In response to the Paris Agreement, more and more governments, associations and businesses are setting bold climate targets. The European Commission presented the European Green Deal yesterday with the ambition for Europe to be the first climate-neutrzl continent in the world by 2050. This will be achieved with a two-step approach, designed to reduce CO2 emissions by 50%, if not 55%, by no later than 2030.
While only 29% of countries' Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) include freight emissions, the topic is rising on national and local agendas. More than 680 companies have committed to science-based targets, with some pledging to reach zero emissions by 2050.
These companies are now looking for ways to turn promises into action. But when it comes to freight transport and logistics, they face challenges. Freight emissions are still increasing, in contrast to most other sectors. Global transport demand is estimated to triple by 2050, which would mean doubling carbon emissions under a business as usual scenario.
Roadmaps are being developed. But most tend to be government-centric and give little guidance on how fleets are to implement their goals in practice. Many companies and organisations that use or provide freight services have yet to develop their own roadmaps. Collaboration and alignment between different players are key to encourage the integration of different roadmaps.
The Alliance for Logistic Innovation and Collaboration in Europe (ALICE) is aware of the huge challenges and deep transformation required of freight transport and logistics if we are to meet climate goals and maintain our standard living. That is why ALICE developed a roadmap entitled "Towards Zero Emissions Logistics 2050" to set the challenge and direction clearly. It aims to make the roadmap towards zero decarbonisation more practical for companoes and to clarify what roles governments, research and development institutes and civil society will have in order to make this happen.
"The timing couldn't be better. This Roadmap will make it easier for companies to proactively respond to the Green Deal's transport targets by developing their own company roadmap." said Sophie Punte, Chair of the ALICE Sustainable Logistics Supply Chains and head of Smart Freight Centre.
The deployment of greener and cleaner vehicles, trains, barges, ships and airplanes as well as other technologies for a more effiecient transport network is forecasted to be too slow to deliver on our climate change targets. The short-term focus, therefore, is on leveraging and finding new opportunities for efficiency gains in freight transport and logistics.
"This roadmap also presents compelling ideas to drive immediate efficiency gains that will represent an important source of funding for the required infrastructure and assets investments to reach zero emissions" said Sergio Barbarino, ALICE vice-chair and Research Fellow at P&G.
We envision large efficiency gains and benefits to all stakeholders by doing more with less. The existing idle capacity of assets and infrastructure in all models of transport could be better used, and flows could be managed in a more integrated way. Open logistics services and networks connecting seamlessly will maximise capacity utilisation. Value creation by efficiency should be used to speed up the transition to greener and cleaner assets, instead of transport price reduction and an erosion of margins with the current assets.
"ALICE has achieved an impressive level of engagement in producing this roadmap. By leveraging ALICE network and variety of perspectives and knowledge that has been gathered legitimates this effort. It is time for each organization to put it in practice by setting its own roadmap" said Francois Regis Le Tourneau, ALICE Chair and Corporate Supply Chain Standards and Prospective Director at L'Oréal.
The European Technology Platform (ETP) Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe (ALICE) is set up to develop a comprehensive strategy for research, innovation and market deployment of logistics and supply chain management innovation in Europe. The platform will support and assist the implementation of the EU Program for research: Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe.
ALICE is based on the recognition of the need for an overacrhing view on logistics and supply chain planning and control, in which shippers and logistics service providers closely collaborate to reach efficient logistics and supply chain operations.