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Environmental impacts are best managed using a systematic approach that helps organizations to understand all their impacts and address them in some sort of priority order. The most common tool is an environmental management system (EMS), and the best known approach to EMS is laid out by the International Organization of Standards (ISO) 14000 series of standards. The ISO 14000 family addresses various aspects of environmental management and have been adopted by more than 300,000 organizations world wide. The very first two standards deal with environmental management systems (EMS).

  • ISO 14001:2015 provides the requirements for an EMS.
  • ISO 14004:2015 gives general EMS guidelines.


Once an EMS is set up, it is then formally monitored through an auditing process, which will identify corrective action that will need to be carried out. Top management any missed targets, procedures not followed or new procedures needed, and document corrective actions required to ensure the EMS meets its objectives. Managers are required to engage in this process and to review the performance of the system formally on a regular basis. This review may lead to the policy or objectives being changed or updated, in the light of the audit reports or changes in circumstances. This process should encourage a commitment to continuous improvement in environmental management as well as ensuring ensure that the organisation is not exposed by failing to meet its legal and moral obligations.


Minimising Negative Environmental Impacts

Methods of Some key opportunities for improving the sustainability of logistics work:



  • Preferencing low-carbon forms of transport (shipping and road transport over air freight, for example)
  • Conserving energy and use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels to power premises, especially in remote areas where fuel costs may be very high
  • Avoiding wasting water by using simple water efficiency, leak prevention and recycling methods;
  • Use Using interceptor tanks and bunding to avoid the run-off pollution from fuel dispensing areas.;
  • Careful management and monitoring of other hazardous chemicals on site;Keep
  • Phase out of ozone-depleting gases from air conditioning systems in warehouses and vehicles;
  • Keeping pallet stacks tidy and other measures to reduce spoilage of food and non-food items; and
  • Take Taking steps to better manage the production, collection and disposal of waste, including packaging wastes.

For vehicles, consider the following:


minimising factors include:

  • selecting fuel efficient vehicles and ensuring right-sizing of fleets;
  • driver training to reduce accidents and improve fuel consumption;
  • monitor monitoring fuel consumption;
  • monitor monitoring vehicle utilisation in terms of both payload and empty running;
  • follow conducting preventative maintenance programmes , as a poorly serviced vehicles use more fuel; and
  • dispose of used tyre casings, batteries, motor oil and other vehicle wastes responsibly.

Environmental Checklist

In a This series of questions , this can be used as check-list highlights questions asked of the commercial sector. The questions will help focus attention on the to focus on key areas for consideration in the humanitarian sector:

  • what environmental risks do your organisation’s activities pose?
  • do the materials you use pose any danger to the environment, staff or beneficiaries?
  • do you know what impact the material that you supply (including its disposal) and services you provide have on the environment?
  • do you know the quantity or type of waste you produce?
  • do you know how this waste is disposed of or what the cost is?
  • is your organisation operating the most cost-effective method of controlling or eliminating pollution risk?
  • are there hidden benefits such as greater efficiency, or even straight forward business opportunities (for example, commercial utilisation of waste) from adopting alternative methods of controlling or eliminating the pollution risk?
  • are you aware of existing environmental standards and legislation in the country in which you are operating?
  • what arrangement do you have for monitoring compliance with environmental legislation?
  • is senior management actively engaged in ensuring that proper weight attention is given to environmental considerations in your organisation?
  • could you improve your environmental image to the donors and employees? and
  • are you highlighting your environmental performance to donors?


Green logistics is no longer an option or a fantasy; it is reality and everyone has a clear and present responsibility to promote logistics should be everyone’s responsibility and there should be commitment from various actors to promote and respect it.


This document is inspired by the collaborative works of the Universities of Cardiff, Heriot Watt, Lancaster, Southampton, Leeds and Westminster. These universities are undertaking research into the sustainability of logistics systems and supply chains – 


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