Environmental Performance in the Road Freight Sector

A recent study1 on the environmental performance of the road freight industry by the National Materials Handling Centre (NMHC) at Cranfield Institute of Technology found that 56% of firms had no environmental policy and 64% did not adhere to industry code of practices. And 75% had no plans to improve their environmental performance. The figures are similar for environmental monitoring. 70% of respondents reported limited or no voluntary monitoring of their environmental impacts, while 69% did not issue guidance to employees to ensure that environmental standards were observed. Only 3%, and not one trade association, claimed to have comprehensive environmental management training programmes. Companies also scored poorly when asked what steps they took to ensure high environmental standards when buying or hiring vehicles. Only 38% had specifications for noise, 30% for emissions, 48% for spray suppression and 52% for fuel consumption. "If management want to set the pace rather than accept Government imposed standards," the report concluded, "market leaders must cooperate by working together to establish voluntary standards, procedures and codes to operate, whilst legislation follows to eliminate the rogue operators."

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