Press Centre

ASDA TRAIN SAVES 22M ROAD MILES IN FIRST FIVE YEARS OF SERVICE

ASDA today (Monday, 30 October 2006) celebrated the fifth anniversary of its pioneering train service which transports groceries, general merchandise and clothing products from distribution centres in the Midlands to stores in Scotland. The daily service has clocked up more than 22m miles since it was launched in 2001.

By switching more of its freight to rail ASDA estimates it has reduced the overall number of road miles travelled by its fleet transport by around 5%, and is on course to hit a commitment to reduce the amount of carbon it produces by 80,000 metric tonnes by the end of 2008.

The ASDA train started running from Lutterworth, Corby and Brackmills depots in 2001 via the rail terminal at Daventry to a terminal in Grangemouth Scotland. Since then ASDA has sent an average of 26 containers per day north (totalling 30,000 containers), saving 20m road miles.

In 2004 the supermarket also began running trains from Grangemouth to stores in the Aberdeen area, saving a further two million road miles.

Ian Bowles environment manager at ASDA said: "Since 2001 we've slashed the number of ASDA lorries on the roads and significantly cut our carbon emissions as a result. This year we went one step further and opened a deep sea port facility in Teesside, cutting a further 1.5m road miles by shipping goods directly to the north by sea, rather than via southern ports like Felixstowe."

ASDA has a policy of collecting products from its suppliers on return trips from its stores to its depots saving half a million road miles each year. In addition the 750 lorries used in ASDA's fleet distribution network have been converted to run on a bio-diesel mix reducing carbon tail pipe emissions by 3%. Each truck is under four years old, making the fleet one of the most fuel efficient on UK roads.

Ian added: "As part of our on-going efforts to minimise CO2 emissions, we're also seeking planning permission to install two-mega-watt wind turbines at our depots. We aim to have five sites fully operational by the end of 2007 positioned across the UK."

ASDA is also working with Yorkshire Forward and the UK Carbon Trust. A ‘Carbon Club’ has also been established with 11 major suppliers to identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency in its supply chain.

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Posted in Press Centre on 30 October 2006