Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Reduce the environmental impact of transport logistics

Plan vehicle use to cut CO2 emissions

Rethinking your logistics - the planning and implementation of moving goods and supplying services - can help you reduce your environmental impact.

If your business transports either your own or another organisation's freight, improving your systems may benefit your business and reduce your impact on the environment.

For example, if your business is making and receiving deliveries to and from a warehouse, it might make sense to have one central distribution centre. This could be cost-effective and has less environmental impact than a dispersed distribution system.

Moving freight by rail or water instead of by road can help reduce the environmental impact of logistics and be good for your business. However, switching freight to rail or water may require capital expenditure on new facilities for handling equipment, or new connections to the rail and waterway networks.

Fuel accounts for at least 30 per cent of operating costs of most road freight transport operations, so you should start by improving fuel management.

There are a number of free tools and products to help businesses improve operational efficiency and reduce fuel consumption of road freight:

Transport Scotland: Freight best practice guides

To reduce your carbon footprint further you should also consider the journeys that suppliers of goods and services make to and from your premises. You could aim to use local businesses where possible and check out your suppliers' environmental credentials by asking to see their environmental reports and policies.

Helping employees to plan their journeys effectively and encouraging them to drive safely and efficiently can help reduce fuel costs and improve the environmental and safety performance of your business. See the page in this guideline on Using work vehicles efficiently.

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