Logistics, among other things, involves procurement, warehouse storage, freight, flights, vehicle fleet management, driving and packaging of materials.  All of these components are entry points to use cost-effective and environmental good practices with some preparation and training on the front end.  For example, shipping a load of food by boat rather than by plane when timing is appropriate can dramatically reduce the cost and carbon footprint of each food packet.

GuidelinesBack to top


Sustainable Procurement Guidelines for Motor Vehicles: Background Report
(UNEP and Fleet Forum 2008)

Particular to the humanitarian sector, the report explains the negative environmental impacts from motor vehicles and possibilities to reduce the impact.  Specific topics include: vehicle maintenance, driving behavior, emission control techniques, fuel systems and clean fuels.



Top 10 Green Trends and Technologies in Shipping (WFP 2009)

Article explains ten strategies used in shipping that will have less negative impact on the environment and that are relevant to the humanitarian sector.  For example, slow steaming, low carbon fuels, cold ironing, real time tracking and more.



Humanitarian Logistics (Rolando Tomasini and Luk Van Wassenhove)

Book discusses private-public partnerships and draws “lessons learned” from private sector in making humanitarian logistics more efficient.  Examines supply chain management.  Discusses differences between private and humanitarian aid sectors.



Cleaner Motorcycles: Promoting the Use of Four-Stroke Engine
(UNEP and KJAER Group)

Brochure explains environmental benefits of using four-stroke engine motorcycles.

ToolsBack to top


Green Logistics (WFP)

Tool to help logisticians improve and “green” procurement and logistics by discussing the challenges and the benefits for organizations and benefactors.  Includes sections on reverse logistics, supply chain management, environmental management systems, monitoring and performance measurements (i.e. miles per gallon fuel, average life of tires in miles, etc).  Useful environmental checklist with 12 initial questions adapted from the commercial sector to help orient a logistician to think about environmental impacts.



Toolkit for Clean Fleet Strategy Development (UNEP and TNT)

Toolkit is a step by step action plan for fleet managers to understand the environmental impact of their fleet and to improve operations, including fuel, driving, emissions, vehicle type and monitoring.  Excel worksheets and example indicators provided to evaluate current status of fleet and ways to improve (Tool 18).  Toolkit text book included for download.



Eco-Driving Tool (UNEP)

Tool explains how changing driving behavior can reduce carbon emissions. Tip sheet included.



HumaNav Project (project website coming soon)

The project aims to improve the security and effectiveness of humanitarian transport missions by providing tracking, navigation and data capture for humanitarian vehicle fleets by combining various space and terrestrial technologies to address the four principle needs of the participating organizations: 1) security for staff, vehicles and cargo, 2) road safety, 3) fleet effectiveness, 4) reduction of environmental footprint. Developed as the result of consultation between representatives of UNHCR, ICRC, UNOSAT, UNITAR, NOVACOM and CNES.



Climate-proofing Energy Systems (HELIO International)

Tool provides simple indicators that can be used to assess the vulnerability of energy systems to climate change impacts and identify appropriate adaptation measures. May be used by aid workers to ensure that emergency and temporary power systems are resilient and adaptive. May also be used for longer-term planning (i.e. selection and placement of energy systems).



GPS Fleet Solutions, Return on Investment

Tool calculates the return on investment of a GPS tracking system for a fleet of vehicles by typing in basic information about the fleet.  Quick and easy rough estimation.



GreenScor: Developing A Green Supply Chain Analytical Tool
(LMI Government Consulting 2003)

Presentation discusses metrics and best practices in developing a greener supply chain.  Some sections may apply to humanitarian sector.

TrainingBack to top


Eco-Driving Training (Eco-Drive.Org)

Training on how to change driving habits to reduce negative impacts on the environment.



UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD and WFP)

UNHRD offers services and training on shipping and storage by demand.  Request training modules on  “green” methods tailored to programmes and staff.  For inquiries and questions contact: UNHRD.training@wfp.org



Clean Fleet Training (UNEP)

Training for humanitarian organization fleet managers, including WFP and IFRC, was held in 2008. Further training available upon request. Contact Vered Ehsani: vered.ehsani@unep.org

Case studiesBack to top


UNHCR Rolls Out Satellite Tracking System for Vehicles
(Huma-Nav, UNHCR, UNOSAT 2010)

UNHCR partnered with HumaNav to pilot satellite tracking programmes on vehicles in Chad, Sudan and Uganda, improving staff security and reducing environmental impact from driving.



Oxfam Policy on Operational Sustainability (Oxfam 2005)

Policy goal is to reduce negative environmental impact of Oxfam internal operations. Covers supply chain, use of carbon fuels, raw materials, disposal of waste, staff security and relations with communities and stakeholders. Gives examples of set targets and goals and measurement, p. 4.



Oxfam Accountability Report, 2006 – 2007

Section on environment explains how Oxfam is measuring its own carbon footprint and strategies it is adopting to reduce the footprint in coming years, p. 12 – 14.  May apply to other humanitarian organizations and agencies.



Unilever Sustainability Case Studies

Click on “Environment” or “Climate Change” tabs for examples of refrigeration, packaging and composting food waste.



Unilever Sustainability Climate Change, “Working with Others”

Explains methods Unilever is using to reduce its carbon footprint in the supply chain and transportation which may apply to humanitarian operations.  Related links include refrigeration, bio-fuels and green IT.

Best practicesBack to top


Efficient Operations for Small Fleets (Freight Best Practices)

Guide geared towards small scale fleet operators (private or personal) showing ways to reduce fuel use, thus costs.  Discusses basic performance indicators and explains how to re-fit trucks and preventative maintenance techniques.



Fuel Saving Tips (Freight Best Practices)

Pocket guide for managers and drivers with check lists and questions to ask when buying fleet vehicles.



The Fuel Efficient Truck Drivers’ Handbook (Freight Best Practices)

Handbook explains tips for drivers to increase fuel efficiency and explains daily vehicle checks.



Working Together to Improve Operational Efficiency of Regional Distribution
Centers (Freight Best Practices)

Guide includes checklist, questions to ask, case studies and tips to improve RDCs. May apply to humanitarian operation warehouses.



Efficient Public Sector Fleet Operations (Freight Best Practices)

Guide unique to fleets used for specific purposes, limited time and area and by employees not necessarily hired as drivers, similar to humanitarian conditions. Helps fleet managers improve operational fleet efficiency.



Best Practices in Green Supply Chains (LMI Government Consulting 2005)

Presentation shows where negative environmental impacts occur, methods for improvement and case studies.  Strong link with reducing costs. Presentation designed for private sector, but applies to humanitarian actors.



Boom Festival 2010

Annual music festival committed to operating in a sustainable way. Some methods apply to large gatherings of people such as refugee/IDP camps. Look under the “Ecology and Sustainability” tab for examples such as compost toilets and water reuse systems.  Issues considered are water, energy, waste and recycle.