Corporations' environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts remain a top priority among businesses worldwide. The supply chain provides significant opportunities to improve ESG efforts through clean transportation, implementation of electric vehicles (EVs), sustainable facilities and cold chain refrigerants. Whether it is an annual report or an ESG statement, companies are feeling an increased push to provide actual numbers around sustainability improvements.

This year, shippers and 3PLs reported making significant investments in ESG initiatives. However, when asked to rate their organization's ESG efforts, only 22% of shippers and 17% of 3PLs rated their company as a trailblazer and a leader in ESG. A larger percentage of shippers (45%) and 3PLs (41%) rated their organizations as about average, while 12% of shippers and 19% of 3PLs said they did not have an ESG program.

Meanwhile, supply chain areas believed to have made the greatest progress with ESG include transportation, manufacturing and warehousing. Within transportation, trucking companies and railroads have made emissions-reductions commitments and are adding and testing new EV technology.

Sustainable, energy-efficient production facilities are also being considered, which often account for a larger carbon and environmental footprint than a company's transportation segment. Additionally, cold chains are phasing down their use of hydrofluorocarbons in favor of natural refrigerants, which are more sustainable.