Forwarders told digitalisation key to meeting stricter sustainability requirements

Lionel van der Walt. Spurce: Meantime

Freight forwarders have been told it is imperative they adopt digital solutions to meet stricter sustainability reporting regulations.

Speaking at the Multimodal 2023 exhibition and conference in the UK, Lionel van der Walt, chief growth officer at emissions data provider Raft, said that new sustainability reporting regulations were coming into effect across the US and EU.

He pointed out that the US is expected to introduce its final corporate climate disclosure rules, which will require listed companies to report a wide scope of information related to their emissions, including Scope 3 data (those of suppliers).

“The US climate regulations set to be published imminently, alongside those already in place in the EU, are predicted to have a major impact on the logistics industry, yet most forwarders are either unaware, don’t understand, or are purposely ignoring these regulatory changes until they must comply,” said van der Walt.

“Time is running out for companies to adjust to the new era of reporting, and collecting, managing, calculating, and reporting the required Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data, including Green House Gases, can overwhelm most forwarders who lack the knowledge or resources to do so quickly and accurately.”

He said that digital platforms will become imperative to ensuring the required comparability, consistency, and enhanced quality in ESG reporting across the industry.

“Sustainability reporting is not just a matter of compliance but it’s also a competitive advantage for freight forwarders,” van der Walt said.

“Using a digital solution to provide accurate and transparent data for forwarders will allow them to provide better customer service, both by supporting their customers to meet regulatory requirements and to demonstrate to potential customers, employees, and investors that they are responsible partners, and how they are acting upon sustainability targets.”

In a recent column for Air Cargo News, Céline Hourcade, founder and managing director, Change Horizon, also highlighted the importance of ESG reporting.

And at the IATA World Cargo Symposium in April, a panel looked at the benefits of ESG reporting.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]