RENEWABLE ENERGIES TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SHIPPING INDUSTRY AND THE SOCIETY

Submitted by Trang Thuy Nguyen
on 03/10/18

With an increasing number of people who use vehicles run by petroleum and gas, the worldwide environment is being affected negatively. In 2015, over 1,280 billion of cars were used for personal and commercial purposes. In fact, car is the most popular vehicle to people in the modern life in comparison with other types of vehicle such as scooters and bikes. In addition to car, airplane is a new option for transportation companies which offer customers express services. The availability of airplane in the shipping industry doubles the worry of the companies’ capability of generating carbon footprint. According to the most recent report of CO2 emission in 2017, the amount of CO2 emitted in 2017 rose 2% after three years of leveling off.  This is the result of the rising demand of transportation over the world including the rapid development of the delivery industry. CO2 is known as the main factor of causing the global warming (next to CH4 and N2O) which is the biggest environmental problem in the century. Unfortunately, in spite of being noticed for a long period, there is no comprehensive solution for this concern while the development in every facet of the modern society requires people to use devices, machines, vehicles and many other things that can emit a significant amount of CO2 on a regular basis. In the last few years, companies and customers have been exposed to a new way of selling and buying things which has allowed them to make online transactions without attending at stores. The E-commerce system could be seen as a positive impact to the environment due to the fact that it can save tons of paper and other materials used in business. However, it also plays a role in promoting the transportation industry when it provides delivery companies hundreds of orders per day. This indirectly makes the current situation of the global environment worst than ever. In an effort to restrict the influence of the high amount of CO2 generated from the shipping industry, environmental organizations applied strict regulations to companies doing businesses in the field and carried on environmental campaigns to upgrade customers’ awareness of possible negative impacts on the ecosystem. Nevertheless, the solutions still have limitations on the control of deliver companies’ organization. Therefore, dealing with the carbon and greenhouse gas emission is still a big question to both environmental organizers and transportation corporations.

Currently, there is a very large number of shipping companies available in the market with an average of over 100 orders a day per company. Meanwhile, most companies focus on offering their customers affordable delivery services so as to establishing a competitive edge in comparison to their rivals in the same market. This attempt unintentionally creates a barrier between promoting their businesses and maintaining a sustainable development relative to environmental issues. It is nearly impossible to transportation companies to completely guarantee the sustainability in their organizational activities as a whole because their main business activity is using vehicles to deliver products and packages. Even if the companies consider to use eco-friendly vehicles such as electric cars, they will have to raise their service prices, which is obviously not what their customers expect for. Investing into research and development to create new shipping systems also requires time and money. Despite this fact, the companies’ perception of the sustainable development is changing gradually based on the new trend in consumption and organizing business, which is believed to aim at the environmental responsibility. Several transportation companies modify their marketing strategies to lay an emphasis on sustainable services in addition to maintaining an acceptable price for their customers whereas others pay attention to cut unnecessary steps or materials out of their internal organization to minimize the waste of resources. Although the action cannot improve the current situation of environment overnight, it encourages companies to do business responsibly and its contribution to the society and environment is worth to be recorded.

Though changing an entire operational process is not possible in the present, it is still necessary for shipping companies to take into account of long-term adaptations. Along with the increase in customers’ perception of responsible consumption and the development of technology, it is very likely that in the future, eco-friendly energies will replace gas and petroleum in running vehicles. The main reasons of not using renewable energies commonly at the moment are the high cost and the limitation in production. In some countries like the Netherlands, using wind and solar energy is getting more popular to residents and business organizations when the government invests into researching and producing renewable energies in a larger scale. Besides wind and solar energy, there are more types of natural energy which could be listed as wave energy, water power, hydro power and geothermal power. Unlike gas or petroleum which can be exploited only in some specific areas on the earth, the natural resources are available all over the world so that nearly every country can take advantage of them if they have a sufficient budget and a suitable infrastructure for the production. It means that except for developing countries which are considered to be inadequate to produce such kind of energy, developed countries with their strong financial conditions and advanced infrastructures can pour money into generating green energy and encourage organizations, especially in the shipping industry, to use them for business purposes. In terms of benefits, using green energies could bring on both short-term and long-term benefits for transportations companies. Considering short-term benefits, applying renewable energies to the organizational operation could promote the competitive position of a shipping company since more and more customers pay attention to the responsibility of a company in connection with the environment and they are willing to pay a higher service price to support the sustainable development. Because there are not many transportation companies using renewable energies for their services, the competition within the market is reduced optimally. Furthermore, long-term benefits will be established as well. Undoubtedly, the most considerable benefit is the improvement in the environmental quality. By reducing the amount of exhaust emission, transportation companies directly help environmental activists have a better control of the climate change and the global warming which in return, decreases negative environmental impacts on the human living condition and levels up the quality of the ecosystem. In addition to social benefits, this would lead to a sustainable development in the global economy as a result of being partners of energy manufacturers and creating jobs for a huge number of employees.

The trend in developing business is changing gradually relative to the change in customers’ responsible consumption behaviour. This reflects on marketing programs of many companies in different industries varying from food suppliers to high-tech device manufacturers. Most organizations start focusing on social and environmental elements in their marketing mixes which are believed to attract more customers having a high sustainability consciousness and to raise other customers’ awareness of social responsibility. Therefore, a consideration of making adaptations to marketing plans and substituting renewable resources for gas and petroleum in the shipping business should be taken in order to gain further advantages for both organizations and the society. In the century, the sustainable development is not a goal only for the government but also for almost all organizations which desire to archive long-lasting advantages. Governments play a decisive role in realizing this by taking part in producing green energies, supporting environmental organizations, carrying on environmental campaigns and promoting and subsidizing transportation companies to use renewable energies. With these attempts, a future of a green ecosystem and a sustainable society is not so far away.

Submitted by Trang Thuy Nguyen
on 03/10/18

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