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Freight Emissions Guidance


Ever wondered what the CO2 impact is from the logistics used to transport goods to you? – well, now there is guidance on how to calculate this.

The Freight Transport Association has welcomed new Department for Transport-led guidance aimed at providing help to logistics carriers in calculating and reporting direct emissions of greenhouse gases from their freight transport operations.

‘Guidance on measuring and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from freight transport operations’ takes existing general business guidance on voluntary reporting which was published in October 2009 and provides more specific information and examples relating to freight transport activities.

Simon Chapman, FTA’s Chief Economist said: “More and more hauliers and rail service providers are being asked by their customers for greenhouse gas data linked to the freight movements they are undertaking. This new guidance will help ensure that carriers can provide data using a consistent approach.

“In addition, when they are moving freight for several customers on the same journey, the emissions from that journey can now be allocated using an approach that is recognised across the industry. Crucially the guidance is not prescriptive in the data elements needed to derive an emissions footprint. If data is not available, then it recognises that proxy measures for emissions can be used.”

The guidance is based on the established international approach created by the Greenhouse Protocol. It should therefore fit into existing measurement and reporting activities undertaken by companies.

Additionally, the datasets are aligned to the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme – a voluntary approach by the logistics sector to record emissions and report progress over time towards helping to meet Government targets for carbon dioxide reduction to 2020. This means that one set of data can be used to report emissions at both an individual company level and an aggregated sector level.

‘Guidance on measuring and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from freight transport operations’ was developed by a cross-industry steering group involving the Department for Transport, trade associations representing the logistics sector and a cross-section of UK distribution businesses. The report can be downloaded from:

The Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme is an industry-led initiative enabling individual businesses to record and report the progress they are making in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from their freight transport operations. The scheme was launched in July 2010 and in the first quarter of 2011 will publicly report the sector’s contribution to national targets to cut greenhouse gases using 2005 as a base year. In addition to tracking historical emissions data the scheme will set an emission reduction target for the sector for 2015. The scheme is supported by best practice advice on proven practices that operators can implement to cut emissions.