Sustainability’s Place in Supply Chains

September 21, 2023

Dave Tuttle (VP of Data Intelligence, former VP of Sustainability at Breakthrough) joins Karl to discuss all things supply chain sustainability.

Details #

Dave Tuttle (VP of Data Intelligence, former VP of Sustainability at Breakthrough) joins Karl to discuss what drives supply chain sustainability, from organizational obstacles to new technologies. And then hear from Jen Grimaudo, Senior Director of Sustainability at Iron Mountain, Flexe Director of Logistics Strategy, Jordan Lawrence and Flexe Sr. Director of Network Strategy & Optimization, Ben Dean.

Some of the topics explored:

  • What drives supply chain sustainability initiatives

  • Barriers to sustainability and how to overcome them

  • How supply chain analytics optimize supply chain networks

  • Technology’s place in sustainability

Logistics Leadership Podcast legal disclaimer

Episode Transcript #

Jen Grimaudo 0:00

So as a sustainability program, you start out focused on what you can control sort of internally, getting your own house in order. And once you've identified and prioritized those impacts and initiatives and you have plans to address them, the next logical step is to look at more indirect impacts. So, what activities are happening outside of your operations or in your supply chain, as a result of your activities?

Karl Siebrecht 0:25

I'm Karl Siebrecht.

Jordan Lawrence 0:26

I'm Jordan Lawrence.

Ben Dean 0:27

And I'm Ben Dean. This is the Logistics Leadership Podcast.

Karl Siebrecht 0:41

Jordan and Ben, it's time to talk about sustainability. In fact, one could argue that there is no bigger topic than sustainability today in supply chains. It has come up in every single one of our discussions so far in this podcast series. In particular, I love how Matt framed it, where he said to the effect, you know, as supply chain leaders, we need to focus equally on customers, costs and carbon. So I'm really looking forward to diving into this topic.

Jordan Lawrence 1:11

Yeah, Karl, customers, cost and carbon is just such a great way to put it because it really encompasses how big sustainability is. And I think across that area, you've got changes happening very quickly. And so I'm going to step away and make sure I'm on top of the very latest data in this space, and then circle back with you guys afterwards. Ben, what about yourself?

Ben Dean 1:34

On my end, I'm going to be talking with Jen Grimaudo, from Iron Mountain. That's a logistics brand most of us are familiar with, but probably not as familiar with some of their far reaching sustainability initiatives. So, excited to have this conversation and get back with you in a few.

Karl Siebrecht 1:48

That's great. I look forward to hearing what you guys come up with. In the meantime, I'm going to speak with Dave Tuttle, who is VP of Sustainability at Breakthrough. Breakthrough is a division of US Venture, an innovative energy company here in the US. I look forward to this conversation. And I will circle back with you guys shortly.

I am here with Dave Tuttle, who is Vice President of Sustainability at Breakthrough and has tons of experience in supply chain leadership over many, many years. Dave, great to have you.

Dave Tuttle 2:24

Hey, great to be here, really appreciate you having me on.

Karl Siebrecht 2:27

As we start, can you just give us a snapshot of your background and your experience?

Dave Tuttle 2:32

Sure. So 17, I guess, almost 18 years in the supply chain space now. Really started on the manufacturing side of the business, started my career really working with General Motors, and then leapt from there into more of a distribution focused timeline, and really working with companies to help them build out their distribution models, understand how planning analytics and data science can impact their business and help them better perform in the supply chain space, and have been lucky enough to sort of parlay that into really focusing on sustainability.

Karl Siebrecht 3:08

That's great. So let's start kind of at the foundation, and give us a sense of what are the most just fundamental drivers in the minds of corporations for why they are investing in sustainability initiatives?

Dave Tuttle 3:24

So I think, you know, of course, you see a couple of different things there. One is keeping in alignment with the consumer and the consumer expectation. What does the consumer want or expect from the business? What do they feel is the responsibility of the business? And how does the business align to their end core customer? That's one piece of it. In addition to that, a number of these clients just see it as a core part and responsibility on their side to create amazing products that they can, you know, position for their customer, not just from a cost standpoint, but also from a sustainability standpoint, or a responsibility standpoint. So it runs the spectrum based on those things. And those are really the focus we see from our clients saying, hey, we want to be responsible, we want to meet our clients' needs. And now it's not just about cost and service, it's about sustainability.

