- Home Depot has devised a variety of ways to save on shipping and transport, thereby significantly reducing CO2 emissions, The Green Supply Chain reported Tuesday.
- The company eliminated palletized cartons in favor of floor-loaded trailers, delayed less-than-truckload (LTL) deliveries until full loads were needed and introduced inbound freight consolidation centers (IFCs) to expedite the transfer of vendor shipments to Home Depot trucks.
- These efforts helped eliminate 4,000 inbound truckloads in 2015 and improve transportation flows for tens of millions of dollars in savings, according to the article.
Reluctance on the part of some companies to undertake an effort to introduce sustainability often occurs due to fear of investment. The introduction of special vehicles or solar panels is more than many organizations want to fund, let alone add to their list of maintenance.
Yet Home Depot has achieved significant sustainability returns without adding anything costly to its system; rather, it is by the process of elimination that the home building company has reduced emissions and earned awards from the Environmental Protection Agency. In this case, cutting waste in the shipping process — both in terms of underutilized transportation capacity and inefficient waiting times as described above — helped reduce the total shipments made and, therefore, costs and emissions.
While the saying "you have to spend money to save money" is sometimes true, Home Depot's example shows small efforts always add up.