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Towards a Sustainable Supply Chain: Europe and Its Progress. (I)



SPARX Logistics brings you the developments, trends, and ecological perspectives from December 2023 to april 2024, aiming to strengthen and create more sustainable supply chains. These efforts align with the measures and solutions our company has implemented to enhance sustainability in our clients' logistics and supply chains.


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Climate change and other environmental issues have underscored the urgent need to transform supply chains to be sustainable and reduce their environmental impact. In this regard, companies and international organizations continue to examine and implement measures to create and refine supply chains. This not only enables them to contribute to environmental conservation but also enhances their competitiveness, as sustainable supply chains gain increasing importance and popularity in the industry.


The European Union towards a more sustainable supply chain.


The European bloc has developed regulations to strengthen trade sustainability, representing a significant commitment to reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050. In this context, some of these measures directly impacting the supply chain include:


1    The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS): Now includes emissions from maritime transport and came into effect on January 1, 2024. This implementation obliges CO2 emitters in specific sectors to purchase allowances to cover their carbon emissions during the corresponding trading period. This measure applies to all vessels over 5,000 GT operating in EU waters, regardless of flag. It's worth noting that this will be implemented gradually, with 40% of emissions covered by the system in 2024, 70% in 2025, and 100% in 2026.


2    The EU agrees to strengthen the socio-environmental responsibility of large companies: The permanent representatives of the European Union countries validated a law on March 15, 2024, imposing obligations on bloc companies regarding environmental and human rights issues, albeit with a scope narrower than anticipated in the previous December. This law establishes that companies are legally accountable for human rights violations resulting from environmental harm, such as deforestation or pollution.

 

The previously proposed agreement envisioned these standards applying to European companies with over 500 employees and a net global turnover of €150 million. However, the validated text now applies to companies with over 1,000 employees and a turnover of at least €450 million. Now, we await formal approval by the European Parliament for the modified text to come into effect.


3 Euro 7: The European Parliament approved stricter emission standards for certain vehicles on March 13. These new standards maintain the status quo on pollutant limits, including nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, for cars and vans but now establish stricter limits for buses and trucks. Additionally, pollution limits from car and van brakes are now set. Final approval from EU countries and the Council is awaited for these new standards to come into force, applying to cars and vans from July 2030 and to buses and trucks 12 months later.

 

European parliamentary elections are approaching in June, and new MEPs are expected to reassess community priorities and implement significant changes to current or future environmental actions. Nonetheless, irrespective of whether incoming MEPs consider the aforementioned, the enforcement of EU ETS starting January 1, 2024, suggests that at least part of the decarbonization journey is irreversible.


Sustainable supply chains are increasingly crucial due to climate change and other environmental concerns. The European Union is leading the way toward sustainability. Companies that do not adopt sustainable practices in their supply chains risk losing competitiveness in a market that increasingly demands environmental responsibility.


SPARX Logistics remains at the forefront of these trends, offering solutions to clients to strengthen sustainability in their supply chains.


The future of logistics is green, and SPARX is prepared to help businesses navigate this change successfully.

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