When Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, spoke at the Road Haulage Association’s annual lunch last month, he was careful to praise the work done by the RHA, and FairFuel UK, on fuel duty – notably in explaining to government the impact of rising fuel prices on the transport industry.
And he was equally keen to point out that the steps taken by the government in stopping the fuel duty escalator had led to an easing of fuel tax of some £22.5 billion. As a result a typical haulier had saved £21,000.
But it was not long before he was moving on to challenge transport operators to improve their performance on carbon emissions.
Climate change was major long term threat, he said. And he pointed out that HGVs are responsible for 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.
Improving fuel efficiency was imperative, he said, highlighting the support the government is giving through funding to carbon reduction initiatives.
Of course, in road transport the best way to reduce greenhouse gases is to improve fuel consumption. It’s an area where driver training can make a big difference and save money. Very often going green can also save money.
These issues of cost and efficiency will come under scrutiny at the Logistics Manager Summit which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham on 5th June.
In particular, Justin Kirkhope, a logistics strategist for the Co-operative Food will examine the benefits to the business and logistics operations of a strong sustainability agenda. He will look at how to strike a balance between capital projects with quick wins and investment with longer term benefits beyond cost savings.
As growth accelerates in the economy, the pressure to be more environmentally friendly will grow again and finding ways to achieve this while maintaining efficiency will be increasingly important.
Malory Davies FCILT,