Logistics is once again at the forefront of carbon-cutting measures, following today’s launch of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) new Low Carbon Supply Chain Steering Group. Leading trade body Freight Transport Association (FTA), which launched its own carbon programme in 2007, has welcomed the move.
The industry-led group includes representatives from all modes of transport and will manage the development of a voluntary scheme so that transport operators can record, report and reduce their freight carbon emissions. The group will also provide a framework for Government to reward industry for future cuts in green house emissions through tax breaks and more sympathetic regulation. FTA hopes that the group will standardise practical and effective recording, reporting, reducing and rewarding techniques.
James Hookham, FTA’s Managing Director of Policy and Communications, said:
"FTA has led the way in recording, reporting and reducing carbon emissions within the logistics sector. With the establishment of this group, we are now looking to the Government to reward those who embrace this philosophy, rather than punitively taxing them.
"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."
A report by Heriot Watt University recently revealed that CO2 emissions from the logistics industry had risen by just ten per cent between 1990 and 2005, 20 per cent less than previous Government estimates.
Transport Minister Paul Clark 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 today 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 complex freight and logistics transport supply chains.
"This is a critical first step towards the development of a low carbon logistics transport supply chain."
"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."