Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Warehousing and Transshipment with Environmental Performance Indicators

When considering a complete ecological assessment of logistics activities and the development of comprehensive decarbonization strategies, it's important to address not only transportation but the warehousing and transshipment processes as well. In national inventories, the total energy demand of warehousing can equal around one quarter of the transport emissions. The issue of energy-efficient processes at logistics facilities gains importance because of changing regulations and market requirements (e.g. the new European Energy Efficiency Directive which prioritizes the energy demand of buildings). Furthermore, logistics companies tend to realize energetic and/or ecological improvements at logistics facilities and report savings achieved. As opposed to logistics facilities, the ecological assessment of transportation and the derivation of appropriate environmental performance indicators (EPI) are widely standardized (cf. EN 16258). How to assess, monitor and manage greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at warehouses or terminals are still major research and standardization issues. That is why the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics has defined a comprehensive assessment approach for logistics facilities, calculated specific emission factors and developed a flexible yet detailed allocation scheme for different logistics services (e.g. refrigerated warehousing). This article addresses the developed method and provides an argumentative basis for further standardization. This will be realized by the presentation of a classification scheme for logistics facilities based on ecological aspects and the consideration of attributes of logistics items in the discussion about how GHG emissions of logistics facilities are usually influenced. To illustrate strengths and weaknesses of the method, exemplary implementations at facilities of the research partner, DB Schenker, will be published. Focus will be on the emissions of a cross-docking center, a warehouse and a spare parts depot. The provided assessment method for GHG emissions of logistics facilities and the allocation scheme for EPIs enable logistics companies to monitor and manage the emissions of goods storage and transshipments on a continual basis. Consequently, the method can trigger the development of decarbonization strategies at logistics facilities and foster an organizational or technological improvement process.


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  • Accession Number: 01606852
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2016 8:27AM