There is a very interesting article in the McKinsey Quarterly regarding energy consumption by the transportation of goods across the globe. McKinsey clains "the transportation of goods consumes 15 million barrels of oil a day—roughly one-fifth of total production." This is a startling number.
McKinsey suggests ways of increasing the energy efficiency of the supply chain. The full post can be found here. It is well worth exploring.
While I understand why McKinsey has focussed on the transportation costs, I think there are lots of ways in which efficient supply chains are energy efficient by default. By reducing the amount of inventory, by placing inventory in the correct location, by reducing the amount of excess and obsolete, and any number of other ways of operating a more efficient supply chain will increase the energy-efficiency of the supply chain.
Yet we don't have ways to quantify the energy efficiency improvements. Do you have ways of measuring the energy consumption/efficiency of your supply chain? Will "cap-and-trade" or other legislation ultimately require us to measure the carbon footprint of our products?