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COP26: Logistics UK’s Route to Net Zero webinar well received by industry

Logistics UK’s Route to Net Zero webinar received an overwhelmingly positive response from members interested in taking the next steps towards decarbonising their transport operations.

More than 300 delegates registered to attend the virtual event, held yesterday (10 November 2021) on Transport Day, the tenth day of the international COP26 conference.

Speaking from Glasgow, David Wells, Logistics UK’s Chief Executive, welcomed delegates and introduced three guest speakers: Andy Eastlake from Zemo Partnership, Elaine Pringle from Scottish Water, and Jackie Hewson from the John Lewis Partnership.


Formally launching the business group’s Route to Net Zero: A Manifesto for Logistics, Wells said: Tackling climate change is top of the political agenda and today is formally transport day at COP26. We know that right now, world leaders are discussing binding commitments on how to tackle transport emissions across the globe, with a particular focus on road transport.”

Following confirmation from the government that all new HGVs will be zero emission by 2040, Wells argued that while discussions over phase out dates of internal combustion engines are of interest to the sector, his members needed more detail on the technologies that will help replace the diesel vehicles it relies on as business tools.

“As they look to plan for the years and decades to come, they need long-term certainty on the policy, regulatory and taxation framework that will sit alongside any phase out dates so they can make business and investment decisions,” he said.


During the summer Logistics UK launched its Route to Net Zero campaign to highlight the work already taking place across the sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of this campaign, the business group asked its members to sign up and make a commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as quickly and effectively as possible.

“We have already had a positive response from our members,” Wells said, “and we are delighted that two of the first signatories, John Lewis Partnership and Scottish Water, are joining us this morning to talk about the steps they have taken so far to decarbonise, and their plans going forward.”


Wells paid tribute to the decarbonisation activity already taking place across the logistics sector, not least the fact that by the end of the year, more than two out of three HGVs are predicted to be Euro VI vehicles.

“Net zero route maps, electric vans, trucks running on vegetable oil and biogas, more freight on rail, sustainable aviation fuel being utilised – there really is a lot happening,” he said.


Wells stressed that urgent action is needed to decarbonise road transport as it produces the greatest emissions across the transport sector. While the uptake of battery electric vans is growing, for HGVs the picture is more uncertain, with debate ongoing as to whether battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell or electric road systems are the right solution.


On modal shift, Wells said that Logistics UK had called for full use of rail and water freight for years, as it helps reduce emissions by removing vehicles from the road. The business group also supports the introduction of a growth target for rail freight and a pledge to pursue infill electrification schemes for freight decarbonisation. As aviation accounts for 40% of imports and exports by value, Logistics UK supports the government’s recent announcements on developing sustainable aviation fuels and zero emission flights.

“As an industry, we want to continue to work with the government, policymakers and stakeholders through collaboration that will see the most effective action,” Wells concluded, “We hope this manifesto will help support these conversations.”

The one-hour launch webinar is free to watch back for both Logistics UK members and non-members alike. To view the webinar, which includes contributions from guest speakers from the Zemo Partnership, Scottish Water and John Lewis Partnership, and download The Route to Net Zero: A Manifesto for Logistics, please visit the link below. 


Published On: 11/11/2021 16:00:27


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