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New ammunition in climate action: Carbon dioxide removal

The Paris Climate Accords of December 2015 witnessed 192 countries and the European Union agree on strategies to fight climate change. The salient features of the agreement were:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the average temperature rise globally to 2°C during this century.
  • Review the commitment every five years.

Subsequently, the COP26 summit in 2021 in Glasgow reiterated these goals and emphasised phasing out coal, switching to renewable energy, and building resilient communities. This blog focuses on the logistics and supply chain industries’ high emissions and immediate actions for carbon neutrality.


Methods of carbon dioxide removal (CDR)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is essential to the earth’s carbon cycle. Emissions higher than the rate of its neutralisation impact the carbon cycle causing climate change. Here are a few methods for carbon dioxide removal.


Afforestation and reforestation

Trees are nature’s regenerative CO2 removal system. By carrying out extensive afforestation and reforestation, we can significantly reduce the CO2 content. The World Economic Forum aims to plant, conserve, and restore 1 trillion trees by 2030, reducing atmospheric CO2 by one-third. This would aid in meeting the goals of the 2021 COP26 summit.


Carbon capture and storage (CCS)

This method traps CO2 at its origin, such as in power plants, and stores it underground in geological formations from where it cannot escape. Carbon offsetting often accompanies CCS, where the emissions (in CO2 equivalent tonnes) at one place are offset by capturing them at another.


Biochar

Carbon-rich charcoal is formed by heating biomass in an environment devoid of oxygen. The carbon trapped inside the biochar is stable and can remain in the soil for centuries, unlike organic decomposition and biomass burning. The new biochar technology removes CO2 from the air and enriches the soil.


Direct air capture

This consists of various processes that directly capture atmospheric CO2 and store it without harming the environment. Chemicals such as potassium hydroxide bind with CO2 in the atmosphere and produce a solid material for safe storage.


How can the logistics and supply chain industry reduce its carbon footprint?

Transportation of goods requires a large amount of energy. Trucks, planes, and cargo ships generate a huge amount of CO2. According to a leading management consulting company, supply chains account for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions and 90% of the impact on air, land, water, geological resources, and biodiversity. Here are some ways companies can optimise their logistics and supply chain processes.


Better utilise space

Data shows that shipping containers sail across the globe at 24% empty capacity. This wastes billions of dollars and emits approximately 122 million tonnes of CO2.


Use sustainable materials

Emissions from the production and incineration of plastics could be up to 56 gigatons between now and 2050. Instead, high-quality corrugated board packing is more sustainable and cost-efficient.


Train drivers and maintain vehicles

An inadequately trained driver and a poorly maintained truck can lead to higher emissions, stress on the vehicle’s components, and high transportation costs. You can increase fuel efficiency and reduce repair costs by monitoring and training the drivers and servicing the vehicles at regular intervals.


Optimise routes

Optimising the route trucks take can reduce the vehicle’s idle time on the road. This also helps in transporting goods efficiently and provides adequate driver shift rotation. Internet of things (IoT) helps monitor and optimise the movement of trucks for the best fuel efficiency and movement of goods.


Measurement and analytics

All the aforementioned steps will be effective only if you have efficient reporting and analytics systems. High-quality data can help you set KPIs to measure the emissions of your business and that of your suppliers. By using predictive analytics, you can set goals and milestones with actionable steps.

For organisations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed organisational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like living organisms will be imperative for business excellence. A comprehensive yet modular suite of services is doing precisely that. Equipping organisations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organisations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.


How can Infosys BPM help?

Infosys BPM leverages analytics to develop efficient logistics solutions to reduce carbon footprint across the value chain. This helps organisations measure their emissions across locations. The end-to-end solutions cover secondary research, KPI design, data and governance, operational count, and reporting strategy.



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