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Here is how we measure the "carbon footprint"

Andrea Fossa, Ceo GreenRouter



Evaluating any change is crucial in managing it. The Green Router web tool aids companies in keeping  their carbon footprint under control, and defining strategies aimed at achieving truly effective results in terms of containing emissions throughout the supply chain.

Nicoletta Ferrini

What would you do if you knew the effects of your actions well in advance? How would the choices you make today change if you had the possibility to immediately evaluate future results? Answering this type of question is one of GreenRouter’s main goals, a web tool that allows companies to detect and measure their "carbon footprint" (a measurement of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by an activity and generally expressed in tons of equivalent CO2) along the supply chain, from warehousing to retailing, passing through all the transport and distribution phases. This platform, entirely developed in Italy, will prove an invaluable tool in present and future emission reducing strategies, especially in view of the increasingly stringent parameters, as well as to monitor and manage the results achieved over time. "GreenRouter’s mission is to simplify the process of measuring the impact produced by logistics networks on the environment, and make this approach a widespread and consolidated practice not only among large manufacturing companies, but also among small-medium logistics and road transport enterprises - explains Andrea Fossa, CEO and co-founder, in 2016, of this innovative digital start-up. Even companies lacking the necessary structure and resources for this purpose, are involved in the quest towards the reduction of harmful emissions levels normally produced throughout the supply chain. GreenRouter allows them, in fact, to contribute towards a more efficient and cleaner logistic system". As a result, not a few companies have decided to adopt this tool.

Sophisticated, yet user friendly

GreenRouter is a "user friendly" platform, dedicated to daily business activities and designed to integrate the necessary data with timely information. The platform is based on certified proprietary algorithms and an ever-expanding database, which currently includes some 540 airports, 1,510 ports and 300 intermodal terminals. Based on these elements, the web tool automatically calculates the distances for each of the four transport modes (rail, road, sea and air) and produces a Supply Chain model through an "arcs and knots" grid chart, drilled down to the "single shipment". The chart includes not just the starting and destination points of each section of the network, but also all intermediate stops. Using GreenRouter, companies can obtain a truly complete picture of the amount of greenhouse gasses produced by their own supply chain, going through the different stages of storage and transport, basically from manufacturing plants to retail points. At the same time, more specific projections are also possible, focusing the attention on each section or single factory and plant, in order to carry out a precise assessment of the impact of each point of the distribution network.

Furthermore, GreenRouter makes it possible to monitor the amount of CO2e and PMx (particulate matter) released into the air, assessing the impact of each individual step of a company’s logistics network. Everything is done in harmony with what has already been laid out in the GHG protocol (GreenHouseGases), developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and supported by more than fifty companies, foundations, governmental and non-governmental organizations worldwide, and adopted as the global standard for measuring and managing a company’s own emissions.  "GreenRouter acts in line with the GHG protocol - confirms Andrea Fossa. A choice motivated by a  pragmatic approach to the issue and the desire to increase the scope of the protocol, being the standard instrument used by those who monitor some of the largest listed companies". The model for calculating transport emissions and reporting them through the GreenRouter platform are therefore certified to comply with EN 16258 (standard method, used internationally to calculate and declare energy consumption levels and GHG emissions produces by a company while transporting goods).

 "The basic idea at the heart of the project is to provide companies with something more", adds Fossa. The plus, as far as the platform is concerned,  is that it does more than describing the current scenario". Thanks to advanced simulation models, GreenRouter can also calculate the impact that any future action will have in terms of transport (such as changing transport modes on certain routes, fleet renewal, use of alternative fuels, etc.) and storage (new and innovative technologies, different energy sources, etc). By defining medium-long term scenarios, GreenRouter helps companies to make informed, targeted and truly effective decisions. Through the platform, companies can also estimate risks and costs related to the price of carbon and its taxation and, above all, customize its reporting procedures in compliance to the EN 16258 standard. In addition GreenRouter offers the possibility of benefiting from the production of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) reports, as well as communicating real cases and specific initiatives undertaken.

"The problem of greenhouse gas emissions is not sector-based: it doesn’t just pertain to logistics and more specifically to transport," says Fossa, although it is undeniable that logistics plays an important part in it". In fact, it is estimated that, by 2050, transportation gas emissions (goods + passengers) will represent 50% of the total. Hence, the need to downsize these figures internationally. In 2009, the European Union formalized its strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Directive 2009/28 / EC) and, after reaching the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol, redefined its targets for 2050, setting a reduction between 80% and 95% by that date.

Two intermediate stages have been set for 2030 and 2020, with the objective of reducing emissions by 40% and 20% respectively. "We cannot just turn away and hope these vital goals will be reached somehow - declares GreenRouter’s CEO. Sustainability is fast emerging as the fourth pillar on which the supply chain management is resting, along with costs, service and quality. Therefore, measuring and communicating the results within the various logistics networks must no longer be considered just an ethical and moral issue, but an economic one too".

BOX – Niinivirta: this is why I have adopted the GreenRouter philosophy

"Adopting a concept that appears rather abstract, such as sustainable development, represents our biggest challenge for the near future": Paolo Ferraresi, CEO of Niinivirta, a shipping company with more than thirty years in the business, is one of the latest companies to adopt the GreenRouter platform. The issue of sustainability and environmental protection has always been at the very heart of Niinivirta’s business model, one of the first Italian companies to decide to transport goods in urban areas, using fully electric vehicles. For over thirty years now, the company based in Tribiano, in the province of Milan, has been offering competitive logistics solutions along the route that connects Italy with Scandinavian countries.

"Practices that contribute to limit consumption and reduce emissions in our business are crucial, - says Paolo Ferraresi.  However, we realize that on their own they would hardly be sufficient. We want and we must do more. Only a broader strategic vision, built on reliable and measurable data, can enable us to achieve true sustainability ". Thus the idea to embark in this project with GreenRouter, which in the first few months has led to a mapping of the climactic impact of our business on routes from Italy to Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and back. In light of the good results obtained, a second phase of the project will soon be under way, which will produce a comprehensive mapping of Niinivirta’s emission values throughout the Italian territory. "With GreenRouter - says Ferraresi - we expect to be in control of our supply chain, identifying the most critical points from an environmental point of view and developing long-term targeted strategies".

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