Sustainability | Transport

17 million miles better

We have over 400 stores and our depots and offices are dotted all around the UK, so it’s easy to rack up the road miles! We’re looking at how we reduce the miles our transport fleets travel by thinking about the types of journeys we make.

We’ve taken action everywhere, from field to supermarket shelf. It’s taken everything from new technology to the commitment of our colleagues, and everyone from drivers to depot managers. But since 2005 we’ve travelled 17 million fewer miles, cutting the carbon emissions we produce by 42%.

Our distribution team’s mantra is ‘fewer and friendlier miles’. We’re avoiding unnecessary journeys by using local distribution hubs, and we’re asking local suppliers to pool their efforts and where possible deliver their goods to one local site so that we can pick up supplies from one spot.

We’re swapping aeroplanes and lorries for ships and trains where we can. By using trains as opposed to road delivery service, we’ve cut carbon emissions by around 80,000 tonnes since 2001.

We’re even developing innovative product packaging to lighten the load and pack more items into one lorry, transporting it all in one go.

Double-decker savings

Over the last 5 years our 245 new double-deck trailers have helped us save over 10 million road miles every year by doubling the amount we can carry in each journey.

Our latest innovation is a new design double-deck trailer that can be used to deliver to store. We’ve had to redesign the back of our stores so that colleagues can unload the new trailers. We now have 119 of these trailers that are saving over 5,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.

The right side of the tracks

We were one of the first retailers to switch to using rail in our distribution network. Since then we’ve been working to encourage other retailers and official bodies to get on board and endorse the use of rail.

Rail is a better option than road freight because it can be shared by several retailers or suppliers, helping to maximise each journey. In fact, each of our trains already saves 26 return lorry journeys for each run that it makes.

21 February 2011