Couriers Go Green

3 UPDATE a Green Strategy

3.1 Phase 1: Revision of the assessment of green status of the company

The revision of the assessment of the green status of a company is an important process to ensure that the company meets its goals and makes progress toward a more sustainable future. The upcoming phase will follow the same approach as Phase 1 of the methodology to develop new green strategies, as outlined in section 4.1 of this document. The structure and resources that were used in Phase 1 will also be available for this phase. To prevent repetition, this chapter will not include the same information as before.

3.2 Phase 2: Revision of the Green Strategy

3.2.1 Introduction to Phase 2

This phase should involve a wide range of actors participating in the strategy development working group, to ensure a comprehensive analysis of the existing green strategy and implementation plan. This diverse participation will bring different perspectives and expertise, enriching the review process and allowing for the effective identification of opportunities for improvement.

Step 1: Define the strategy and /or implementation update plan

  • Objective: For the successful revision of the green strategy, it is recommended to engage the individuals who contributed during its development to define the plan to update the strategy. Thus, the strategy update working group should be set to provide their expertise. The plan for updating the strategy involves practical considerations such as assigning a group responsible for drafting the strategy document. Typically, this group comprises sustainability and technical experts from the relevant sectors. Finally, it is also crucial to establish monitoring mechanisms to track the implementation of the strategy.
  • Actions: Table 9 can serve as a guideline of actions to define the strategy and /or implementation update plan, tasks that should be implemented, as well as the responsible people/teams and possible methods to complete those tasks.

Table: Actions to define the strategy and /or implementation update plan, Phase 2, Step 1

Step 2: Analyse opportunities for improvement in the strategy and the implementation plan

  • Objective: Using the assessment of the company’s green status, the responsible can initiate an analysis of the current green challenges in the courier and transport priority areas. These challenges may have already been identified during the implementation of the green strategy, so it is advisable to conduct interviews with selected experts and representatives to help identify the main issues to be considered when updating the strategy. In addition, the responsible will identify areas where the existing strategy and implementation plan can be strengthened and optimized, enhance the accountability and monitoring mechanisms to track the progress and ensure continuous improvement. It is crucial to align with the evolving sustainability objectives and the latest industry best practices and improve the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the initiatives being implemented.
  • Actions: Table 10 can serve as a guideline of actions to analyse opportunities for improvement in the strategy and the implementation plan, tasks that should be implemented, as well as the responsible people/teams and possible methods to complete those tasks.

Table: Actions to analyse opportunities for improvement in the strategy and the implementation plan, Phase 2, Step 2

Task
Responsible
Possible methods

Step 3: Update priority areas, corresponding main and specific goals

  • Objective: During this step, the responsible will ensure that all necessary updates, modifications, or additions to the strategy’s priority areas are considered. Whenever a new priority area is considered necessary the responsible should verify that it aligns with the company’s vision and does not overlap with any other priority area.The involvement of relevant experts and stakeholders and the feedback they provide will play a crucial role in determining whether new priority areas are needed or if changes should be made to the original strategic framework. Just like in the strategy development phase, any new or updated priority areas must have a clear main goal and specific goals, which will be reflected in the updated implementation plan.
  • Actions: Table 11 can serve as a guideline of actions to update priority areas, corresponding main and specific goals, tasks that should be implemented, as well as the responsible people/teams and possible methods to complete those tasks.

Table 11: Actions to update priority areas, corresponding main and specific goals, Phase 2, Step 3

3.3 Phase 3: Update of the Implementation plan

3.3.1 Introduction to Phase 3

In this phase, the implementation plan is suggested to be designed to set the action map to achieve the updated goals set in Phase 2. The plan should present in detail how all goals will be reached, the human and financial resources that will be allocated, as well as the monitoring mechanism of the updated strategy.

Who to involve in this phase?

It is recommended to involve the same actors as in Phase 2.

3.3.2 Steps in Phase 3

Step 1: Revision and update of the implementation plan for the green strategy

  • Objective: During this step, new actions can be incorporated into the implementation plan within both current and newly identified priority areas. This process aligns with the feasibility of the updated strategy, drawing upon the analysis of the strategy implementation, the underlying challenges within the transportation and logistics sectors, as well as the final decisions made by the strategy update working group.
  • Action:Table 12 can serve as a guideline of actions to revise and update the implementation plan for the green strategy, tasks that should be implemented, as well as the responsible people/teams and possible methods to complete those tasks.

Table 12: Actions to revise and update the implementation plan for the green strategy, Phase 3, Step 1

Step 2: Assign new financial mechanisms and resources to the updated strategy & implementation plan

  • Objective: Similarly, to Step 2 (Section 4.3.2), specific financial and policy mechanisms should be assigned to the revised
  • Action:Table 13 can serve as a guideline of actions to assign new financial mechanisms and resources to the updated strategy & implementation plan, tasks that should be implemented, as well as the responsible people/teams and possible methods to complete those tasks.

