There is an urgent need to decarbonise the logistics industry but further government clarity on the route to net zero is required immediately to ensure businesses have the confidence and certainty needed to invest in low emission solutions, according to Logistics UK. The business group launches its report, Decarbonising Logistics: The journey to net zero today (11 May 2022).  

Michelle Gardner, Acting Deputy Director – Public Policy at Logistics UK, comments: “With climate change one of the most pressing challenges facing the global community, logistics businesses are taking steps to support the UK’s decarbonisation agenda, but our members need further clarity and confidence to make business investment decisions.  To achieve this, we are calling on government to undertake several essential actions, including rethinking the regulatory framework for zero tailpipe emission vehicles and drivers and setting out the ways that the UK’s energy infrastructure and networks are going to be upgraded to ensure sufficient power is available to the logistics sector, once petrol and diesel are no longer fuelling options. The government must also support trials of zero tailpipe emission technologies at scale and for extended periods in real world situations. 

“The logistics industry wants to play its part in ensuring the UK reaches its climate change targets on the journey to net zero, but it cannot do it alone. With the right support, the logistics industry can move quicker on the journey to decarbonisation.”

The UK’s independent Climate Change Committee (CCC) has said that the UK is not currently on track to meet its fourth (2023-27) or the fifth (2028-32) carbon budgets. To achieve net zero, the CCC says the reductions in GHG emissions will need to accelerate, making it clear that we must see greater progression towards net zero from all sectors of the economy.  

Ms Gardner continues “Decarbonising Logistics: The journey to net zero builds on Logistics UK’s Route to Net Zero Commitment, which helps to shine a light on the sector’s decarbonisation transition; all the members signed up to the commitment have proved they are willing to go the extra mile for the environment. While the determination from industry may be there, the road to net zero is paved with uncertainty – currently there is no mass market zero emission HGV available, for example, and very limited alternative fuel or refuelling network. Through this new report, we highlight the areas of action that are needed to help progress the industry’s decarbonisation journey and make net zero a reality.” 

UPS, DHL UK, John Lewis Partnership, Wincanton, Tarmac, Scottish Water, Royal Borough of Greenwich, and John Raymond Transport are some of the companies to sign up to Logistics UK’s Route to Net Zero commitment, pledging to decarbonise their operations as quickly and as effectively as possible to help speed up the UK’s path to net zero by 2050. 

Logistics UK’s first Decarbonising Logistics: The journey to net zero report was launched at Logistics UK’s Future Logistics Conference at ITT (Innovation & Technology in Transport) Hub at the Farnborough International Conference & Exhibition Centre. The report assesses current progress by the sector against the UK government’s policy framework. Split by transport mode, the report looks in detail at the government’s policy direction and fiscal incentives, relevant technology and infrastructure developments, and test projects, in addition to the sector’s progress to date in response. 

To view the report, please visit logistics.org.uk/campaigns/research-hub/reports/decarbonising-logistics-report  

Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit logistics.org.uk