Sustainable distribution and transport

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Transporting goods can have a major impact on the carbon dioxide emissions a business is responsible for. In order to minimise this, transport should be by rail as a first choice, and by sea or road as an alternative. Plan your orders and needs so that you can avoid air transport – as that generates the highest level of climate-impacting emissions.

Fossil-powered truck transport also has a climate impact. In order to optimise transport, it’s best for both you and your customers to order complete pallets or containers.

Other possibilities for reducing the transport-related emissions of your business include keeping both production and purchasing as local as possible. Opting for increased digitalisation can also help to reduce climate-impacting emissions and transport costs. Smart, network-connected measuring devices, for instance, to keep track of the business’ systems and products at customers’ premises. For example, signals can be sent when restocking is needed, thus cutting down on transport.

Reducing and selecting sustainable packaging materials can be significant in reducing the sustainability impact of a business and can increase profitability. All too frequently too much packaging material is used or packaging is too large, which results in an unnecessary impact on sustainability. If you send or receive large quantities of goods from the same customer or supplier, you can also look into the possibility of reusable packaging that is sent back. This reduces waste and the need to produce new packaging.

Questions to consider
  • What scope is there for reducing transport or choosing transport that generates less climate-impacting emissions?
  • Do you have any customers who often order small batches? Could you suggest a larger order to reduce the number of transport journeys?
  • Is the transport company used by your business taking an active approach to sustainability?
  • How can the products be packaged to take up as little space and packaging material as possible?
  • Can you use reusable packaging?
Links and detailed information

The Swedish Energy Agency has produced a list of average greenhouse gas emissions for different types of fuel available on the market. You can also find information on eco-labelling of fuels here.
Greenhouse gas emissions – Swedish Energy Agency
Environmental information on fuels – Swedish Energy Agency

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency provides guidance on producer responsibility for packaging.
About responsibility for packaging – Swedish Environmental Protection Agency


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Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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