Consultants in Logistics

The Journey To Net Zero - Advice and Support

The Journey To Net Zero - Advice and Support

Almost all organisations recognise the critical importance of meeting net zero and sustainability goals. The challenge is how to progress towards these goals whilst maintaining a viable business in difficult times.

Contents

Background

Economic Background

The economic climate remains extremely challenging for many organisations. High interest rates, increased taxation, and reduced disposable incomes have all contributed to reduced revenues and lower margins for many sectors of the economy. There is a concern that the UK economy may not achieve the economic activity enjoyed prior to the pandemic until 2028. Most organisations are having to be extremely cautious with regards to investing in new initiatives.

Targets

In June 2019, the UK parliament passed legislation requiring the government to reduce the UK’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100% relative to 1990 levels by 2050.

In 2020, the UK government further committed to reduce greenhouse gases to 68% of the 1990 level by 2030. The Mayor of London has committed to achieving net zero for London by 2030.

At the moment we do not appear to be on target to meet intermediate reduction goals.

The Logistics Industry

The logistics sector is now the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the UK, surpassing energy generation.

The main reason for this is the continuing dependence on fossil fuels. Battery-powered vehicles have made some inroads into the light van and cargo bike market, but this is relatively small. Greater progress has been made with the introduction of biofuel as a replacement for diesel. However, diesel fuel still accounts for approximately 90% of greenhouse gas emissions within the logistics industry.

Customer Expectation

Concerns about global warming and the impact on the environment are now widely held by businesses and consumers alike.

Failure to act will increasingly have an impact on customer preferences and future sales, irrespective of any future government legislation. Younger generations, in particular, will make purchasing decisions partly based on the actions taken to avoid damaging the environment.

The Challenge

The challenge for all organisations now is how to implement a zero-emissions plan to meet both anticipated government legislation and customer demands without undermining the commercial viability of the organisation in a difficult economic environment.

The purpose of this document is to explain the support that Davies & Robson can offer.

The Davies & Robson Journey to Net Zero

Introduction

Net zero will be achieved by a combination of the following:

  • Changes in business practices
  • Technological innovation & implementation
  • Carbon offsetting

Whilst some actions can be taken now others will take place as new technologies emerge.

Currently, net zero is not possible for most organisations without the use of carbon offsetting. However, with the level of investment going into alternative energy sources, particularly batteries, it is reasonable to expect that newer, cleaner forms of energy will increasingly replace fossil fuels.

In the long term, carbon offsetting will increasingly be seen as a failure to tackle the problem at its source.

A Three Stage Process

The Davies & Robson Journey to Net Zero consists of three stages:

  • Stage 1: establishing a base-year carbon footprint measurement and processes
  • Stage 2: implementing improved business processes
  • Stage 3: implementing new technology

Stage 1 – Establishing a year can usually be completed in a matter of days depending on the availability of data and the complexity of the operation. Allocation to products and services can take longer.

Stage 2 – Implementing a plan for improved business processes will depend on what the company has achieved already.

Stage 3 – Implementing new technology will be an ongoing process of identifying and evaluating how new technology can be used.

Stage 1 – Establishing a Base Year Measurement Process and Allocating Emissions to Activity

The first step in reducing emissions is to establish the 'Base' for the previous 12 months. Davies & Robson will provide the list of data required to attribute emissions to activities, products, and customers if required.

A key feature of the measurement process is to be able to advise customers of the carbon content of the goods and services they purchase from you.

The measurement process is also likely to involve determining emissions from organisations that supply your company. The classification of sources are as follows:

  • Scope 1 – direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by a company
  • Scope 2 – indirect emissions from purchased electricity, steam, heat, and cooling
  • Scope 3 – all other emissions associated with a company's activities

 

 

A key feature of the measurement process is to be able to advise customers of the carbon content of the goods and services they purchase from you.

A key feature of Stage 1 is to put in place an ongoing measurement process to monitor the results of actions taken to reduce greenhouse gases. Ideally, this information should be recorded and reported monthly within management reports.

Stage 2 - Implementing Improved Business Processes

Stage 2 is to determine what can be achieved without the implementation of new technology.

Typically this will include the following:

  • The reduction of waste
  • Improved recycling
  • Improved insulation
  • Reduction of vehicle mileage by improving operational solutions, productivity, & utilisation
  • Reviewing minimum order quantities and delivery lead times for both purchase and sales to improve operational efficiency
  • Reduced operating hours of MHE by improved processes

Stage 2 is usually self-funding as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions usually correlates with a reduction in costs.

Stage 3 - Implementation of New Technology

Davies & Robson continue to monitor the emergence of new technologies to determine their applicability and cost implications.  With road transport the primary focus has been on:

  • The use of biofuels
  • Battery powered vehicles
  • Hydrogen powered vehicles

The use of biofuels is now well established and, whilst more expensive than diesel, represents a credible alternative to fossil fuels. There are now various types of biofuels on the market.

Battery power has developed substantially in recent years, and for many applications, battery-powered vehicles are now a practical alternative to diesel. The primary disadvantages, as the range has increased, are weight and cost. At present, battery-powered vehicles are primarily suitable for bike and van operations.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been developing rapidly, and hydrogen-powered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are becoming more viable as a clean alternative to diesel. As a result, several manufacturers have begun producing hydrogen fuel cell HGVs, with pilot projects and early-stage deployments taking place around the world. While the infrastructure for hydrogen refueling stations is still limited, it is expected to grow in the coming years, further supporting the adoption of hydrogen-powered HGVs in the logistics industry.

Wind and solar are now well-established sources of renewable energy.

New technologies will have to be integrated into existing infrastructure.  Increasingly, the implications of upgrades will have to be considered at the design stage for both new builds and refurbishment projects. This is particularly relevant for the installation of electric vehicle charging points, alternate fuel-storage facilities, and green energy generation infrastructure, such as solar panels and wind turbines.

Depending on range, the use of battery powered vehicles could have implications for depot networks requiring more cross-dock facilities to reduce radial mileage.

Davies & Robson Support

A Lifetime of Innovation

Davies & Robson has extensive experience reviewing, evaluating, and implementing new technologies in transport, materials handling, and IT.

Emerging technologies must be thoroughly evaluated so their operational and commercial impacts are understood prior to implementation. Our aim is to help logistics providers remain competitive by meeting customer drive for improvement without sacrificing business performance or viability.

Summary of Services

Davies & Robson offer a range of services to support organisations in their journey to net zero. These include:

  • Advice on emissions-related legislation
  • Advice on measuring and reporting standards and frameworks
  • Advice on what to measure and how to measure – defining the scope of measurement
  • Advice on data gathering and preparation of data requests
  • Advice on data integrity and improvements
  • Calculating a base-year measurement
  • Advice on industry-standard KPIs and required data
  • Advice on client reporting
  • Path to fleet sustainability research report – outline vehicles and fuel types.
  • Outline carbon reduction plans/options

If you would like further information on how Davies & Robson can support your journey to net zero we would welcome a conversation.  Please call 01327 349090 or email us info@daviesrobson.co.uk 

View our recent work with Knowles Transport and their journey to Net-Zero:

knowles transports journey to net zero supply chain emissions

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