Road to Measuring Carbon Footprint

There is a growing concerns over Green efforts and sustainability talk. The ozone layer have been broken and temperature are rising with pollution of Earth. Environmental issue are nothing new and run contradictory to economic growth. With current technologies, it is feasible to measure and leverage carbon tax on its footprint.

What is Carbon Footprint?

Carbon Footprint is carbon dioxide given out by the produce or process, i.e. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The full definition by Wright, Kemp, and Williams states that it is

A measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions of a defined population, system or activity, considering all relevant sources, sinks and storage within the spatial and temporal boundary of the population, system or activity of interest. Calculated as carbon dioxide equivalent using the relevant 100-year global warming potential (GWP100).

From the definition, we saw that there is a potential dispute with the processes and interaction that emit the greenhouse gases. Moreover, the majority of the product lifecycle will give out carbon emission one way or another. The next question is how much and how to measure!

Measuring Carbon Footprint

The measurement of Carbon Footprint is under constant debate as our concern for sustainability and environment rises. The final commitment comes when countries sought to reduce carbon emissions with the introduction of carbon tax. For the first time, there is agreement on some common measurement of Carbon Footprint, namely the energy sector. Many research and papers are also done on how to measure these Carbon Footprint. You could even find free online Carbon Footprint calculator which you could try out.

Default Carbon Footprint Computation

Just like the fight for obesity, Carbon Footprint values will soon be default view like calories on food. One example is the Energy Labels to be displayed on electrical applicants in Singapore. Another effort is the introduction of Carbon Tax in Singapore, which makes the measurement and reporting of GHG emissions mandatory. I will foresee major technologies providing Carbon Footprint computation as a service as organisations seek greater visibility to sustainability. For more in-depth reading on Carbon Footprint, you could check out this book on how to reduce Carbon Footprint at a personal level, read my other articles on sustainability or look at Singapore Emission Profile for reference.

Transport Management System (TMS) 101

Transport Management System (TMS) is a system that is part of logistics with a focus on transportation. It is exciting that TMS will be going through a new phase of evolution. Like many legacy systems, the impact comes from the changes in consumer behavior and cloud technologies. For those new to TMS, this will help you provide a crash course to TMS.

What is TMS?

TMS is the system that automate the process to manage the transportation operations. This can come from the goods handover from warehouse to port port to port, or port to customers. TMS will handle the orders from customers, delivery shipments by truckers or carriers, transport tracking and payment process for the transportation move. In simple layman terms, it is the view to move goods from point A to Point B.

Benefits of TMS

The key competitor for TMS is Excel. It is surprising to see many organisations relying on Excel, phone calls and even chat applications to handle transportation needs. Often, there is no dedicated TMS team handling this domain. Everything will be recorded ultimately in Excel. Moving to the current technology landscape, you can see a major benefit of TMS will be data visibility. Customer can now see their goods moving from warehouse to delivery. Truckers can also pick and accept jobs timely leading to better truck or equipment utilisation.

Future of TMS

Soon, more organizations will be embracing TMS with Cloud technologies. Data visibility is a major push factor as customers want to know the value they are getting from transportation. The lower cost of iOT and GPS tracking has provided TMS with near real time tracking of goods movement. Green Logistics and Sustainability is another factor to get information using TMS regarding costs vs carbon footprint.

Commentary on Singapore Budget 2021 Clean and Green Transport

For those who live in Singapore, there is a new budget 2021 to encourage clean and green transport. While I am an advocate of Green Views and Green Logistics, I have not been really wooed by its initiatives.

Electric Vehicle

Electric Vehicle (EV) is not a new technology and has greatly suffered from existent of combustion ecosystem. This make it more expensive from consumers to make the switch from combustion vehicle to EV. Having EV only means lesser combustion gases and does not eliminate the carbon footprint from the energy source. Batteries are also lethal and difficult to dispose. Moreover, majority of vehicles own by general consumers are idling in car parks since Singapore is a small area.

Green Public Transport and Logistics

The only vehicles to experience high usage and carbon footprint lies solely in a single area i.e Logistics and Public Transportations. This means Green Logistics and Green Public Transport. Do be aware that there is a difference between Public Transport and Green Public Transport. Imagine the entire fleet of Public Transport and Logistics converting to Electric with end to end Green processes. The carbon cost savings would be much higher than a subset of consumer whose vehicles are idling most of time. Of course, one wonders who should be paying for the conversion.

Green Adoption

I am a believer of cause and effect and very positive that Green Adoption can be encouraged with incentives. However, the approach to offset this encouragement with higher Petrol Duty seem diminished as these higher costs are usually pass on to the consumers. The approach to use push factor instead of pull do not appeal to the millennium generations. Overall, the view to move towards a Green Transport is good but seems skewed towards the focus on the general consumers rather than commercial consumers. Without a sound education and Green Ecosystem, the approach will always be stop-gap and partial. All in all, it is a good baby step but I always feel that more can be done.


Disclaimer: Views expressed are opinions from the author’s own professional and personal capacity and do not represent the view of any organisation.

Green Logistics 101

Green is the new fab now. Singapore has just announced its Green Plan 2030. Green Technologies, Green Fuel and Green Logistics are some of the futuristic areas that will be gaining popularity as sustainability become a concern for Earth survival.

Source: Google Trends
What is Green Logistics?

Green Logistics refers to the flow of logistics that are conducted in a sustainable way with the purpose of reducing the carbon footprint. The other key objective of Green Logistics is to focus on the transportations of goods in order to minimize the impact on environment.

How Cloud helps Green Logistics

Green Logistics is not new. It is an ideal way to save the world but languish for many years as conceptual ideas because of higher consumer costs to be Green. The arrival of Cloud technologies have revived the interest of Green Logistics with the sole purpose of Greater Good i.e to commoditize carbon cost using Cloud computing.

Commoditizationc of Carbon

Carbon are being commoditised and implemented as Carbon Tax in many countries. The aim is twofold, to reduce carbon gas emissions and passed this carbon cost to consumers through taxes. For the first time, Carbon can be measured and be quantified like commodity. Higher carbon will translate higher cost for the consumers. Carbon heavy industries like energy sector is the first to be impacted. Similar for logistics, majority of carbon tax will derive from fuels.

Future of Green Logistics

The measurement on the consumptions of carbon will spur customers and supply chain providers to offer carbon services or Green Logistics. Cloud technologies will be adopted to capture these carbon usages. The first adoption will be the iOT of fuel in vehicles. Next, massive digitisation of data such as weather and traffic conditions will be captured for route and load optimization. With these information, Machine Learning (ML) can provide detailed analytics on how reduce Carbon Tax without increasing consumer costs. It will be exciting to see Green roles or Green Technologist in Logistics sectors. Green is the new Change, let us embrace it!