KUALA LUMPUR: Logistics companies have been urged to adopt green strategies to lower their carbon footprint.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the logistics sector now accounts for 21% — the second largest proportion — of total carbon emissions in the country.

He said industry players should take into account the environmental impact of their business.

“Apart from reducing carbon emissions, increased efficiency also helps to reduce cost and time,” he said at the inaugural Green Logistics Partnership Conference here today.

Green logistics include strategies to reduce bottlenecks, simplify processes and procedures as well as consolidate partnership with the private sector.

Loke pointed out that some of the initiatives had already been taken at the Digital Free Trade Zone logistics hub at the KLIA through minimising transportation to reduce carbon emissions.

The first phase of the cargo facilities at the hub have been taken up by Lazada and Pos Aviation. Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Cainiao Smart Logistics Network will occupy the second phase.

The green logistics strategy is in line with Malaysia’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 under the Paris Agreement.

Loke noted that the Japanese had proven that attention to improving efficiency would result in sustainability and for businesses, that translated into profitability.

He said Malaysia would emulate the Japanese by giving awards to companies that implement green logistics.

“Green logistics is an important component of the Logistics and Trade Facilitation Masterplan 2015 — 2020,” he said.

Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders president Chua Seng Wah said certain policies had to be reviewed to enable green logistics.

“For instance when cargo trucks unload at their destinations, they have to return empty because they are not licensed to carry containers even though they are equally capable of transporting containers,” he said.

As a result, the number of trucks on the roads rises, thereby widening their carbon footprint, he told theSun.

Era Suria Ecopreneurs Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Dr S. Sri Umeswara said all sectors must work together to achieve the sustainability goals.