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Food industry takes the lead on green schemes

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: More than 80% of supply chain professionals believe their business has a scheme in place to make their distribution performance more sustainable, according to research by IGD.

Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, claimed that current research showed the food industry to be largely on board with the FISS Food Transportation Champions Group's efforts to help reduce the social, environmental and economic impacts of the industry by 20% by 2012.

"By reacting to consumer concerns, the industry has taken the lead on sustainability in a number of areas. It is at the stage of recognising the key sustainability issues, and developing capability to address them," she said.

"It is important that measures tackling the sustainability challenge are based on objective assessment, not emotion, and deliver tangible, measurable and commercially workable solutions," she said.

The six key food transport activities recommended by FISS in May this year include logistics system redesign, transport collaboration, vehicle telematics, out of hours deliveries, modern engine designs and larger delivery vehicles to reduce the number of journeys.

IGD said the aim of green schemes is to secure cultural changes and not just "quick fixes."

"The sustainability challenge of the future is different from the challenges of the past. Competition will continue to provide many solutions, as companies move to meet consumer demand for sustainable products.

"But competition alone will not meet the sustainability challenge. Greater collaboration will also be essential," IGD said.