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The Role of Technology in Mitigating Climate Change

How are new technologies impacting the logistics industry, and what role do they plan in reducing carbon emissions?
John Manners-Bell explains the link between innovation and climate change mitigation in this video.

Hello, I'm John Manners-Bell. I'm Chief Executive of Transport Intelligence, founder of the Foundation for Future Supply Chain, and also author of the book 'Logistics and Supply Chain Innovation'. So let's talk about the role which new technologies have had in mitigating climate change.

Well, firstly, I should say that technology will have a critical role to play in reducing carbon emissions, but it's only really one part of a three-part approach to climate change mitigation. The first is really avoiding carbon emissions in the first place. And that includes, for example, reshoring, or near sourcing of production, from remote, low-cost labour markets, that can reduce the amount of international transportation that is required with obvious implications for reducing carbon emissions.

But then secondly, we also have shifting those carbon emissions as well, from high-intensity transport modes, such as air and road, to rail, and also, in many cases, short sea shipping, for example.

And then thirdly, we have improving supply chains. And this is really where technology can play a role. So what sort of technologies? Well, certainly, in terms of reducing carbon emissions, the transition from fossil fuels, from diesel engine vehicles to electric vehicles, for example, hydrogen or LNG that's very much a part of it, automation, autonomous vehicles that can improve the way that drivers drive those vehicles and reduce their fuel consumption. But then we have some indirect benefits as well. New technologies, new systems, which can make transport management more efficient, so route planning more efficient, that can cut down on the amount of journeys involved, and also the carbon emissions. Load planning software is another it's another way of utilising those vehicles even better. So a number of direct and indirect benefits which technology will play in improving supply chains.

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