Exel Logistics: Limits on environmental improvement in the road freight business

Road transport is responsible for 18% of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions. At the forefront of environmental thinking within the road freight industry is Exel Logistics. But even Exel, with a self-imposed fuel efficiency target, expects to see its fuel consumption rise by 5-10% per year. Reductions in the sector's CO2 emissions will depend on changes in the market framework within which it operates.

A recent survey of environmental management practices in the road freight industry by Cranfield Institute of Technology yielded findings which are probably not atypical of most sectors of British business. Barely half the firms surveyed had taken the first step of establishing an environmental policy, and practices and procedures to achieve environmental improvement were even thinner on the ground (see box).

In January, however, Exel Logi

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