A day doesn’t pass without emission reductions reaching the international agenda. The recent environment talks in Durban have underlined the increasing importance placed on reducing climate change. Emissions reduction policies inevitably filter down to industry and the public in the form of regulation and taxes sparking a heightened need for innovations to curb greenhouse gas output. Couriers and haulage companies are among those consistently urged to increase their environmentally friendly commitments.
Transport and logistics services are undoubtedly a major contributor to CO2 emissions, despite providing a vital service to private and public interests there are still more steps to be taken to up the carbon efficiency of the sector. A recent survey conducted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed 31% of the UK’s 3.5 million vans failed to meet Euro-3 emission standards. Road freight especially is under pressure, in the UK new emission regulations and taxations could see an average man and van firm’s operating costs increase dramatically.
Emissions of CO2 rose by 5.9% in 2010, attributed to an economic turnaround. Increases continue to escalate despite strong pushes for more efficient transport. Saving money and saving the environment aren’t often seen as going hand in hand, however the inflated price of petrol and diesel coupled with increasingly harsh regulations on the highest emitting vehicles means that going green could be better for the bottom line as well as environmental welfare.
Many automobile marques are stepping up to the emissions challenge, developing better and more affordable eco-friendly LCVs. Brands such as Citroen are even offering subsidies to London-based hauliers on new vans. Additionally schemes are being implemented to make owning electric and hybrid vehicles more viable and attractive.
Robert Matthams, Managing Director of Shiply (http://www.shiply.com/) the online transport marketplace with more than 40,000 transport companies as members, speaks about how couriers need to adapt and the benefits of running a greener service.
“Emissions are on everyone’s mind, they’re one of the key indicators of a business’ efficiency nowadays. Reductions need to come to the delivery sector in order for it to remain competitive, most vans run on diesel now, but that alone is not going to cut it. Grants and subsidies are available to help when buying greener vehicles, and even small changes like retrofitting vehicles for emission reduction or making sure a courier doesn’t travel with an empty van can help save money and carbon.
Changing vehicle is expensive but running an inefficient one could be more so. An electric van driver in London for example wouldn’t pay road tax or congestion charges and would avoid the future £100+/day LEZ charges. Given the new commitments being made to supporting electric, I expect some substantial changes ahead for the logistics sector. If fuel costs continue to rise the way they are I expect to see a lot more electric vehicles on the road.”