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29 February 2012 | Adam Leach
Companies such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland and
have removed 204 million heavy-goods vehicle miles by reducing empty lorry
loads and increasing the use of rail freight.
Figures published this week by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) revealed 43 companies in the food and grocery sector have worked
to remove the equivalent of 3,500 lorries from UK roads by managing their
deliveries more efficiently between 2007 and 2011.
Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive at
IGD, said: “Meeting this latest target is a notable milestone, but the
industry’s commitment to transport sustainability doesn’t stop here. IGD
continues to bring a wide range of food companies together to offer fresh
thinking on how they can co-operate in a positive way.”
Initiatives carried out to reach the target
included the sharing of trucks between competitors to minimise the number of
empty lorries, using technology to monitor traffic and switch to more efficient
routes and changing distribution from road to rail. The IGD supported the
companies by sharing examples of best practice across the industry and holding
a forum for supply chain directors to collaborate through.
Chris Poole, customer services and
logistics director at drinks company Diageo, which participated in the scheme, said: “This is a great
example of how collaboration between suppliers and retailers can deliver
tangible benefits to consumers and have a positive impact on the environment.
There’s more to do, but taking 200 million miles off the road is a major
achievement on which to build.”
In December, a report by the Waste &
Resources Action Programme found collaboration
between food retailers and their suppliers had resulted in 260,000 tonnes of
waste being removed from the supply chain.