Bostik: “BigMile takes a lot of work off my hands and provides valuable information”

Businesses will soon be expected to report on their Scope 3 emissions. To be more precise, they will need to obtain carbon emissions data from their suppliers, customers and logistics service providers. BigMile user Bostik, a manufacturer of adhesives and sealants which is part of the globally active French-based Arkema Group, is one of those companies that have started working on its Scope 3 emissions. Gert-Jan Rombouts, Logistics Manager at Bostik Benelux was interviewed by Supply Chain Movement.

“As a chemical company, we are very aware of our impact on the environment. It is part of Arkema’s strategy and core values,” says Gert-Jan Rombouts, Logistics Manager at Bostik Benelux in Supply Chain Movement Q3. Within Bostik, Rombouts has long been a sustainability pioneer, but the topic is now firmly on the board’s agenda throughout the organization and several objectives have been formulated, including an annual 2% reduction of transport-related carbon emissions.

Bostik has already taken various measures with regard to Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. The company has completely switched from grey energy to green energy and the traditional forklifts with have been replaced by electric ones. “We have three warehouses in the Benelux region. Two of them are under our own management and are located near our factories in Oosterhout and Giessen. They supply customers all over the world. The third warehouse distributes to customers in the Benelux. We have outsourced that to De Graaf Logistics (DGL), a logistics service provider which has its own wind turbine.”

20% emissions savings

Like all the company’s other transport activities, which are also outsourced, distribution in the Benelux is classed as Scope 3 emissions. Responsible for the transport part of the Scope 3 emissions, Rombouts has carried out several relevant projects over the years. “As a result we’ve already saved 20% of CO2 emissions, including by consolidating shipments, using other modes of transport and proactive dialogue with customers. Do they really need us to deliver three times a week or could once a week be enough? Many of the companies we supply to also hold stock themselves, so such frequent deliveries really aren’t necessary. Besides that, we’ve made a conscious decision to serve smaller customers through the wholesalers we work with.”

Shipping profile

Bostik uses the BigMile platform to gain insight into its transport-related CO2 emissions. Rombouts can ask all 19 transport partners to share information about their CO2 emissions through this platform. “As a shipper, we have outsourced all our transport activities. I can get a wealth of data on volumes, turnover and margins from SAP, but that doesn’t include trip data. The BigMile platform enables me to request that data from my logistics service providers and use it to analyse my shipping profile,” explains Rombouts.

This requires only a few pieces of data, and if a logistics service provider can send an invoice they can also answer the questions. A dataset containing the number of kilograms delivered per postal code area is sufficient for calculating the CO2 footprint. BigMile uses standard emission factors such as the average emission per tonne-kilometre. The more data the carrier provides, such as about actual consumption, the more accurate the footprint calculation will be – and accurate enough that companies comply with the CSRD directive.

The platform ensures that the data from all carriers is recorded in one place, which makes it easy to consolidate and analyse the data. Rombouts can also use the platform for modelling, such as to explore the impact of switching from road transport to inland transport for a particular route. “BigMile takes a lot of work off my hands and provides valuable information, including on the performance of logistics service providers. Eventually they should all be able to draw up a CO2 report for the activities they perform for us. It is the same as with all other companies: those who fail to act on sustainability will become irrelevant one day. They have to take steps to reduce emissions and be able to validate the impact on their footprint.”

Read the entire article in Supply Chain Movement 46
Published September 2022 (page 32)

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