduce the negative impact of logistics on the environment.

However, green logistics does not exclude economic efficiency. By optimizing processes, reducing the use of resources and making sustainable investments, companies not only protect the environment but also cut costs.

What are the benefits of sustainable logistics?

The benefits of sustainable logistics for the environment are obvious: reduction of harmful carbon dioxide emissions and lower use of resources. But more sustainable logistics also brings benefits for companies.

Reduced costs

The cost of fossil fuels is difficult to calculate and - since it is a finite raw material - tends to rise. By switching to more ecological, alternative drives, a logistics company not only makes itself independent of speculation and conflicts over oil, but also achieves price stability and predictability. At the same time, these companies anticipate the introduction of a CO2 tax and can thus avoid future costs with their investments. Some countries are also planning to adjust the truck toll to the CO2 emissions of the respective vehicle or to exempt CO2-free transports from the toll.

More orders

Green logistics is more in demand than ever. Consumers, but also companies, are increasingly paying attention to their carbon footprint and are placing higher demands on services and goods. Suppliers to the automotive industry, for example, must be able to demonstrate appropriate certifications. And such certifications are also increasingly required for larger tenders. Offering climate-friendly or even climate-neutral delivery can be a real competitive advantage here.

Did you know?

By using the route optimization software PTV Route Optimiser transport-related carbon emissions can be reduced by up to 17 %.

Do you want to know how high your savings potential is?

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Does optimized route planning reduce emissions?

The calculation is quite simple: fewer kilometers driven means less fuel consumption, means less CO2. Route planning software, such as PTV Route Optimiser, offers a range of features and benefits that can reduce both mileage and fuel consumption of deliveries. It also enables you to use fewer vehicles for the same volume of orders.

Increase efficiency

Empty runs are not only expensive, but also unecological. PTV's route planning solutions therefore calculate the most efficient routes possible with optimally utilized vehicles and, if possible, combine pick-ups and returns. Depending on the baseline situation, this not only leads to fewer kilometers driven, but also to entire vehicles being saved. The routing algorithms also calculate the shortest route to the next stop, bypass routes unsuitable for trucks and avoid detours.

The software also ensures that the right vehicle is selected for each trip.

Consider eco-friendly drives

If you would like to use an electrically powered vehicle for certain routes, you can set up a kilometer restriction for these routes in the PTV route planning tools. Prioritization of electric trucks or vans is also possible. In addition, areas can be designated in which only e-vehicles are to be used

Optimize route execution

The driving style has a major influence on fuel consumption. The calculated routes of a software solution are not only optimized, but also feasible. This takes the time pressure off drivers and encourages them to adopt a more consistent, fuel-saving driving style.

The use of additional tools, such as a truck navigation with live traffic information or an ETA service, can also bypass traffic jams and increase the number of successful first delivery attempts.

CO2 reduction measures and their effect

Using a route planning software <17%
Optimization and reduction of empty runs 10-40%
Intermodal route planning 35-80%
Alternative drives CNG/LNG 5-10%, hydrogen/electric 100%
Soft factors (modern vehicles, bio-fuels, driver training, etc.) 5%


How do you calculate the CO2 emissions of trucks?

The PTV routing and route planning solutions calculate the expected emissions of CO2, air pollutants and greenhouse gases for each trip. This allows you to evaluate the exact emissions of the planned route even before you start your journey. The algorithms take into account:

  • the actual mileage,
  • truck attributes,
  • vehicle classes,
  • fuel consumption,
  • the load, and
  • other important criteria such as the elevation profile of a route.

The calculation is based on DIN EN16258 (or CEN 16258), ISO 14083 (Europe/North America), HBEFA 4, CO2e Decree 2017 (France), Defra 2014 (UK) and NGA 2015 (Australia). The emissions footprint of your entire fleet as well as of intermodal routes can also be determined based on relevant standards such as HBEFA or CEN.

Why do I need an emissions report?

Transparency and reliable figures are the basis of any sustainability strategy. Only when you know how much CO2 is actually emitted can you make an informed decision about potential measures.

  • An analysis of the current state is crucial for assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of measures taken.
  • More and more countries are planning regulations on emissions reporting, making emissions or sustainability reports mandatory for logistics companies.
  • You can make such a report available to your customers and business partners and use it for tenders or certification procedure.
  • The emissions report data can be used as a basis for compensation measures or emissions trading.
  • In addition, with such a balance sheet you can already estimate what additional costs you would incur as a result of a CO2 tax.

Our partners for sustainable logistics

ITK Engineering: Intelligent E-Fleet Management

ITK Engineering GmbH brings together methodological expertise and software. One example of this is the Intelligent Charge Planner. With the help of artificial intelligence, the B2B cloud service makes battery charging smarter and ensures optimal vehicle operation. In this way, electric vehicles - thanks to multi-criteria optimization - can reach even distant destinations cost-effectively, saving time, conserving battery power, and with low energy consumption.

ITK Engineering and PTV have jointly developed a solution that combines the strengths of both partners - e-fleet management and route optimization.

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WAVES: Sustainability Management Platform

WAVES is making sustainability visible through digitization. With the help of the award-winning Sustainability Management Platform (SMP), companies from all sectors can carry out TÜV-certified carbon footprint calculations and standard-compliant sustainability analyses on their way to climate neutrality. WAVES also offers a wide range of sustainability consulting services for the climate transformation of companies.

PTV Group contributes technology and know-how in route planning and optimization.

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