Germany’s north-west is set to become the centre for environmentally and socially responsible entrepreneurship in logistics. To achieve this, a new platform for events and a network for the sector are in development, with the aim of promoting new partnerships and business start-ups in logistics.
Logistics is the lifeblood of commerce, and without it everything grinds to a halt – literally. It is heavily influenced by trends and developments such as digitalisation, labour market policies and a changing demographic. Environmentally compatible practices and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are also becoming increasingly important.
Benefits of social responsibility in logistics
“Many logistics providers have plenty of scope for change in this area, and are open to new ideas,” Dr Sven Hermann explains. “Acting in an environmentally and socially responsible way has numerous advantages for businesses. They can reduce their energy consumption and therefore their costs, for example,” he adds. “They can position themselves as an attractive, responsible employer, or establish new business models that increase their competitiveness.”
Hermann is the founder of LogistikLotsen, a collaboration platform for regional universities, companies and institutions working in Bremen’s maritime commerce and logistics sector. Alongside promoting digitalisation in logistics, the platform now also focuses on social entrepreneurship. You can find out more about LogistikLotsen and its ambitions for Bremen and the north of Germany in our article “Launch of LogistikLotsen facilitates collaboration and innovation between science and business” (in German).
Sustainable logistics: transporting coffee to Bremen on a sailing boat
For an example of what sustainable practices and entrepreneurship might look like, look no further than Slokoffie. What makes this new brand of coffee different is that environmentally friendly transport is used to bring it to Bremen. In the summer of 2017, 300 sacks of coffee made their way by sailing boat from Honduras to Bremen – virtually carbon-neutral. The eco-friendly coffee is now being sold from Bremen.
Achieving more together
Slokoffie is just one example of the increasing number of socially responsible and green initiatives in logistics. But so far, there has been very little networking between them, and opportunities are going to waste. That is all set to change with LogistikLotsen, which is aiming to establish a regional hub for social entrepreneurship that will be known across Germany. “As an established logistics hub, the region of north-west Germany is the ideal location,” Hermann says.
The initiative aims to kick-start the creation of a carbon-efficient sector, incorporating sustainable urban logistics, resource-efficient delivery and waste management chains, and social business models that can train the skilled workers required for digital transformation.