Five Ways Logistics Is Going Green

The World Food Programme (WFP) relies on its logistics capacity to reach an average of 80 million people each year. While speed and planning are essential, WFP is also committed to environmentally sustainable operations wherever possible. Below are five key ways that WFP's logistics is going green.

1)   Contracting Eco-Friendly Vessels

WFP is working with major shipping companies, which are obliged by industry regulations to use the latest eco-technologies in order to improve energy efficiency and environmental performance. All new vessels are contributing to reducing pollution where possible, including special ship designs that lower fuel consumption, as well as use low content sulphur fuel. In addition, ecological containers featuring bamboo flooring or low consumption refrigerator containers are also being used.

World Food Programme shipping vessel

2)   Establishing A ‘Green’ Truck Fleet

WFP is able to monitor the performance of its global fleet of over 800 trucks through the Fleet Management System, which monitors spare parts, fuel usage and vehicle utilisation rates of every WFP-owned truck. Through a donation of 218 new KAMAZ trucks, generously provided by the Russian Federation, WFP will continue to optimise the running of its global fleet, allowing WFP to quickly deploy available trucks within the first weeks of an emergency, and later release the trucks to another operation when they are no longer needed. The new trucks will also contribute to stronger performance, better fuel economy, and lower maintenance costs – cutting fuel usage by 30 percent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

World Food Programme truck fleet

3)   Ensuring The Right Aircraft For Each Operation

In 2013, WFP launched an analysis tool which measures the appropriate usage of aircraft types and air operators deployed. The tool processes and visualises a large amount of operational data to allow aviation experts to quantify, visualise and optimise easily WFP’s global air operations. This includes measuring various performance indicators for individual routes, aircraft and air operations as a whole. The result? With each optimisation achieved, WFP will save resources, fuel, and ultimately achieve a lower carbon footprint.

World Food Programme aircraft

4)   Installing Solar-Powered Systems In Offices

The WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Accra, Ghana recently installed a 24kW photovoltaic system on the roof of the office building to provide the daytime electrical needs of the office. Solar panels were installed to provide hot water in bathrooms. This has led to a reduction in monthly costs and has also allowed the implementation of a built-in system to stabilise the power output, which will drastically reduce the cost for repairs on equipment.

United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Accra, Ghana uses solar panels

5)   Using Innovative Delivery Solutions 

For the first time, WFP successfully airdropped Super Cereal Plus corn-soya blend (CSB++), a specialised nutritious food used to treat acute malnutrition in South Sudan. The airdrop was a success thanks to creatively designed packaging that allowed the food to withstand the impact when dropped by plane from 1,000 feet above ground. By using airdrops of CSB++, WFP saved USD$18 million in transport and fuel costs. WFP continues to look for more efficient and sustainable ways to deliver food wherever possible.