The Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme’s second annual report (launched on 31 January 2012) shows that the logistics sector is making demonstrable progress in reducing its greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions. Backed by government, academics and the industry, scheme participants are on track to meet the self-imposed and collective voluntary ghg reduction target set in the first annual report.

    The Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme is managed by the Freight Transport Association and is the only sector-based initiative that records, reports and helps reduce ghg emissions from the logistics sector; it is free of charge and operators are encouraged to join. Heriot-Watt University has provided an independent reference point for the scheme’s development to ensure the data it reports is robust and meaningful. The second annual report reveals that scheme participants achieved a collective reduction in carbon emissions intensity of 2.6 per cent between 2009 and 2010, and are on course to meet the target of an eight per cent reduction in emissions intensity by 2015 (compared to 2010 levels).

    Among the organisations that have joined the scheme are major high street retailers, large and small hauliers, local authorities and utility companies. Datasets provided by participants, such as fuel use, vehicle kilometres and business turnover are collected routinely by operators to manage their businesses, so the administrative burden of providing data is minimal. Scheme members commit at a senior director level to participate in the scheme and to have their data independently verified by FTA as part of the reporting process.

    Justin Laney, General Manager – Central Transport, for John Lewis Partnership, said:

    “The scheme provides a credible and uniform way of reporting carbon emissions, enabling its members to benchmark themselves, grow knowledge and determine best practice interventions.

    “It shows government that the logistics industry is taking a responsible lead in this area. The scheme is a good platform for communication between industry and government on how future policy can help our mutual aims of reducing logistics carbon emissions.”

    Since its formation in December 2009, LCRS has come to represent 59 companies operating between them over 56,000 commercial vehicles (HGVs and vans). Last year it secured the endorsement of Logistics Minister Mike Penning MP.

    Jim York, Head of Go-Green at DHL Logistics, said:

    “As one of the founding members of FTA’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme, DHL is pleased to continue its support for this initiative. Having derived tangible benefit from our own carbon reduction programme, we are delighted that the UK transport industry is coming together to accelerate the pace of environmental improvement; the more companies that join the scheme, the greater our chances of collectively defining industry best practice and reducing emissions in line with UK government targets.”

    Carbon dioxide emissions from freight represent 30 per cent of all transport emissions, and the industry recognises it has an important role in bringing overall levels of carbon dioxide emissions down. Unlike national reduction targets which commit the UK to an absolute cut in carbon dioxide emissions, the scheme’s target focuses on producing less carbon per unit of resource or activity. This means that LCRS results are not skewed by outside influences which impact the volume of commercial vehicles on our roads, such as the economy.

    Simon Chapman, FTA’s Chief Economist, concluded:

    “Cutting carbon and cutting costs can often go hand in hand. As well as demonstrating the industry’s commitment to reducing its emissions, the scheme is acting as a catalyst for business improvement for the organisations that have joined. There is no shortage of ideas of ways businesses can reduce carbon from their transport activity, including investment in alternative fuels, use of rail freight, driver training, telematics and traffic office IT, but many require long term commitment and upfront capital cost. The progress made in 2010 is particularly impressive given the commercial pressures that the backdrop of economic uncertainty creates for business.”

    Organisations can join the scheme by contacting Rachael Dillon, Climate Change Policy Manager, Freight Transport Association. Email rdillon@fta.co.uk