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Overcoming environmental challenges

23 October 2015

Rachael Dillon, the Freight Transport Association’s climate change policy manager, looks at ways in which the FTA can help with some of the environmental challenges faced by the logistics industry.

From 5 December 2015 large companies have to comply with the requirements of the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) - the Government’s new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme.

ESOS is the UK’s response to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive demanding that all large enterprises conduct energy audits every four years. The first audit must be completed by 5 December and the aim is to help companies review their operations with an emphasis on improving efficiency and saving money.

Businesses with more than 250 employees or an annual turnover exceeding £39 million and a balance sheet exceeding £33.5 million are required to complete an ESOS audit and report the results to the Environment Agency, which is administrating the scheme.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has been urging companies to ensure they have plans in place to meet the new requirements, which cover buildings, transport and industrial operations. This includes freight where the company purchases the fuel, but sub-contracted transport is excluded.

Companies are required to:

measure total energy consumption across transport, buildings and industrial activities.

conduct energy audits to identify cost-effective energy efficiency recommendations.

appoint an ESOS Lead Assessor to either carry out, oversee or approve audits.

report compliance to the Environment Agency.

Companies aren’t obliged to implement any of the energy-saving recommendations made by the auditor. However, it’s unlikely that they won’t want to adopt money-saving and efficiency improvements to their operations.

ESOS is expected to cover over 10,000 UK organisations and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says that adopting subsequent energy efficiency measures could deliver the UK £2.8 billion savings a year. However, it’s undeniable that there are cost and time implications for companies as they grapple with the new requirements of energy audits.

ESOS is a seen as a relatively light touch approach to deliver energy savings but FTA believes that it adds to a crowded area of legislation – many members already have to take part in the Carbon Reduction Commitment and mandatory GHG reporting.  The good news is that DECC has noted the relevance of FTA’s managed Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) to help members comply with the transport elements of ESOS.

FTA is also an accredited ESOS Lead Assessor and our consultancy team can help identify a plan of action and the best steps to satisfy ESOS requirements. We offer a team of assessors that can provide specialised freight transport audits to ensure compliance with ESOS for commercial vehicle fleets.

FTA’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme is included in Government best practice guidance to help freight operators to compile data for ESOS and take action to reduce energy in transport.o sign up, visit www.fta.co.uk/lcrs

We also have the expertise and experience to offer practical energy efficiency recommendations to ensure your business can save energy and costs following audit. FTA has a compliance briefing note available giving further guidance and support on how to comply with ESOS www.fta.co.uk/policy_and_compliance/environment/energy_savings_opportunity_scheme.html

Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme

The Freight Transport Association initiated and manages the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) – a free voluntary initiative to record, report and reduce carbon emissions. Our industry partner is Bridgestone.  Without industry taking action, FTA is concerned that Government may seek to regulate carbon emissions from freight.

The LCRS allows the UK logistics sector to publicly report its contribution to national carbon reductions targets for the first time. The Department for Transport (DfT) has endorsed the scheme and its evidence has already directly resulted in Government continuing to support a voluntary approach to carbon reduction.

The LCRS works by measuring fuel usage – figures are aggregated and totals are reported periodically. It also tracks improvements in carbon emissions and fuel efficiency over time.

The scheme is free to join, confidential, demonstrates green credentials, provides methodology for recording and reporting carbon emissions and carries weight with Government. Already 110 companies with more than 75,000 vehicles are on board. More details are available at http://www.fta.co.uk/policy_and_compliance/environment/logistics_carbon_reduction_scheme.html



FTA calls on Government to support logistics apprenticeships

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) called on the Government to support logistics industry apprenticeships in its submission to the Transport Select Committee inquiry into skills and workforce planning in the road haulage sector.

FTA estimates a shortfall of around 60,000 drivers across the UK. FTA says the Government should ensure that apprenticeships are in place by 2017 to encourage younger people into the industry. The Association also wants to see the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan extended to enable financial support to fund licence acquisition. 

In a survey of FTA members in July 2015, more than 80% of companies reported delays in being able to hire permanent LGV drivers. Almost a third indicated they suffered lengthy delays or were unable to fill vacancies and two-thirds reported problems hiring temporary drivers through agencies.

FTA says more driver facilities need to be provided across the UK road network. Local authorities need to ensure that relevant business and industrial developments include provision for LGV parking and rest facilities.


Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of national and Regional Policy, said: "The Government needs to take urgent action to help the logistics industry tackle the driver shortage and attract younger people to the industry. Effective logistics are vital to the UK economy and it is vital that these issues are addressed before we reach crisis point.”


The FTA survey shows that 62% of LGV drivers are aged 45 or over – which is vastly different to the economy-wide demographics, where the population aged 45 years or older in employment is around 35%. Only 1% of employed drivers are currently under 25.

FTA last month embarked on its first engineer apprenticeships with Gist to offer would-be engineers the opportunities and experience to start their careers in logistics without going to university. FTA is working alongside Gist - the award-winning supply chain specialist - to ‘give something back’ to the industry.