A survey undertaken for the Foundation for Future Supply Chain has found that a large proportion of the world’s leading logistics companies have yet to start measuring and publishing their carbon emissions, let alone set any targets for becoming carbon neutral. This comes at a time when the industry’s commitment to net-zero emissions is under scrutiny by governments as never before.

The survey, undertaken in collaboration with the Foundation’s research partner, Ti Insight, found that of 184 of the world’s largest transport and logistics companies, only 105 measured and published carbon emissions data, just 57% of the total.

Commenting on the findings of the survey, the Foundation’s Head of Thematic Research, John Manners-Bell, said, ‘Until companies start measuring emissions, it is impossible to initiate greenhouse gas reduction programmes. Given that the logistics industry’s success in reducing emissions will be critical to meeting governmental net-zero targets, that such a large proportion of industry leaders have yet to start measuring their emissions is of major concern.’

The sample provided a cross-section of the industry worldwide, comprising the largest companies in each of the following industry sectors: Trucking/Road Freight, International Freight Forwarding; Contract Logistics; Express & Parcel; Postal Operators and Shipping.

The majority of the companies in the sample had revenues of over $1 billion and so the low proportion publishing carbon emissions data cannot be put down to cost or lack of resources, as might be assumed for small and medium-sized operators. Instead, it is likely due to the low priority given to the issue by management; the lack of pressure from customers and weak or absent regulation by governments.

The survey did contain some better news. Although there is a way to go, the number of industry leading companies measuring emissions data has risen significantly since 2016 as the concept of disclosure is increasingly embraced. In 2016 just under a quarter of logistics companies were publishing carbon emissions data (23%), increasing by 34pp to its present level (57%).

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