Logistics operators cut greenhouse gas emissions

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Logistics operators are on course to meet their voluntary greenhouse gas reduction targets, according to the second annual report of the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme.

The scheme, which is managed by the Freight Transport Association, now has 59 companies operating more than 56,000 commercial vehicles.

During 2010 a reduction in emissions intensity was recorded of 2.6 per cent, meaning that participants were emitting less carbon dioxide even though their vehicle mileages may have grown or remained the same.

It is open to all commercial vehicle operators to join and has been endorsed by transport minister Mike Penning.

The Scheme works by collecting fuel usage data from participating companies and calculating carbon dioxide emissions that result from its combustion in commercial vehicles.  CO2 emissions from fuel represent over 90 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions of most road transport operators and are the most easily measured and managed part of their ‘carbon footprint’. 

The data are “anonymised” and aggregated to produce a series of indicators.  Data on vehicle mileages and company turnover are also collected to allow the intensity of emissions per kilometre and per million pounds turnover to be measured.  Participants have committed to achieving an overall eight per cent reduction in these measures by 2015.

“Pressures on businesses during the current tough trading times have not deterred Scheme participants from continuing their investment of time and money into a wide range of carbon saving techniques,” said James Hookham, managing director of policy and communications at the FTA.

“Our goals for 2012 are to continue and maybe accelerate this promising trend.  During 2011 we commissioned a powerful and unique web application from Heriot-Watt University that allows fleet managers to calculate the best carbon saving technique for them to invest in. 

“The ‘Carbon for Money’ application compares the effects of nearly 40 different fuel-saving techniques from driver training to a switch of traffic from road to rail or water.  This allows fleet managers to quantify the carbon savings from the investments they are asking their companies to make and guide them through the maze of different fuel-saving techniques available.  The application is free to use for Scheme members.”

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