Do Green Initiatives Really Save Money in Reverse Logistics?

Managers are always looking for ways to cut costs and increase profits for their businesses. After all, a profitable business is a functioning business. Hence, it might seem like investing in green technologies means nothing more than money spent. But for a reverse logistics company, investing in green methods across your trucks and warehouse can create both long-term and immediate savings. 

Fuel Efficiency Reduces use and Increases Cost Savings

With a current national average of just under $4.00 per gallon for diesel fuel, the impact of even 100 extra gallons a year per truck can constitute a significant loss in profits. By thinking green and establishing a fleet of efficient trucks that use less fuel overall, you’ll keep more money in your profit column.  

Another way to improve fuel efficiency and stay green is to tighten up transportation routes. Examine the length and overall direction of each route to determine where crossover might occur. Pay attention to traffic patterns, construction sites, and other delays that frequently arise. Avoid extra legs and common idling spots to keep your cash in the tank and not the atmosphere. Not only will you save money, but the efficiency of trucks will reduce your emissions overall.   

Saving money and the planet doesn’t have to stop at the trucks, however. All departments can benefit from a greener approach.  

Green Warehouse Initiatives can Recoup Losses

The warehouse is an ideal location to install greener technologies because multiple departments can assist in the effort to save money. For example, using tablets instead of paper at the receiving dock cuts down on waste and the revolving cost to replenish pens and paper. Or, a new fleet of efficient forklifts, just like your fleet of trucks, can conserve fuel.  

There are also advantages to installing larger-scale green technologies such as wind, solar, or hydropower. Harnessing natural power conserves energy use and cash outflow.  

Solar panels could power lights in the warehouse. Rainwater collection systems can divert water to restrooms. Not only do these types of initiatives help the environment, but they will save your company money in the long run.  

Companies can take advantage of tax benefits associated with going green as well. Those breaks could help offset the initial cost of installing these green methods.  

Upfront Costs Versus Long-term Cost Benefits

It might seem counterproductive to the green way of thinking to install something new when an old system is still functioning. But is it? Ask yourself some tough questions about your current position.  

How old are your systems? How efficiently are they running? What happens if part of a system breaks down? Has it broken down before? How many times has it been repaired, and how much did those repairs cost? What kind of outlay in profit loss was that over a year?  

Weigh the difference between the cost to repair versus the cost savings of a more energy-efficient model. Also, keep in mind that technologies go extinct, and repairs may not always be possible on older systems.  

Thinking green is a holistic approach, and no one is more aware of how important that can be than a reverse logistics manager. Reverse logistics and the green industry are both focused on cost. Whether that cost is literal money or the long-term cost to the planet, installing green technologies can help save both. 

Image credit: Matt Shalvatis

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