Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Mar-Apl 2016 Contents published an article on Smith Electric, which
is looking to establish and electric truck factory
in Melbourne and is working with companies
such as Toll Group, Australia Post and TNT
Express, to establish long-term strategies for the
electrification of the trucking industry.
What about ships? There are many great
concepts of running ships more economically.
As some of us might remember, the early
ships all ran on wind power before the
steam engine took over. Why not use this
technology again? The wind may not move all
these super vessels, but it might save a lot of
liquid fuel. Examples are Eco Marine Power
Co. (Ecomarine 2015), which is developing
and commercialising innovative solutions for
sustainable shipping. They are focused on
developing cost-effective commercial solutions
utilising wind power and solar energy for power
and propulsion solutions for ships. Again, I can
see a combination of wind, solar and biofuel
energy sources that could eventually power our
marine transportation routes.
There are no boundaries to our imagination.
With the new technology of 3D printing and
robot technology, we might have no need to
transport all the goods from China to the rest of
the world, we might be able to produce these
items again locally for local markets. And do we
really need all fruits and vegetables available all
year round, or could we just eat the seasonal
local produce? Again, we are so lucky that
Australia is a food bowl of the world.
3. Will we change?
This is probably the most difficult question to
answer. Lack of understanding, denial and
greed are very powerful human behaviours that
still hamper any comprehensive action towards
any carbon neutral supply chains. Many people
still hope this issue of global warming will go
away and that the climate change deniers have
it right and this is just a big conspiracy with
the aim to cripple the world economy. The only
thing I can say to these people, ‘Wake Up!’, look
around and see what is going on on this planet.
Do understand that we are already paying lots
of money for the detrimental effects of climate
change, and if we do not react, these costs will
It is hard to comprehend that we do
not have the time and money to make the
necessary changes now, but we always seem to
somehow find the money to fund disaster relief
and the rebuilding of destroyed infrastructure.
Wouldn’t it be much more cost-effective to
implement these precautionary actions now, in
order to avoid more climate change disasters?
In October 2006, the Stern Report (Nikolas
Stern 2006) highlighted the fact that “The
benefits of strong, early action on climate
change outweigh the cost,” and that investment
in renewable energy solutions today will pay off
much faster than anyone anticipates.
I am confident that with more information
and research we will much better understand
the consequences of global warming, so that
even politicians might not be able to ignore
the issue of climate change. There has been
much progress in the development of renewable
energies, and there is a strong movement
within our western society for people to force a
change, which can, will make a difference for
the benefit of all individuals on this planet.
For example, IKEA is running a renewable
energy project for its organisation. Its ambitious
target is to run operations on 100% renewable
energy by 2020 (IKEA 2015). Also, Adelaide
has entered the race to become the first carbon
neutral city in the world by 2020 (The Guardian
2015). Melbourne and Vancouver have pledged
similar targets for the year 2020.
It makes commercial as well as
environmental sense that we transition from
fossil fuel energy sources to sustainable
renewable energy sources. Just imagine what
supply chain professionals could do if we put
our heads together and developed the Carbon
Neutral Supply Chains of the future. Some of
you may think this is all too melodramatic,
but the consequences, if we continued to run
our businesses without doing anything, are
Toll Group's electric vehicle by Smith. Photo
CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS — MARCH / APRIL 2016
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