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December 22, 2015

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Sephora taps green logistics to boost efficiency

WORLD-FAMOUS cosmetics retailer Sephora has recently launched “Green City Logistics’’ system in Shanghai and Beijing by using electric vehicles in delivery.

It is the company’s latest initiative to protect environment, reduce pollution and guarantee high-quality logistic solutions.

“The initiative was driven by the two factors,’’ said Helen Zhou, vice president of marketing, Sephora Greater China. “LVMH Global has called for proactive participation in the Green Print project globally in the end of 2014 and Sephora is committed to being the pilot for figuring out what we need to do. And 2015 is the 10th year anniversary for Sephora China so it fits the timing and rides on the trends.”

“Focusing on the delivery is the chosen direction. We believe if we can start from the logistics and transportation side the benefits will be more immediate,” Zhou said.

The core concept is to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide from logistics and transportation in the rapidly developing and increasingly crowded super large cities.

Green vehicles are applied to transportation between Sephora warehouse and retail stores. Compared to the traditional trucks, green electric vehicles have a shorter rest period and more steady transportation costs. They can also save the queuing time for fuel filling. Besides, the GPS system enables real-time tracking of goods.

Delivery by green electric vehicles has a series of advantages. It can greatly save fuel, and sharply reduce air pollution, carbon emissions and noise pollution.

Zhou said there are still great challenges in the use of green electric vehicles. The power of electric vehicles is much weaker compared with gasoline-powered trucks. The engine area and the energy saver tank are larger than gasoline-supplied trucks, thus the space for products is squeezed.

Technology innovation

“It took us three months to work out technology innovation and made a needed adjustment into our warehouse so that we provide a power station to charge those vehicles, ‘’ she said. “We also change the way we load the products and find new routines for the new vehicles. It means shortening the delivering distances and increasing the frequency of the delivery.’’

Next year Sephora will cover more cities in the Chinese mainland and proactively seek opportunity to broaden the use of green energy.

“It shows the high sense of social responsibility of Sephora. The annual reduction of carbon emission by Sephora green electric vehicles is equivalent to planting 83 trees,’’ Zhou said.

Sephora China also launched other measures contributing to a green city. In the beginning of this year, Sephora upgraded all the shopping bags using recycled paper. The in-store iron shopping cart are 100-percent sustainable, reducing the frequency of giving away the used materials. The beauty advisors would also advice customers use less wrapping material.

“We are also exploring what we need to do and what we can do to reduce the lighting pollution while still maintaining the image. The measures include changing the source of light from normal lights to LED,’’ Zhou said.

“We are very committed to making a contribution to building green cities, and also very much pleased to become the first user of the innovative solution. Green logistics and other environmental-protection solutions are not only environmental friendly but also can make our services more efficient.’’

“I also hope the government would create a forum inviting all enterprises to join to see what we can do to contribute to a better green city. It would be great connecting all the dots and creating a central big power to kick off real actions,” she added.


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