So the Energy Saving Trust is into freight these days: big trucks pounding Europe’s roads, that kind of thing. A far cry from CFL light bulbs, don’t you reckon?
Don’t worry, though. We still like CFLs and everything concerned with cutting carbon in our homes, and GreenFreight Europe, one of our very latest projects, is not a major departure from work we were doing already.
Two things we’ve always had a major interest in are transport and European initiatives that can have a positive impact in the UK. This one, which brings these two elements together, is undoubtedly a biggy, mind, both in scale and the kind of companies who are playing a leading role.
There are some big players involved: Heineken, DHL, the Dow Chemical Company and IKEA to name but a few, and after expanding from a small base, the aim is to change best practice in the movement of goods across Europe towards greener alternatives in a sweeping way. So how did we end up mixing with these behemoths?
Well, if you’re working in logistics, you need your aims to be achieved in a way that isn’t a logistical nightmare – you need the data to back it up, and it needs to be independent. This kind of thing is something we’re good at.
We’ve been working with businesses and organisations, as well as the Department for Transport for a long time now, in measuring the carbon footprint of workplace transport and coming up with ways of bringing it down. In this case, we’re designing and will host a central database to calculate, validate and benchmark the environmental performance of transportation companies across the continent.
It’s set up to harmonise the calculation of environmental performance of carriers, basically ensuring that no-one can now ‘cop out’ by claiming a set of universally-agreed numbers aren’t there for them to build a sustainable business case. There’ll be total clarity in reporting emissions, and so we’ll all be able to see the good (and indeed not so good) performers in bringing products to our shelves.
Despite much different work areas, there are similarities between this and a Welsh water/ energy scheme we talked about here recently, in that the inspiration comes from a success further from home. In this case it’s Smartway, that’s been going for eight years now in the States and has made serious moves to reduce the carbon footprint of products.
All in all, we’re excited to be in such powerful company on this one, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on progress.