Reducing the environmental impact of logistics: the GILA Project
The international project GILA, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is designed to contribute to global efforts in reducing absolute GHG emissions from logistics and enhancing resource efficiency to thus meet the Paris Agreement’s objectives
Like all other business sectors, logistics can adopt more sustainable practices to reduce emissions and enhance resource efficiency.
The GILA project – run by a German, Italian & Latin American Consortium joined by the School of Management – is designed to reduce the environmental impact (especially carbon impact) of logistics, focusing on sites that play a connecting role within transport chains, such as warehouses, consolidation/fulfilment centres, distribution centres, cross-docking sites or micro depots/city hubs, as well terminals at maritime or inland ports, freight and intermodal terminals or cargo terminals at airports.
In order to achieve the overall objective, two main research areas will be addressed:
- best practices and future requirements, services and concepts for sustainable logistics sites within an energy and resource efficient transport chain
- establishment of a methodological framework for assessing the environmental performance of logistics sites
The targeted methodological framework for assessing the environmental performance of logistics sites helps gain enhanced transparency and a robust basis for decision management and for the targeted identification and definition of measures to reduce CO2 emissions.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics is responsible for leading the project and its scientific implementation.
The industry partners are: Arcadis Germany GmbH, developer of logistics sites, P3 Logistic Parks, skilled in sustainable industrial properties and market development. GreenRouter is mainly responsible for the calculation of GHG emissions of logistics sites, while Fercam, Flexilog, Conad and Prysmian group contribute through their expertise and experience of their own logistics sites.
The School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, as academic partner, contributes with its know-how on green logistics concepts, while the Universidad de los Andes brings a Latin American perspective and experience on the environmental performance of terminals.
Sharing best practices will help participating companies to be prepared for future trends and demands within logistics networks and to pave effective pathways towards zero emissions logistics by 2050 and the sustainable transformation of the sector.
The project will enable industry to use the outcomes in future planning and the implementation projects of new investments in logistics sites infrastructure, e.g. city hub distribution, new greyfield warehouse projects or sustainable transformation of existing warehouses, transhipment sites and terminals.