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LOGISTICS: Imperial Logistics Wins Prestigious Mail and Guardian Award


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Global leader in logistics and supply chain management, Imperial Logistics has won the Mail and Guardian Greening the Future award for innovative environmental strategies that improve business performance. The Group’s focus on supply chain best practice demonstrates that logistics delivers operational and economic benefits, while limiting carbon footprint and waste.

“We have a limited earth problem,” says Abrie de Swardt, Imperial Logistics Marketing Director. “We no longer have enough supply left to match our demand and it is going to get a lot worse. By 2100, we will need three more earths to satisfy our requirements,” adding that Imperial Logistics’ ‘green logistics’ evolution is being driven at an economic level, both strategically and operationally.

“We are not only doing these things because it is of great importance to us but because it makes economic sense. Cost and carbon can be driven out of the supply chain simultaneously. The logistics and supply chain management sector must find ways to balance supply and demand more effectively. It is to the benefit of the South African and global economies to do this,” he says.

Imperial Logistics’ green initiatives include distribution network optimisation, route optimisation, reduced vehicle emissions, reduced fuel consumption, improved refrigeration, renewable energy roll-out and water usage reduction.

The Mail and Guardian quotes the Greening the Future judges saying that Imperial Logistics’ “entry was technical and frank” being a “strong entry with a holistic approach to the whole life cycle of its operations.” It states that “Imperial is setting a good benchmark” and that the judges were “impressed by the positioning of the Group’s environmental efforts at the cutting edge of international research, and within the context of the Millennium Development Goals.”

“We must move to a world where despite our differences, we trust one another much more,” notes de Swardt, citing business leadership as a being critical to succeed in greening supply chains. “Companies should be asking themselves whether they are part of the problem or the solution. They should be assessing how to collaborate and whether they have the necessary elements to drive the required new way of thinking. Only then can the green business case stand firmly on its feet.”

Emphasising the need to balance economic growth, social needs and environmental protection in a sustainable manner, he states that it is an honour for Imperial Logistics to be recognised by the Mail and Guardian’s prestigious Greening the Future awards, “which encourage business to achieve success today with a strategy for tomorrow.”

“We owe it to the future generation to embrace this topic. If we do not change our behaviour, we cannot change the bad practices that exist in supply chains. The ‘green logistics’ evolution is not about global warming but about doing the right thing. It is about real people driving real change,” concludes De Swardt.


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