Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Sector Planning guidances allow you to environmentally align your project strategy design.

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VEHA - Sector Planning Guidance



Sector result

Logistics are provided efficiently to humanitarian activities whilst minimising any negative impacts on the environment.


Define the indicators

The transport plan maximises the use of efficient, low polluting vehicles.

The transport plan ensures transport facilities are efficient, well maintained and avoid pollution.

The transport plan ensures efficient distribution routes.

% of round trips where reverse logistics contributed to minimising environmental burden

% reduction in loss and damage of goods during transport.

% of carbon footprint reduction due to best practice transport operations

Average loaded volume against total available capacity

# of vehicles < 3 years old
Frequency of vehicle maintenance

Number of carriers certified including against environmental criteria

# of transport facilities where the impact on environmentally sensitive areas has been identified and avoided.

# of changes to shipments to reduce potential adverse environmental impacts

# of environmental efficiencies in transport methods versus goods loss

# of goods where packaging has been reduced versus goods lost

# of checks of transport operations against environmental regulatory requirements.

A transport risk analysis is available providing essential information about the main risks posed to personnel, communities, and the environment

% of recommendations and mitigating measures outlined in the risk analysis that has been addressed

% of transport service providers who attended a sensitisation session on environmental and protection topics

# of events harming the population due to transport operations

An appropriate local community complaints mechanism is available


Ask Questions

Does the transport plan maximise the use of efficient, low polluting vehicles?

Does the transport plan ensure transport facilities are efficient, well maintained, and avoid pollution?

Does the transport plan ensure efficient distribution routes?

Does the transport plan apply reverse logistics to reduce environmental impact?

Are records kept, reviewed and acted on of goods damage during transport?

Are carbon emissions from transport being recorded, reviewed, and acted on?

Are logistics teams recording vehicle loaded volume against total available capacity?

What is the average age of vehicles?

Are vehicle maintenance records being kept, reviewed, and acted on?

Are carriers being certified including against environmental criteria?

Are transport facilities being assessed regarding their potential impact on environmentally sensitive areas?

Are shipment environmental impacts being recorded, assessed, and acted on?

Are goods losses versus environmental efficiencies being logged?

Are transport operations being checked against environmental regulatory requirements?

Are transport risk analyses being undertaken, that assess risks to personnel, communities, and the environment?


Include a Source of Verification

Review of the transport plan.

Logistics records.

Emissions records/audit.

Logistics assessment records.

Transport risk analysis records.


Consult Guidance & Examples

The environmental impact of transport facilities and infrastructure can be reduced, including through locating vehicle compounds and maintenance/repair workshops away from environmentally sensitive areas so they cannot pollute them and ensuring all fuels, oils, paints, lubricants, etc are safely stored, managed, spills contained/cleared up and safely disposed of. Ensuring good quality components are used for maintenance and repair and end of life parts are recycled or disposed of in non-polluting ways.

Assess road infrastructure and upgrade if lorries will cause road degradation that will be detrimental to the environment (damaging drainage, runoff, breaking up the road surface/edges/potholes).

Purchasing efficient equipment and fuel-efficient vehicles, including electric vehicles where their use is viable. Using the appropriately sized vehicle for the purpose - not using lorries for personal trips. Regular vehicle inspection and maintenance and non-polluting methods of regular vehicle cleaning - reusing greywater for initial clean where possible.

Source or create environmentally sustainable / non-polluting solid waste recycling or disposal methods.

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

Adapt the scheduling of efficient utilisation of assets.

Plan efficient transport routes, to reduce overall emissions.

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.

Assess transportation environmental impact.

Minimise potential negative environmental impacts.

Consolidate cargo to reduce packaging; arrange shipping container sharing with other agencies to minimise the environmental impact of shipping half-empty containers;

Review supplier diversification versus consolidation to spread and therefore potentially reduce overall environmental impact.

Invest in less polluting vehicles.

Ensure regular vehicle maintenance.

Measure the movements, costs, and maintenance of transport to gather data about their use.

Assess vehicle efficiencies/emissions/fuels.

Fleet standardisation can be useful when similar functions are to be achieved by the given set of vehicles.

Properly maintain the fleet in a good condition.

Capturing and analysing data for evidence-based decisions is a basic three-step process to monitor and improve the fleets' performance. This data should take into account environmental dimensions such as the amount of fuel used and emissions.

Fleet Management should contribute to cost efficiency and effectiveness as well as environmental efficiencies.

Certification of the environmental performance of emissions and energy.

Assess the production line or third-level distribution channels of your suppliers for waste or misuse.

Share good practice procurement and transport data between different humanitarian projects and actors to promote good environmental practice.

Plan location of warehouses to minimise distribution and reduce vehicle emissions.

Carry out a risk analysis in relation to the shipment, identify potential threats and cargo vulnerabilities, and implement the necessary actions to minimise risks.

Risk analysis to reduce potential waste.

Clear labeling to reduce loss.

When receiving a consignment, check the quantity and the quality, and notify the transporter of any discrepancy.

Consolidating and streamlining distribution can reduce transportation needs, improve warehousing efficiency, and ultimately reduce the quantity of packaging used.

Shipping items in bulk can reduce waste.

Undertake risk analyses to reduce potential losses.

Plan for minimum packaging to prevent loss.

Plan for recovering packing materials, recycling them locally, or returning them to the vendor for re-use.

Require origin certificates to prove sustainable sourcing.

Ensure a clear listing of packaging contents to facilitate delivery control.

Avoid procuring items containing hazardous materials if less harmful alternatives are available.

Require hazardous materials declaration where appropriate and ensure appropriate safe handling/maintenance/operation/end of life disposal.

Ensure that risks affecting personnel, communities, and the environment are included in the risk analysis. Implement the measures required to minimise and mitigate such risks.

Organise briefing sessions and training for transporters to sensitise them to environmental and protection topics.

Train transporters on environmental sustainability and reducing environmental impacts of transport.

Plan for reverse logistics when required to deal with hazardous materials, recycling of goods and packaging, and obsolete equipment or unused commodities.

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