How to reduce transport and logistics emissions from your supply chain

Logistics and supply chain emissions account for a significant amount of a business’ overall emissions (often making up 95% of most companies’ carbon impact). Which means that estimating, tracking and improving them, is extremely important.

The good news is that while perfect data might be difficult to come by (especially beyond Tier 1 suppliers), actionable data is not. In many cases, an incremental approach to data collection can ease the burden. 

Addressing your emissions can be complex but has the potential to radically transform business models and create real business value.

The 7bridges platform enables you to obtain a single source of transparent and actionable insights to initiate emissions reductions.

Our emissions dashboard consolidates your emissions footprint data across all carriers and modes with an industry-leading, GLEC-compliant calculation methodology. It also provides recommendations enabling you to:

  • Get full visibility over your Supply Chain emissions
  • Track progress, identify hot spots and actions to reduce emissions
  • Set science-based targets for the future

Why emissions for supply chain matters

The interconnected nature of processes and operations in the supply makes it difficult to effectively make changes to one item without having a knock on impact to others. This is particularly the case when it comes to supply chain emissions - we found that one UK retailer’s emissions from their logistics alone was the carbon equivalent to all the trees in the UK.

And beyond the climate and environmental impact, there’s the impact that emissions are having on your business. Here, Graham Slack, Group Chief Economist at A.P. Møller, speaks with 7bridges’ CEO, Philip Ashton, about how decarbonisation will make your supply chain more resilient, as well as exploring the physical effects the climate change will have on it.

See Graham Slack, Group Chief Economist at A.P. Møller, explain why we need to care about carbon emissions in the supply chain.

As a supply chain professional, emissions are probably the part of sustainability that most sits within your power. Which is also probably very frustrating for you, since they’re by far the most complicated to calculate. Before you can find a way to reduce them, you first of all need to know how to measure them. 

Obviously, not all of that will fall under your remit. But the parts of emissions that fall under your umbrella, particularly logistics, can be measured. Albeit with some challenges.

More importantly, once you have the data from calculating your emissions, you can use it to drive sustainability outcomes, identifying hot spots, taking the needed actions to reduce emissions, and setting realistic, science-based targets for the future, so that your supply chain has a positive impact on reducing your business’ emissions.

When it comes to transportation and distribution, and your logistics service providers, you can start acting as soon as you have the data in place and usable. More and more reports are being done across industries about the sustainability of businesses from materials to delivery.

That means hiding behind anonymity is getting harder and harder, so how green your business is (or isn’t) will become public knowledge sooner or later. And, from what we’ve seen, customers are willing to pay more for greener products and shipping options in one recent study, 81% of people said they prefer to buy from sustainable sellers

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So this can have a direct impact on both revenue and reputation. 

As you’ve probably seen already, this doesn’t just apply to B2C businesses either. For B2B companies, your emissions will fall under your customers’ reporting categories. Which means they’ll be scrutinising your decarbonisation efforts too. 

On top of your customers demanding greener options, investors are heavily weighting carbon impact now. With new regulations like the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) coming into effect, investors have to seriously consider how a business’s emissions will impact its long-term viability.

What does your supply chain carbon footprint really look like?

Think you already have an idea of the impact your emissions are having? Try out our emissions impact calculator!

Just one of the top 10 UK retail supply chains emits the same amount of carbon as the entire population of Cardiff every year! How did you stack up?

Even if your emissions aren’t the same as a major city’s, tackling them now is important. They make a big difference in how both customers and shareholders view your brand, which can have a tangible effect on revenue and share price. So take action to understand and proactively address your emissions. And with that, tap into a green competitive edge.

Calculating supply chain emissions

Emissions data from your logistics is notoriously difficult to find and calculate. Traditionally, you’d need to work with your carriers and providers to get all of that information (which you may even have to pay for) and trust that it’s coming to you accurately.

Because many of your supply chain and logistics emissions sit outside of your direct control, it can be extremely challenging to get the data you need in the way you need it. Which can create substantial barriers to taking action on it.

