Blog - 4flow trend monitor

Green and sustainable logistics – zero emissions at 100% performance

Part 4 of 5 in our 4flow trend monitor series on sustainability and resilience in supply chain

Affected industries: All industries (B2B and B2C)

Affected supply chain segments: All segments, and especially those with significant carbon-emitting processes

What is green logistics?

Beyond the wide-reaching effects of climate change on supply chain execution, governments, customers and investors are pushing a shift towards more ecologically sound practices across the supply chain. From sustainable sourcing methods and renewable materials to carbon offset options, plastic-free packaging and circular product lifecycles, sustainable supply chain is more than just a buzzword. Zero-emissions logistics has become a big topic of consideration as many businesses look to long-term solutions with sustainable network design. Impact on the planet is only one element of sustainability to consider – the effects on its human workers are an equally important part of the sustainability equation. Europe has seen an increase in lawmakers concerned with working conditions in logistics, both in Europe and overseas.

4flow trend monitor

Supply chains are in constant motion – and innovation promises to speed up the rate of change. With all these developments, businesses need to know where to focus their efforts to ensure the future viability of their supply chains. The 4flow trend monitor will provide a trend outlook highlighting important developments expected to have an impact on supply chain in the next one to five years.

What is the future of green logistics?

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges for more drastic measures to reduce the climate impact of humankind1. At the same time, the development opportunities and frameworks in place (including at the COP27, the 2022 UN climate conference) have until now failed to meet expectations, and security of supply is the focus of public attention. As a result, more incentives but also more regulations for green and sustainable supply chains can be expected in the future, in order to reach environmental goals for 2050. Multiple carriers have announced their plans to become emissions-free in the near future and begun to forward CO2 costs to shippers. The EU Mobility Package I is now in place, which aims to improve the working conditions of truck drivers. The Supply Chain Due Diligence Law will soon follow in Germany, requiring businesses of a certain size to report on and address the environmental and human rights risks throughout their supply chain, including their suppliers.

Establishing sustainability

The current pressure on industry and government to secure stable sources of energy threatens to delay the achievement of sustainability targets. Can your business find the right balance between long-term sustainability targets and short-term performance and energy requirements?



Holger Clasing

Head of
Strategy Practice
at 4flow consulting 




Wendelin Gross

Head of
4flow research