A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a not-for-profit group organized by individuals or organizations for common purposes, and operates independently from any government. NGOs can assist with green freight programs by providing feedback on the program design, identifying key public and environmental issues, and establishing linkages with stakeholders and interest groups.
NGOs can lead or facilitate the consultation process and bring together groups who do not normally meet to help develop an understanding of each stakeholder’s specific needs, difficulties and limitations, provide a voice to different stakeholder groups, mediate disputes, and further the collaboration and harmonization of green freight initiatives and methodologies across a region. In green freight programs, NGOs can participate as a member of an multi-stakeholder advisory body to provide oversight in program design and implementation, or assist in the administration of the green freight program, or participate as a program affiliate.
NGOs can also support research on freight issues, freight externalities, support data collection efforts of the government and private sector and can collaborate in capacity building and awareness raising activities. NGOs play an important role in the development of long-term vision of green freight programs in their respective countries and in the development of green freight programs, and NGOs can likewise carry out independent monitoring of green freight projects, activities and investments and may even lead to development and initiation of green freight recognition awards. As NGOs can provide technical support to governments, NGOs need to be able to influence policies that would mobilize green freight programs to address issues on public health and environmental protection, such as policies that urge the private sector to improve fuel efficiency of vehicle and freight operations to reduce CO2 and black carbon emissions.
NGOs, in general, need long-term dedicated funding which may be difficult for them to access in order to carry out dedicated research, provide support to the development of the green freight vision, programs or to facilitate the consultation process and to provide monitoring support. They also need data and support from the government and private sector to provide independent analysis, facilitate the development of the green freight vision, program and recognition scheme. Moreover, relationships should be strengthened and trust should be built by the NGOs with different stakeholders to effectively facilitate partnerships and mobilize or administer green freight programs.