Karl Siebrecht 4:21

How about other outside factors, like, you know, regulations that may or may not be coming in there? Is that as much of a driver or is that less so?

Dave Tuttle 4:29

I think so. Right? And look, those regulations are creating opportunity. You know, we tend to lean into sustainability. We think any change equals cost. The reality is there's big incentives. This is being incentivized in a number of regions. So being able to lean into that sustainability piece, changing or adjusting your supply chain or your transportation models to take advantage of those incentives that exist, can be lucrative to these organizations or can mean that they're running a more efficient supply chain, a lower cost supply chain transportation model many times. So yeah, absolutely. Understanding that, taking advantage of that, and making it part of your business can be a huge benefit.

Karl Siebrecht 5:12

What do you see as the top few initiatives that they are investing in to actually move the needle?

Dave Tuttle 5:21

Our primary focus right now is on that transportation side. So when we look at that we see a number of different things happening. You do see some companies that are saying, how do I build an optimization model that focuses not just on cost and service but on sustainability. So that may be manufacturing distribution footprint. You also see a number of these organizations now leaning into alternative fuels and alternative types of tractors to drive and move that product. Mode optimization certainly is something that's heavily looked at, where can I move from maybe a traditional over the road move to a rail move. Any of those number of things are really driving a lot of the changes we're seeing today. Battery electric vehicles are beginning to spin up, but you've got hydrogen vehicles, you've got things that a lot of times people don't think about, like renewable diesel is beginning to become a big part of the California fuel market, which has a completely different carbon footprint than your standard ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. And then things like renewable natural gas, right. So our clients are really becoming well informed in this space or looking for partners to help them follow all these things that are happening. Hey, how do I do something today, tomorrow, and what does 10 years look like in this landscape? Because we all know it's going to you know, it's going to change dramatically.

Karl Siebrecht 6:48

Yeah, for sure. What are the most common barriers that you see pop up? If something loses momentum, what are the main reasons for that?

Dave Tuttle 6:57

I mean I think initially, there's always that question of, can I actually do something today, because if we look at things like, I'll go back to battery electric, the classic and heavy duty electric trucks and you immediately look at well, you know, they only have today, the range is very limited, so maybe that's not something that can really have an impact on my business. And it's just the idea that understanding all the opportunities out there, making them aware of, it's not just battery electric, it's not just hydrogen, and these things that look like they're way out in the future and not obtainable right now. I think that's the biggest barrier, knocking that down and saying, hey, there are a number of incremental things that can be done today, that can fundamentally impact this, we can make it easy. Sometimes you look at these problems and they very quickly become daunting. And it turns people off, right? They stop and they say, I'm gonna go focus on, I'm gonna go back to the thing I know, we know, it's a problem that can be solved. But I think that that's probably the biggest barrier right out of the gate. And that sort of changes as they go through the lifecycle.

Karl Siebrecht 8:04

Right, right. And so presumably, there are opportunities to kind of help break those big daunting things down into more bite sized pieces and figure out, do this one first and then this one later, is that a sort of common type of conversation?

Dave Tuttle 8:19

100%. And the other thing is also getting everyone aligned on what the opportunity is. A number of organizations have gone through this journey where they want to understand and take part in the sustainability mission. They put targets on paper, but many times those targets are not based on data. So the other piece of it is helping them understand what is reality, where are they truly at? And based on the technology, and the fuel types and the different things that exist today, what could that look like, you know, today, tomorrow, into the future, and then taking them on that journey as those things change. Because they change and they differ based on the regions you're in, and all those different factors. So kind of driving that, helping unwind that, make it easy to understand and follow.

