Launched in 2008 in the Netherlands, the Lean & Green program has a simple yet ambitious objective: to reduce CO2 emissions by a minimum of 20 per cent in a maximum of five years. To achieve this, a simple methodology has been developed. After carrying out an assessment of emissions from its transport and logistics activities, the participating company defines a Lean & Green action plan. This must cover at least 50 per cent of the emissions. It then chooses a reference unit (tonne-kilometre, floor metre, pallet, etc.) to properly calculate CO2 emissions which must take into account the evolution and growth of its activities.

To assess efforts already undertaken before joining the program, the company can determine a reference year prior to the year it joins Lean & Green. A crucial issue for the company is to have the necessary data to anchor the action plan in the day-to-day business activity. This will ensure that the final result is assessed from both an environmental and an economic point of view.

After its launch in the Netherlands in 2008, the program was subsequently established in Flanders by Vlaams Instituut voor de Logistiek (Flemish Institute for Logistics), and in Wallonia by Logistics in Wallonia (LiW). Since then, the program has been extended to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Germany and more recently to Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Lean & Green program has now also been established in Quebec, following an initial workshop in Montreal on February 26 that attracted more than 45 people to the Port of Montreal for information. There is definitely interest, and CargoM, the Logistics and Transportation Metropolitan Cluster of Montreal, together with Logistics in Wallonia will implement the Lean and Green label in the freight transport and logistics sector in Quebec.

The launch of Lean & Green Quebec builds on contacts made during the state visit to Canada of the King and Queen of the Belgians in March 2018. During this event, CargoM and LiW had the opportunity to discuss their common concerns and from the outset, CargoM expressed its interest in this program.

“From the very first contacts, we were aware of the many areas of common interest,” said Bernard Piette, Managing Director of Logistics in Wallonia. “However, we had to find the right subject to start our collaboration and the framework to launch it under optimal conditions. Our wish is to build a long-term collaboration that could generate business volumes between our two regions.”

For Mathieu Charbonneau, Executive Director of CargoM, this collaboration also represents a great opportunity: “Our sector is already taking action to reduce its environmental impact, but we want to go further by recognizing the positive actions taken by our industry. Lean & Green offers us the perfect framework; we can benefit from proven expertise and, moreover, integrate a community of more than 450 companies that have already obtained the label in Europe. This will allow us to benefit from new insights, in addition to capitalizing on initiatives already in place, such as Transports Québec’s Écocamionnage Assistance Program and Green Marine.”