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The impact of electronic logistics marketplaces on carbon emission reduction within the UK's grocery sector

Wang, Yingli ORCID: 2011. The impact of electronic logistics marketplaces on carbon emission reduction within the UK's grocery sector. Presented at: 16th Annual Logistics Research Network Conference, Southampton, UK, 7-9 Sept 2011.

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Purpose: The primary aim of this research is to assess the current status of information and communication technologies (ICT) initiatives on carbon emission reduction and in particular, investigate the potential effect of a recent advance in technology, i.e. electronic logistics marketplaces (ELMs) on environment sustainability. Given that the UK’s food and grocery industry is well known for its reputation in technological and business innovations for efficiency gains and cost saving, it is selected as an exemplar sector for study Research Approach: The research adopts a case-study based on both secondary and primary data. Two leading retailers conducted within the UK’s grocery sector have been selected as case examples in assessing the current ICT developments in carbon emission reduction. A collaborative ELM is chosen as the third case example in order to study its potential on environment sustainability Multiple data collection techniques are adopted including interviews, system demonstrations, site observation and the use of archival documents. Findings and Originality: In the UK’s grocery industry, the negative environmental impact of distribution activities is seem as a major challenge to the manufacturers and retailers (Fernie and Sparks 2009). Logistics is the third highest source of direct carbon emission in grocery sector (Hollingsworth, 2004). Through a systematic review of the current ICT practices in the UK’s grocery sector and a study of two leading retailers, this research finds that the deployment of telematics based technologies has delivered tangible economic and environmental benefits. This is mainly achieved through the change of drivers’ behaviours and a better scheduling and routing of vehicles. The sector sees the practice of using ELM to facilitate transport collaboration between companies but its full potential is yet to be explored. The analysis of the third case example, i.e. a collaborative ELM has demonstrated that the adoption of ELMs plays a significant role in facilitating efficient freight logistics provision by enabling horizontal (between shippers) and vertical (between shippers and carriers) collaborations between organisations, which then leads to a positive impact on reducing carbon footprint. The change of ownership model at the latter stage implies that there are significant barriers for a collaborative ELM to sustain in a long term. Those barriers include the lack of incentives for collaboration, technology immaturity and lack of unified performance measures for carbon footprint. Research Impact: This study advances our understanding about the role of ICT in carbon emissions reductions and lays a basis for further investigation, as currently there is limited research which attempts to address this issue. Further ELMs have seen rapid developments in recent years but still far from being settled. In particularly the study of ELM’s impact on environment sustainability has been very limited. This study presents interesting implications for academics. Practical Impact: The research provides valuable insights to practitioners on how to leverage the existing and emerging information technologies for environmental and economic benefits. Being aware of how ELMs impact on carbon emission reduction enables companies to attain both economic and environmental competitive advantages and avoid potential problems when using ELMs for logistics provisions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
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Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 07:42

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