Karl Siebrecht 9:09

Yeah, makes sense. Would love to understand better where you're seeing the most progress, if you will, the most opportunity for results. Maybe ask it in two ways. One, are there particular verticals where you see there's more traction? The other is across the end to end supply chain, are there pieces inside the supply chain that are particularly ripe?

Dave Tuttle 9:33

Yeah, so I think from a vertical standpoint, if I think about our business and sort of the approach we're taking or the way we look at it, the vertical doesn't necessarily have a huge impact on the ability to take advantage of pieces. Now there could be things like depending on your business type, the type of equipment you might run, there are nuances there that could impact whether or not you can go and achieve certain things. Certainly when people are moving, refrigerated and frozen and other things in the transportation specific space, it might have an impact on what you can achieve, or the opportunity, good or bad. But the reality is, if we think about people are really starting to embrace the opportunity to look at alternatives, they're staring down the barrel, many of our clients have this 2030 date, a lot of folks have set targets for 2030. It's 2023. And now it's becoming really real, that clock is counting down. So that's motivating many people and many clients to say, you know what, I am willing to try these different things, I am willing to try this battery electric thing in California, I am willing to look at these alternative fuels, combined with what you mentioned earlier, the incentives that exist out in the market in certain regions that are making it easier to go and adopt and try or implement these alternatives to what you would have traditionally done. There are a number of players coming up in the space who are introducing electrification infrastructure to further enable same service, same cost, but I'm moving on an electric vehicle. And like I talked about earlier to the renewable diesel, some of these alternative fuels, the total available renewable diesel is going up considerably as compared to where it's been over the last 10 years. People are investing in that market because it's incentivized. So it's unlocking those things. If I think about supply chain as a whole, just moving away from transportation, thinking about, you know, maybe it's distribution or it's infrastructure. I know from my personal experience, having sort of worked in the industrial side, industrial real estate side, there is a heavy focus in those different pieces of the supply chain, how do I decarbonize my building? How do I embrace or make the investment or work with my partners, in industrial real estate or other pieces of business, to bring my carbon footprint down? If you follow those major players in that space, you can see that they're making a heavy investment as well, because their clients are saying, hey, this warehouse, it's got a pretty big carbon footprint. Those teams are embracing that and saying, Okay, let's introduce solar panels, let's introduce different ways to LED lighting, all those things to bring that total carbon footprint down. So I think it's happening all around the supply chain.

Yeah, makes sense. Give us a quick overview and your perspective on scope one through scope three impact, and where is most of the activity, and where is most of the kind of opportunity to go get?

If I think about the world I'm living in, our primary focus is on the scope three side. And so I think it just really depends on your business. How you're approaching the problem, the world or the vertical in which you're working, will be a large driver into what scope you're focused on, how you're managing those different scopes, and the plan of attack. And I think they all offer unique opportunities to go ahead and say, Okay, here's how I'm going to address this, here's how I'm going to manage this opportunity or this baseline, or this value. So it really is dependent upon your business, where your focus is, how your business impacts that. So it varies wildly.

Karl Siebrecht 13:35

Yeah, makes sense. So I want to drill in a little bit, you talk about a key element of this is doing the analytics, the optimization of the network, not just for efficiency, maybe for speed, if that's a key need to your end consumer, sort of optimizing the flow of goods. And then increasingly, what's also factored into that optimization is sustainability impact. Carbon, probably the most common driver that's added into the optimization analysis. You talk about regions, there are some regions that have incentives or more opportunities than others. Would a customer think, hey, maybe I'll route more of my goods along this path because in that new path, I can take advantage of different technologies and or different incentives that don't exist somewhere else in my network?

