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DfT minister welcomes pioneering voluntary agreement to cut carbon emissions from freight transport

The Freight Transport Association has warmly welcomed ministerial endorsement of the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme in a letter to its Chief Executive Theo de Pencier, received on 7 April 2011. The scheme, which was launched in July 2010, is a key part of the logistics industry’s response to meeting the challenge of climate change. Scheme members commit to regularly reporting their fuel use figures from which carbon dioxide emissions for the scheme are derived, together with a set of four activity and business-based normalisers. From these datasets, absolute levels of emissions and the relative improvement in emissions over time can be monitored.

The scheme has secured director-level commitment from almost 50 organisations operating some 40,000 commercial vehicles, with a strong pipeline of operators going through the sign-up process. Participants range from high street retailers, utilities and third party logistics companies to relatively modest sized hauliers.

Mike Penning, transport minister at the Department for Transport, said:

"I welcome the Freight Transport Association’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme. The fact that it already covers nearly 40,000 vehicles – and will expand to cover more – will help to provide a detailed picture of the quantity and trend of carbon emissions by the freight industry and show that it is capable of working together, voluntarily, to tackle its harmful emissions. The scheme is the first of its kind for the freight sector, and should deliver real progress toward the UK’s carbon reduction targets."

Scheme members have also committed to reduce the carbon dioxide intensity of their logistics operations by 8 per cent by 2015 compared to a 2010 base line. The 8 per cent fall over five years reflects planned changes at an operator level in vehicle fuel efficiency, improvements in vehicle productivity, greater use of rail freight and uptake of alternatively fuelled commercial vehicles.

FTA President Stewart Oades said:

"Climate change is one of the greatest transport policy challenges facing the government. The Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme forms an important part of industry’s response to that challenge by capturing the progress that is being made by individual businesses in reducing the carbon emissions from their freight transport activities and, for the first time, committing the scheme membership as a whole to a future carbon reduction trajectory. The minister’s endorsement of the scheme at this time transforms it from a pioneering initiative to a mainstream policy instrument."

Historic trends in emissions have been tracked, where data is available, back as far as 2005. This has given industry confidence that the datasets being monitored are providing a credible picture at an aggregated level, and that the information is based on data which is already compiled within companies as part of operational key performance indicators and management reporting.

Steve Agg, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, said:

"Reducing carbon emissions by cutting fuel use regularly makes business sense as well. As a result, there are already a number of schemes available to individual businesses to measure their carbon emissions, including the Institute’s ‘Carbon Active’ tool. What the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme does for the first time is to bring the carbon reduction efforts of individual companies together and use this to influence the government’s approach to tackling carbon emissions from freight. We believe working with industry towards a shared vision is the best way of doing this, rather than simply adding more regulation and taxation onto businesses."

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