Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.

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VEHA - Field Implementation Guidance

Transport strategy
Shipping scheduling and routing

Shipping scheduling and routing


Environmental factors causing/contributing to the needs and affecting the humanitarian activity

Availability of items and resources needed include transport, storage, and cold chain as well as adequate storage.

Delivery of items can be affected by the environment as hazards can impact their transportation (e.g.: if roads are flooded items cannot be transported by vehicle).

Gender, age, disability and HIV/AIDS implications

Promote equality of opportunity and inclusion for drivers, technicians, and logisticians including minorities and people living with disabilities.


Environmental impact categories

Air pollution
Soil pollution
Water pollution
Climate change

Summary of Impacts
Summary of potential environmental impacts

Increase of carbon emissions

Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information

Transportation activities are usually filled with fossil fuels that impact the environment by reducing air quality and creating air and noise pollution from combustion, mainly due to carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) products.

In addition, it can also increase respiratory diseases and there is the potential increase in waste from the means of packaging items for transport and protecting them from the elements in very wet or dusty conditions. In some settings that require the use of boats, transportation can also cause water pollution.


Summary of environmental activities

Adapt scheduling for efficient use of assets

Plan efficient transport routes.

Plan early procurement so items can be sourced locally, or if remote then transported overland.

Ensure that transport operations are not harmful to cargo.

Monitor cargo condition.

Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities

Physical distribution ensures that the mobility of freight-related to logistics operations is performed in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

Adapt the scheduling for efficient utilisation of assets

Plan efficient transport routes, to reduce overall emissions. This can help lower fuel consumption per route as well as lower fuel consumption per driver. It can also help reduce time and distance to the destination.

Plan early procurement where possible so items can be sourced locally, or if remote then transported overland, if not then by sea, last resort to fly which is more polluting.

Ensure that the transport operations and conditions are not harmful to the cargo.

Monitor the movement and condition of the cargo, taking the required actions to minimise delays, damages, or losses.

Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

Independent monitoring of agencies responding to the Nepal earthquake found that drivers all came from the same caste and gender.

When this was highlighted, action was taken to improve diversity. This brought an additional benefit of diverse contribution to local knowledge, customs, and even engagement with beneficiaries and understanding of the local environment.

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

The transport plan ensures efficient distribution routes.

Percentage of round trips where reverse logistics contributed to minimising the environmental burden

Activity Status
Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities

Prevention of environmental damage

Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)

Time and resources to schedule and route goods.

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