Dave Tuttle 14:29

I would say I think that is probably, in some instances, incentivizing change and influencing. But on the flip side, I would say all the major players in the supply chain space, they're looking at that short, medium, long term. And so some of those things, if you're looking at my total footprint over time, and what that looks like, some of those things may give you a short term win, but maybe not a long term net positive. And I think that would influence the decision as well and is influencing the decision. Now I will say, many clients are saying, Hey, I'm willing to make an investment in sustainability where before I was doing my optimization model, right, I think about when I came out of college, and I'm working in the auto side and some of these other sides, it's like, okay, we're looking at cost and service, we're looking at total landed cost. Now there is this, I'm looking at cost, I'm looking at service, and I'm looking at carbon. And that is truly influencing my decision making, and how that's impacted will have a true impact on the decision I make. That is happening but I think a lot of what we have to remember is, and I think what a lot of these big supply chains are looking at is, okay, today, tomorrow, future, I need to make sure if I make a fundamental change in my manufacturing or distribution footprint, the total impact over some period of time is a net positive. So that's probably the big influencer there.

Karl Siebrecht 16:06

Yep. Makes sense. So Dave, aside from the important benefits for our planet, what other benefits are there for organizations to embrace sustainability policies or practices?

Dave Tuttle 16:20

So I think what you see, I mean, generally speaking, if you're solving for sustainability, you naturally start to solve for other opportunities within the supply chain, whether it's proximity to the end consumer, or optimization of the way that product is moving, or even things as fundamental as embracing new and more efficient technologies and putting a value or an ROI that maybe is a little different on that investment into your business. So you start to see those secondary optimization benefits. Sustainability, less miles, right, less miles traveled, perhaps less non-needed use of equipment and other things. There's lots of secondary value that can come out of driving that into your optimization model. And then you can justify that there's a secondary value on that ROI piece as well.

Karl Siebrecht 17:12

If you go after sustainability benefits, you may very well end up with cost saving benefits or other efficiency related benefits as well on top. Looking forward, so say, three, four years from now, where do you see the biggest differences coming from or the greatest change in that time period?

Dave Tuttle 17:32

So I think you've got a fundamental change in awareness in the type of fuels that drive the technology that's moving product, from origin to destination. So I think we can see right now there's this awareness, we were out at the ACT Expo this year and you see a number of shippers who maybe traditionally wouldn't be at an expo talking a lot about big trucks and engines and power plants that are driving saying, hey, we want to understand this. So I think the fundamental understanding of the technology and the fuel. So fuel, I think is going to be a big part of it. We talked about renewable diesel. I think the availability of some of these alternative fuels, they become readily available, and the price point at which instead of just those incentivized areas, so like renewable diesel today, if you look at California, basically versus everywhere else, the cost in California is very, very viable, and sometimes better than a standard ultra low sulfur diesel. But you go to other regions, and it's not the same thing, right? It's not obtainable based on the cost. I think you start to see that spread, you have a lot of states that are looking at LCSF and putting incentives in place that could make that happen, as well as supply building up. So fuel's one, I think equipment, we're hitting this precipice where alternatives to your traditional diesel engine are becoming real. You've got some companies putting some amazing technology out on the market that I believe is going to become very scalable over the next one, two, three, four years. You're going to start to see a shift in the total types of trucks that are on the road, and the power plants that are driving those trucks and it will become a real option. And I'm not just talking about battery electric, I'm talking about CNG, I'm talking about, you know, there's companies doing cool stuff with conversion of diesel to ethanol. Hydrogen can become a viable option or hydrogen power plants that are driving battery electric, right, that's the other misconception. Battery electric doesn't necessarily mean that it's just a battery and you plug it in, there are alternatives or you can put a CNG powered or a hydrogen powered power plant on that to charge the batteries to give you additional range to make it a better option. So I think the next three to four years, you're going to see that or you're going to see that happening. And then I do think that consideration for carbon starts to impact where people put manufacturing, where they put distribution, continuing to move closer to our customer, whether it's the day to day consumer or the grocery store.

Karl Siebrecht 20:20

And so with all the fuels and the different power plants, to use your term, it's exciting that there are lots of different technologies that are developing that have promise. Is it too early to figure out which of these are likely to be the winners? Or is it sort of like, we're still in a development phase, and it's not clear yet which are going to be the long term winners, or different applications may be the better fit for different use cases. How should we think about that?

