Government sets supply chain carbon challenge

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The Department for Transport is creating a Low Carbon Supply Chain Stakeholder Group to look for ways to reduce carbon emissions from freight and logistics operations.

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Transport minister Paul Clark, above, said: “Freight and logistics movements are responsible for around 30 per cent of transport emissions. Encouraging consideration of carbon emissions at the highest level within the logistics industry requires a concerted and co-operative approach between government and the industry itself.

“That is why we are launching a new group with industry which will provide the necessary leadership to establish a standardised and clear approach to measuring and reporting emissions across a complex freight and logistics transport supply chains.
“This is a critical first step towards the development of a low carbon logistics transport supply chain.”

The group will hold its first meeting on 22 July. A number of industry bodies have been invited to join including the Freight Transport Association, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and the Food Storage Distribution Federation.

Chris Sturman, chief executive of the FSDF said: “We are pleased to have been asked to join this important new working group, and look forward to making a significant contribution from our background of management experience and expertise towards developing a consistent carbon measurement and reporting method and standard for the supply chain.

“This is based on the innovative work undertaken over the last ten years in the development of the Food and Drink Distribution Sector KPI Survey, now published under the Freight Best Practice programme, and our subsequent appointment as the management organisation for the Climate Change Agreement for the temperature controlled storage sector. Our member companies also operate significant numbers of temperature controlled distribution vehicles and can demonstrate real improvement in carbon management performance since 2006.

“We believe that carbon management is good management practice and can contribute significantly towards corporate profitability as well as delivering the total UK emissions reduction target of 29Mt CO2 by 2020.”

James Hookham, the FTA’s managing director of policy and communications, said: “There is a strong will within the industry to lead the charge in making further meaningful changes minimising its environmental impact and this group will give us the platform to innovate and bring carbon efficient practices into mainstream business decisions.

“While we understand that fuel duty is a way to reduce emissions from private vehicles for commercial vehicle operators, like FTA members, it is simply punishment for delivering an essential service. This makes it somewhat of a blunt instrument as all it serves to do is restrict the ability of businesses and local authorities to invest in newer, greener, cleaner vehicles. We welcome the Government’s willingness to work with us not against us,” Hookham said.

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