In lieu of any meaningful progress at last month’s Copenhagen climate summit, the freight industry is leading the debate on how to record and sensibly reduce its own carbon emissions. A brand new voluntary scheme led by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) will benchmark the logistics sector’s carbon footprint, giving policy makers a reliable evidence base for future carbon reduction strategies.
The Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) aims to record, report and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the freight transport sector. It has been backed by some of FTA’s leading members, which represent over 23,000 commercial vehicles.
Stewart Oades, FTA president, said:
"Climate change is too important to ignore and in the absence of international agreement over how to tackle it, the logistics sector has grasped the nettle. We take our environmental responsibility very seriously and FTA has positioned itself at the vanguard for carbon reporting and, subsequently, reducing its footprint.
"We look forward to working with the Department for Transport in developing a robust and consistent carbon measurement and reporting method."
Under the scheme, LCRS members will be committed to submit their fuel data to FTA for analysis to provide an accurate picture of the logistics sector’s carbon footprint. This will allow government to base its carbon reduction policy on hard evidence.
"There is a real will within the industry to take responsibility for its impact on the environment and FTA members already invest millions in cleaner and greener engines. However, it is not easy being green in the haulage sector and fuel duty has been the weapon of choice used to beat companies into submission, despite the fact that this has no real bearing on the amount of diesel burned by the sector."
Freight and logistics movements are responsible for around 30 per cent of transport emissions, but without them the economy and essential services would grind to a halt.
"We need to start making intelligent decisions if we want to make a meaningful reduction in our carbon output without doing irreparable damage to British business along the way. Before we do this we need to know precisely how many tonnes of CO2 we are responsible for as an industry."
The LCRS will be opened up to all operators of commercial vehicles to join from early 2010. FTA will report its first data collection cycle in January 2011, and every twelve months thereafter.