Dave Tuttle 20:54

First of all, you know, I'll say, that's why companies like Breakthrough, that's why we're here to help make that an easier thing, because to your point, it is complicated. I think the interesting thing about the transportation and distribution industry is, you're not necessarily marrying an approach. The return on investment, and things like that, it can come in a period of time where you can lean into certain technologies, you can see the benefit, and as the industry evolves, you're able to adjust and pivot towards the next thing that's going to carry you on your mission or help you meet your goals. It is complicated, there are a lot of moving pieces. But I do think that different things that are going to drive the industry are starting to become more clear. And it will be very specific to the problem you're solving. Right? If I'm running drayage from the port, maybe battery electric is a great option there. Not to say that there aren't issues or opportunities for improvement or things that battery electric might impact there. But those types of moves, shuttle moves between plants, things like that, but to your point, you can start to break down the supply chain network, and you say, what technology best fits what opportunity, assign it and take that multi partner or multi technology strategy and apply it to your network. And then you start to see real change.

Karl Siebrecht 22:21

So when we think about the network overall, aside from lower carbon footprint fuels, or plants to move goods around, you'd mentioned earlier the strategy of potentially moving operations closer to the endpoint. Is a core metric to think through as one of the drivers of your strategy, is it basically reducing the number of empty miles? Is that one of the top things? Or is that on a longer list, but not towards the top?

Dave Tuttle 22:52

I think that that's the gold standard all around from an optimization standpoint. The interesting thing about sustainability, you know, is perhaps it's a variable that opens up doors to reduce empty miles. Maybe sustainability is the opportunity we need to bring a number of different partners together to say, okay, the only way we reach these goals, the fundamentals have to be perfect or very, very good. One of the fundamentals, to your point, is just reduce the total empty miles. If I've got shipper A and shipper B, and they're better together than they are separate from a standpoint of optimizing the movement of goods, I think that absolutely could represent an opportunity to achieve these goals with no other fundamental change. Just a better opportunity to optimize.

Karl Siebrecht 23:48

And do you see appetite out there in the market for doing that? Or are people still kind of hesitant? I'm not sure I want to put my stuff in a truck with someone else's stuff.

Dave Tuttle 23:58

You know, I think if you're talking to the team that's trying to find a way to optimize from the sustainability standpoint, it seems like, generally speaking, they're open to those ideas. And there's a general willingness and want to explore how they can better partner to make those things happen. I think other parties within the business, there's going to be lots of reasons why that can be challenging, and they're all valid. But generally speaking, as we talk to clients, and we talk to people in industry, it seems like sustainability could be the opportunity to unlock some of those things.

Karl Siebrecht 24:37

Well Dave, this has been a real pleasure. I really appreciate your insight. And I've learned a lot here today. So thank you so much for joining us.

Dave Tuttle 24:46

I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I think there's an interesting opportunity in this space and I just love sitting down with other people in the industry and talking about these things. So thanks for having me on.

Karl Siebrecht 25:00

Okay, some really interesting perspectives there from Dave Tuttle. Ben, I am super excited to hear what you learned from Jen. How did that conversation go?

Ben Dean 25:11

Yeah, it was equally fascinating. I mean, when you had the comment about it being daunting to take on these sustainability initiatives, one aspect of that is this is just an added layer to most supply chain leaders in what they're now accountable to deliver against. So just like anyone in operations has gone through, as soon as you optimize and improve one area, another nail pops up for you to solve for. I think that's the starting point, is that there's a lot of companies who are in chapter one of this journey with this very daunting picture in front of them. And like many folks have said, how do you eat an elephant? I've got teed up here, Jen Grimaudo. She's the Senior Director of Sustainability at Iron Mountain. They are one of the largest warehouse operators consisting of over 1500 facilities across 60 countries. So when you think about daunting efforts to roll out sustainability initiatives, probably doesn't get much more difficult than here. But Iron Mountain has turned out to be a pioneer in this space. Jen had a solid real world example of taking targeted approaches to specific aspects.

