Cutting Carbon Emissions as a Transport Business

Recent news has reported that Britain’s carbon emissions are the lowest since 1890 – the year before penalties were first introduced to football. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43308567]

The main driver of the decline has been cited as the fall in coal use, as last year saw CO2 emissions from fossil fuels fall by 2.6%. However, while total emissions have been steadily decreasing since 2012, and are currently 38% below 1990 levels, what’s particularly striking is that emissions of cars have been going up.

Leo Hickman, editor of Carbon brief warned: “If the UK is to meet its climate targets over the next few decades, this rate of decline will need to be maintained, even accelerated.”

It is likely that the light will be shone even further on the transport and building sectors, and this is where we as a leader in our industry, have already started to make waves.

At Fowler Welch, while a large percentage of our business is based around transport, our carbon emissions strategy is certainly not exclusive to fleet.

By taking a holistic approach to carbon emissions, involving all departments and team members from boardroom to warehouse floor, we have seen incredibly strong results in our reduction of carbon emissions.

Our strategy involves looking across the business in its entirety, and from this we focused on three key areas of focus; transport, facilities and customers. The work we have implemented so far has achieved a results of 14% reduction in carbon impact and a staggering saving of over 10,000 tonnes of CO2.

In order to get ahead of the game and contribute to reducing the industry’s carbon emissions as a whole, here are our top recommendations:

  1. Make sure the whole business is on board. We have brought together key members of our senior team to head our emissions reduction strategy, so they all report in to each other which makes sure every aspect of the business is working in line with our goals. We also take great care in our internal communications of our plans, holding regular meetings and communicating updates and targets across the business, so every member of the Fowler Welch family is involved in our strategy.
  2. Constantly measure and evaluate what’s working and what’s not and have tangible targets that can easily be measured. An initial audit of which areas need the most support and which areas of the business will generate the strongest results will form a solid base from which to work. Finally, reliable data is vital in order to inform in-depth, achievable future strategies.
  3. Don’t work in isolation. In order to affect the industry as a whole, we have to work as an industry and some of the strongest results we’ve seen have been from collaborating with clients on innovative initiatives and developments. For example, developing Automated Pallet Delivery for a long standing customer, not only offered them a solution for empty backloads, reducing empty running by 252,000 but also reduced carbon emissions by 333 tonnes per year.

Carbon emissions will be an ongoing focus across the industry, and particularly as a transport-based business, it is our responsibility to do all we can to innovate and implement strategies that will contribute to a reduction in emissions, and at Fowler Welch we are committed to leading the industry in this.