FDF's Ambition for Fewer Transport Miles
Embed environmental standards in our members' transport practices, including
contracts with hauliers as they fall for renewal, to achieve fewer and friendlier
food transport miles and to make a contribution to the Freight Transport
Association administered Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme target to reduce the carbon
intensity of freight operations by 8% by 2015 against a 2010 baseline.
FDF members have been working with industry partners, including retailers and
transport providers, to deliver this ambition through collaborative projects
taking into account FDF’s 10 point checklist for greener food transport. In
particular, FDF members committed to embedding environmental standards into their
transport practices, including their contracts with road hauliers as they fall for
renewal, to achieve 'fewer and friendlier' food transport miles.
A quantifiable transport target was included in the Five-fold Environmental
Ambition in 2011 in the form of FDF members making a contribution to IGD’s ECR
Sustainable Distribution Initiative target to save a cumulative 200 million HGV miles
across the food and grocery sector over the period 2007-12. Results from IGD
show that the food and grocery sector removed 204 million HGV miles from UK roads
over 2007 – 2012 and achieved the 200 million target a year early despite tough
During 2013 we realigned our transport ambition to include making a contribution
to the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme target to reduce the carbon intensity
of freight operations by 8% by 2015 compared to 2010. This was in order to
maintain a hard target now that the IGD HGV mile saving target had been achieved in
2012. The Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme is a collective, voluntary initiative,
managed by the Freight Transport Association, open to any business which
purchases fuel for one or more commercial vehicles.
Delivering Our Ambition
Our members have continued to embed environmental standards in their food
transport practices, whether contracted out to third party hauliers or undertaken in
house, to achieve fewer and friendlier food transport miles. This is reflected in
many of the case studies in our latest Five-fold Environmental Ambition report.
Results for the first year of the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme showed that
it delivered a 2.8% reduction in overall CO2e emissions in 2011 compared to
2010. This suggests that the Scheme is well on track to meeting its 2015 target.
We are now looking at further opportunities to publicise the work of FDF members
involved in the Scheme with a view to generating more support from food and
drink companies and/or their third party hauliers.
Our 10-Point Checklist
FDF’s 10 point checklist for greener food transport remains the cornerstone of
the efforts by our members to reduce their transport impacts. It summarises
transport environmental best practice and serves as a review aid for members to
best practice in the day-to-day operation of their own fleets or for
incorporation in the contractual relationship with third party hauliers where
contracted out.. The Checklist covers key issues such as maximising vehicle
loading, the ratio of trailers to tractors, empty running, driver training and
Few people in modern societies are self-sufficient in food and drink. It is
generally provided on a commercial scale and transported from plough to plate
a globally competitive market. The contribution of transport to the
environmental impact of food production is frequently over-estimated and in
accounts for only a small percentage of total footprint. But it does add
costs and also gives rise to a range of indirect effects, including traffic
congestion. It is therefore a very clear example of where improved efficiency
good business sense for everyone.
The goal is to ensure efficient food and drink distribution to meet consumer
demand. Very few food and drink manufacturers have their own transport but
it out to third party transport providers. Achieving 'fewer and
miles requires joined-up industry action.
Footnote 1: Beyond primary production, e.g. the farmgate.
Footnote 2: Reducing the external costs of the domestic transportation of food
by the food
industry, Faber Maunsell, 2007 and research by AEA published in
Last reviewed: 28 Jan 2014