Jen Grimaudo 26:13

When we started our sustainability journey, we sort of took a step back at first, right? And we had to say, where do we start? Because you could certainly go with your gut instinct and say, well, we've got a lot of warehouses, real estate's probably important. But we really took a step back and said, let's complete a materiality process, let's get a lot of stakeholders and let's figure out what the most important things are. So for Iron Mountain, we start out with this materiality assessment that puts on the mat all of the potential issues that involve environmental, social or governance, and you see what comes to the top. For us at Iron Mountain, obviously, emissions are something we need to be focused on. And for us, our three largest sources of emissions, to be really specific, are electricity, natural gas, and fleet. That was our one through three. And what's happened is, you address the biggie, right, you address electricity through green power procurement, start to think about how you can green your electricity portfolio. So we went from like 3% renewable electricity in 2016, 2017, to now we're at 85% renewable electricity at the enterprise level, which means that now our emissions from electricity have come down the ranking. We did that while our electricity usage tripled, even though they have less emissions from the fleet today than we did say, five years ago, it's now the number one because we have managed so effectively, electricity emissions. So now it's fleet, natural gas, electricity.

Ben Dean 27:37

Love to have Jordan weigh in here with some of the sentiment of the customer side of this as well.

Jordan Lawrence 27:43

I love that you mentioned Jen started in an operational role. And that is as most supply chain professionals have, and I think it just brings to bear, supply chain is the epicenter of sustainability. 90% of organizational and greenhouse gasses come from the supply chain org. Interestingly, 50% to 70% of the operating costs also come from the supply chain org. So I think strong operators that move into these roles around sustainability is just a perfect perspective because you get the merger of these two factors.

Ben Dean 28:18

Yeah. And part of what makes it a challenge is that your supply chain isn't in-house entirely, right? Jen really had some good points about how collaboration plays into sustainability initiatives.

Jen Grimaudo 28:29

At Iron Mountain, we say that true sustainability isn't possible without collaboration. And that means we know that we're not always the smartest person in the room. So we've got to bring those resources to bear. So when we initially started our sustainability journey, we absolutely brought in outside consultants, we talked with some of our customers who are a little bit further along in the journey at that point, we figured out, how does Iron Mountain move forward? What is step one through 10? How do we get those on the roadmap and move forward? And anytime your information, your decisions, can be informed by people who have been there, that's a win, you have to take that and now our job is, now we are informed. Now we've been doing this and we can sort of pay some of that back. We can partner with our customers, we can partner with some of our peers, and help guide their journey. So as a sustainability program, you start out focused on what you can control sort of internally, getting your own house in order. And once you've identified and prioritized those impacts and initiatives, and you have plans to address them, the next logical step is to look at more indirect impacts. What activities are happening outside of your operations or in your supply chain as a result of your activities? So then you have to think about how can you collaborate with your suppliers to understand more about how they are operating and how you can help them improve. And of course, the focus on scope through reporting from some regulatory frameworks is certainly going to help accelerate that conversation in some regions. Monitoring, understanding, preparing for all those reporting requirements takes resources. And in some cases, that means you have to deprioritize work. So you have this balancing act that you have to play. I think it's extremely challenging for us as an international company, when we're looking at, like, CSRD coming to place in the European Union. You have SEC potentially popping up in the US, there's Canadian laws, there's supply chain laws that we have to think about. And so first, you have to figure out what's coming, then you have to figure out if it applies to your business. And then you have to figure out how to get the data to respond. So all of that sort of comes together in this perfect storm telling us we need resources that are focused on just that monitoring of the regulatory landscape to make sure we remain compliant. So that takes a lot of partnership, it takes internal know-how from legal, from sustainability. It takes external know-how from consultants to help make sure that we're getting our data assured and we're meeting all the requirements and needs.

Ben Dean 30:56

One of the issues that we've experienced through our own ESG committee is that there's a real quick, easy path to scope one emissions, and as you get towards scope two, scope three, which is where the regulatory framework is moving towards, there needs to be so much more coordination between suppliers, vendors, both up and downstream in your supply chain, that that's where I think the daunting nature of this really starts to show itself is like, Hey, I work in supply chain, I work on this sustainability initiative. But to solve it, I need to reach out to all aspects of my organization and even outside of that. The visibility piece, and that's one piece of visibility in supply chain but I know that's got to be a top customer concern, Jordan.