Table 13: Actions to assign new financial mechanisms and resources to the updated strategy & implementation plan, Phase 3, Step 2

Step 3: Updated green strategy and implementation plan

Objective: The final updated strategy and implementation plan documents should incorporate the results of the previous steps, taking into account available resources and dependencies, and setting realistic timelines. Monitoring and evaluation of key performance indicators (KPIs) help to track progress and identify areas for improvement, while risk assessment and mitigation strategies facilitate the address of potential obstacles. Finally, considering scalability and sustainability aspects throughout the strategy and implementation plan development will ensure the long-term impact of the green initiatives and the growth of the company. The strategy update working group will run this process, conducting a final consultation round with relevant individuals within group members, and finally approve the strategy document and implementation plan.

        Action: Table 14 can serve as a guideline of actions to assign new financial mechanisms and resources to the updated strategy & implementation plan, tasks that should be implemented, as well as the responsible people/teams and possible methods to complete those tasks. 

Table 14: Actions to update the green strategy and implementation plan, Phase 3, Step 3

Step 4: Define how to execute and monitor the implementation plan

This step will follow the same approach as in Step 4 of Phase 3 of the methodology to develop new green strategies, as outlined in section 4.3.2 of this document. The structure and resources that were used in that step will also be available for this phase. To prevent repetition, this step will not include the same information as before.

As already mentioned, the present framework has been incorporated in a TOOLBOX. The TOOLBOX is available in the following LINK. The TOOLBOX is a multi-component platform that guides the responsible to all Phases and Steps in order to set up a new strategy, or update a current one, based on the Framework developed. It also integrates different information and resources, thus working as an elaborated repository of documents and tools. The full list of resources included in the TOOLBOX is provided in Annex A. The list identifies the resource type and format and the part of the methodology where it is made available.

Addressing the dynamic landscape of couriers and logistics, the need to develop a robust framework becomes evident, given the current sustainability challenges inherent in these sectors. From the ecological impact of transportation to the efficient management of supply chains, a comprehensive framework is essential for navigating and mitigating the complexities that inhibit the industry’s sustainable evolution.

In the context of the Couriers Go Green project, a framework has been developed, in order to help couriers and logistics companies to make a green shift. Depending on the company’s maturity level, the framework follows two different approaches, either to set up a new strategy or revise an existing one. In both cases, companies are invited to start with Phase 1 to assess their green status related to the status quo, the challenges, and the opportunities they face. Based on the preliminary assessment, companies are ready to start developing or updating the Green Strategy (Phase 2) and then its implementation plan assigning the necessary human and financial resources (Phase 3).

In order to validate the green framework, as integrated in the TOOLBOX a Pilot test was performed in order to  Methodology to Develop a NEW Strategy and Methodology to UPDATE an Existing Strategy showcased favourable results in terms of usability and utility. In the Usability category, the clarity and conciseness of language and presentation received high ratings from pilot testers. The NEW strategy earned an impressive average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars (88%), signifying strong approval for its comprehensibility and organization. Similarly, the UPDATE strategy achieved positive feedback, with all testers rating the language and presentation as 4 or 5 stars, resulting in an average rating of 4.3 stars (86%). Additionally, both strategies demonstrated high user-friendliness and accessibility, with satisfaction levels of 84%. The NEW strategy, although generally well-received, displayed some variability in ratings, indicating potential areas for improvement. However, the UPDATE strategy garnered consistent positive feedback, with 90% of testers acknowledging its adaptability to changing conditions.

Moving on to the Utility aspect, both strategies aligned effectively with organizational objectives. The NEW strategy received an impressive average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars (92%), indicating a strong agreement with the strategy’s alignment with the organization’s vision, mission, values, and goals. The UPDATE strategy demonstrated a high level of alignment as well, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars (88%). Furthermore, the feasibility and realism of objectives, strategies, and actions proposed in both strategies were generally well-received, with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars (80%) for the NEW strategy and 4.2 out of 5 stars for the UPDATE strategy. The communication of benefits and challenges, efficient resource utilization, and incorporation of feedback and lessons learned were also positively assessed for both strategies, reflecting their effectiveness and comprehensive approach to planning.

In conclusion, the presented methodology provides a dynamic and iterative framework, promoting sustainability, and resilience in the courier and transportation sector. The integration of continuous assessment, stakeholder collaboration, and strategic planning positions companies to not only meet current environmental expectations but also to proactively address future challenges in a rapidly changing world.

References

  1. Karjalainen, Linda E., and Sirkku Juhola. 2019. “Framework for Assessing Public Transportation Sustainability in Planning and Policy-Making” Sustainability 11, no. 4: 1028.
  2. Jin Li, Qihui Lu, and Peihua Fu, 2015, Carbon Footprint Management of Road Freight Transport under the Carbon Emission Trading Mechanism Jin, Mathematical Problems in Engineering Volume 2015, Article ID 814527,
  3. Michael Bernon, Benny Tjahjono & Eva Faja Ripanti (2018) Aligning retail reverse logistics practice with circular economy values: an exploratory framework, Production Planning & Control, 29:6, 483-497, DOI: 10.1080/09537287.2018.1449266
  4. Corkery, Michael; Creswell, Julie (2 November 2021). “Corporate Climate Pledges Often Ignore a Key Component: Supply Chains”The New York TimesISSN0362-4331. Retrieved 14 December 2021.