We are committed to conducting our business in an environmentally sustainable manner. With our focus on the sale, marketing and distribution of products, a significant part of our environmental impact results from warehousing, transport and logistics, and business-related travel.
DKSH encourages employee engagement in green issues. For example, a staff-led office waste taskforce launched at our Swiss headquarters in 2018. And in China, the company organized activities for World Environment Day.
New logistics technology cuts freight emissions
“Our distribution network makes thousands of deliveries every day, with customers ranging from large hospitals in city centers to small mom-and-pop stores in remote areas. Much of this distribution is outsourced to freight companies, who previously also took responsibility for much of the route planning. However, an overly simplistic approach was increasing journey times and fuel usage and sometimes resulted in half-empty vehicles driving around on days when we had fewer deliveries to make.
We are now implementing a transport planning tool which helps us select each day the most efficient plan from numerous possible combinations of vehicle loads, vehicle types, order of deliveries, and alternative routes. This enables us to optimize vehicle loading, shorten journeys, cut costs, and reduce transport emissions.
The planning tool also helps us select the most appropriate size of truck for each journey, again reducing fuel use and associated emissions. Our transport supervisors have trained 450 drivers in the use of this technology. The tool also alerts us to speeding, or if a driver has driven on the wrong type of road for the size of vehicle. It also ensures drivers are allocated the correct shift pattern, with designated rest breaks, in compliance with local legislation. These measures help reinforce our safe driving policy.
In 2018 we rolled the system out in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. We will introduce it in Vietnam and Taiwan in 2019.”
Brett Turner, Vice President, Group Transport Management, Thailand
Air conditioning adjustments reduce energy waste
“The Facility Management Team in Taiwan nurtures a ‘Stay Hungry’ culture where we are constantly seeking opportunities to save energy. For example, at our large distribution centre in northern Taiwan, we need to use a lot of cooling to keep medicines and other temperature-sensitive healthcare products below 23˚C. However, the existing air-conditioning system lacked an inverter mode, meaning that whenever the system was activated it came on at full power, rather than selecting a speed according to how much cooling was needed. In 2018 our Facility Management Team modified the system so that the air conditioning system only switched on at the required power level, reducing energy waste. We constantly monitor and re-calibrate the system to ensure temperatures remain well within safe limits. This change will save 1GWh of electricity per year. We are now also working on adopting a greener design for our new next generation distribution center, which is expected to open in late 2020.”
Gordon Chen, General Manager, Supply Chain Management, Taiwan