Jordan Lawrence 31:42

So EY did a survey of 525 supply chain executives late last year. And when they ranked, you know, why are they embracing sustainability? Well, number one was cost. And number two is the regulatory framework. So I think that's right in line with what you had to say there. As far as initiatives they're pursuing, you nailed it. It's traceability and visibility. The only way that they felt they could prepare to react to disruption was to have better systems of traceability and visibility. And really, that bleeds through perfectly with sustainability, understanding not just who your tier one partners are, but who are the tier two and tier three suppliers down the chain? And are they meeting the same regulatory rigor and sustainability rigor that you're getting from your tier one suppliers?

Karl Siebrecht 32:33

That is such a fascinating survey result. It feels like a great opportunity to know that the number one motivator of sustainability investments is cost, knowing how much of the total cost of the corporation is tied up in the supply chain. Similarly, with, as you said, Jordan, what was it 90% of the greenhouse gas is driven by a supply chain. So if you can get two birds with one stone, both on the cost side, and the sustainability side, there's just a much, much higher likelihood that you can focus investments to drive improvements in both areas.

Jordan Lawrence 33:11

Yeah, I think this is something Dave did speak to pretty clearly, that organizations were achieving both cost and sustainability efforts in lockstep. And that space is changing really quickly, everything from alternative fuel types and in places like California, you're getting to the break-even point where the more sustainable choice is the more cost effective choice. And it seems like across the board, we see this, it once was this bifurcated question of, hey, at a higher cost, I can be more sustainable. But that's now getting to the break-even point and beyond, where those are the same decision. And that's where I think so much momentum is really going to drive improvements in this space.

Ben Dean 33:54

Great point, Jordan. Every 3PL and supply chain leader is looking for the win-win, both sustainable and cost savings. And Iron Mountain specifically had a few examples where they were able to achieve both. Let's listen to what Jen had to say.

Jen Grimaudo 34:07

There are also financial benefits. So from the beginning of our program, we set our sights on business positive sustainability. That's what we were going to go after. So our energy efficiency projects materially reduced our annual utility costs. Our fleet electrification team has created a decision model for where and when to prioritize implementation based on total cost, vehicle availability, regulatory requirements. Our green power procurement contracts that I talked about have resulted in long term, low cost green energy for over 85% of the enterprise portfolio. And our water mitigation efforts have driven down costs as well.

Ben Dean 34:45

Tying sustainability to financial benefit is the win-win here.

Karl Siebrecht 34:50

Super clear. And I love that example. Once again, we've had a couple of great conversations on this huge topic of sustainability. As I mentioned at the top, we've heard this topic come up in every single one of the conversations that we've had so far, and I'm sure it'll be coming up again. Jordan, Ben, once again, thank you both so very much.

Jordan Lawrence 35:14

Great to be with you guys again. I am really looking forward to what we have queued up for next time. I know we've got another great guest.

Ben Dean 35:21

Likewise, let's sustain the conversation.

Narrator 35:24

You've been listening to the Logistics Leadership Podcast presented by Flexe. If you'd like to learn more about the podcast or join the Logistics Leadership community, check out this episode's show notes and visit Keep the conversation going: Email us at The Logistics Leadership Podcast features original music by Dyaphonic. The show's producers are Robert Haskitt and Adam Kapel. Here's a quick pro tip: Instead of chasing down the next episode, why not just follow the show and have it appear in your feed automatically. Thanks for joining us!


  • Karl Siebrecht 2022 Headshot 2

    Karl Siebrecht

    Co-founder & CEO

  • Jordan lawrence flexe

    Jordan Lawrence

    Director of Logistics Strategy

  • Ben Dean

    Ben Dean

    Director of Network Strategy & Optimization


  • Dave Tuttle Headshot

    Dave Tuttle

    VP of Data Intelligence

  • Jennifer Grimaudo headshot 1

    Jen Grimaudo

    Senior Director of Sustainability