And, let’s be honest, we all know that having the data is really only the first step. What forward-thinking supply chain managers are thinking about is how they can then use that information to take action, make changes and start reducing their carbon footprint alongside managing concerns like cost and service levels.

Reducing carbon footprint with logistics providers

Like we said, going straight to your logistics providers is the usual route that businesses take. Often they are already measuring and reporting on that in some way. But there are several challenges associated with this approach:

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When you rely on your logistics service providers to supply your data, there is a lot of trust that needs to go into it.

You need to trust that the data they provided is accurate and true. That they will give it to you readily and without obfuscation or additional fees.

And you have to trust that they are presenting the data in a way that isn’t misleading. 

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Infrequent reports

Most organisations release emissions reports annually. Even if you are paying for that data as part of your service, you likely don’t have regular enough updates that would allow you to act on it. 

Ideally, you’d have access to that information whenever you wanted it. That way you could establish a baseline and start testing out solutions. But most logistics providers don’t have the capacity to give you that data as frequently as you’d need or want it.

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Manual data entry

No matter the process you have for getting data from your supply chain partners, it’s likely that you’re going to have a system that they need to input data into. Manually. Which takes time and effort, dropping your chances of getting frequent updates and opens you up to the possibility of human error. 

Aside from all of your logistics providers having to manually enter data in exactly the right way for your system to be able to digest it, you might also have to invest in manual effort from your side. 

This is especially true if you are looking to gain insights from that data.

You’ll need a dedicated team member who can manage, transform and translate your data from its raw inputs into something that makes sense. A time-, cost-, and resource-intensive task that you likely don’t have scope or budget for. After all, supply chains have grown exponentially in complexity without being given the resources you need to grow your teams along with them.

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Lack of transparency

The final thing you need to consider when it comes to getting data from your logistics service providers is that there often isn’t true transparency.

They don’t always offer up how their calculations were made, what frameworks they use, and what they include in the report. 

While currently the primary method of reporting, working through your logistics service providers is a path paved with uncertainty.

In fact, from a recent poll of supply chain leaders, only half of the respondents agreed that they got acceptable data from logistics providers.

Reducing emissions ahead of logistics providers

Stop waiting for providers to manually contribute messy, incompatible, self-reported data. See the real emissions impact of every delivery you make, without worrying about how to wrangle data from your logistics providers. 

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With data pulled from your invoices and fed through our platform, we make getting a clear, accurate picture of your logistics emissions a smoother, more automated process. Even from your least transparent providers.

Not only can you skip wrangling the data from your logistics service providers, but with the data from your invoices, we can also provide you with both your own baseline emissions figures to work with, and a benchmark against the rest of the industry

The immense data that goes through our platform paired with our Global Logistics Network gives us the information you need to really see how your emissions performance stacks up. And the tools to turn that knowledge into actionable changes.

With 7bridges, you can get access to all of the emissions data you need in the format you need it.

But more than that, you can feed that data directly into your supply chain. That means you can make proactive decisions that you can test beforehand and see the results of as soon as the data gets ingested by the platform. 


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Data is refreshed quarterly, semi-annual, or annually based on your needs, and it gives you the power to become more agile and more impactful, with fewer carbon emissions, in a way that makes sense for your business and delivers the right outcomes.

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Through the 7bridges platform, you can view emission reports showing your emissions levels under your existing setup

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Understand the possible outcomes for different emissions reduction scenarios based on your business constraints and goals

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Gain a deeper understanding of What to ship, Who to ship with, What route to take


How to balance these three, while also considering: costs, emissions and transit times


Use our Simulation Layer to build a plan of action for how you can change up and improve your operations in a way that will enable you to continue towards your emissions reduction goals without sacrificing cost or service levels


We use the globally recognised GLEC framework for the calculation and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions


Talk to an expert

Speak to our team to learn how our platform can help you take the ‘mission’ out of emissions.