The Freight Transport Association has welcomed new Department for Transport-led guidance aimed at providing help to logistics carriers in calculating and reporting direct emissions of greenhouse gases from their freight transport operations. ‘Guidance on measuring and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from freight transport operations’ takes existing general business guidance on voluntary reporting which was published in October 2009 and provides more specific information and examples relating to freight transport activities.
Simon Chapman, FTA’s Chief Economist said:
"More and more hauliers and rail service providers are being asked by their customers for greenhouse gas data linked to the freight movements they are undertaking. This new guidance will help ensure that carriers can provide data using a consistent approach. In addition, when they are moving freight for several customers on the same journey, the emissions from that journey can now be allocated using an approach that is recognised across the industry. Crucially the guidance is not prescriptive in the data elements needed to derive an emissions footprint. If data is not available, then it recognises that proxy measures for emissions can be used."
The guidance is based on the established international approach created by the Greenhouse Protocol. It should therefore fit into existing measurement and reporting activities undertaken by companies. Additionally, the datasets are aligned to the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme – a voluntary approach by the logistics sector to record emissions and report progress over time towards helping to meet Government targets for carbon dioxide reduction to 2020. This means that one set of data can be used to report emissions at both an individual company level and an aggregated sector level.
"The support by FTA and other industry stakeholders for widespread adoption of the guidance among businesses reinforces industry’s commitment to measuring and reducing its emissions of its own volition. Government is currently reviewing the case for mandatory greenhouse gas reporting as required under the Climate Change Act 2009. Its existing general business guidance voluntary reporting is barely a year old. Instead of reaching for the regulatory lever with at best a flimsy evidence base for such a heavy-handed approach, it should give industry time to allow a voluntary reporting approach to work."