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Robert.Jervis_43227 Feb 18

John Lewis reflects on de-carbonisation lessons

John Lewis reflects on de-carbonisation lessons image
“We have been pioneering the adoption of long-distance biomethane trucks in the UK and scaling this up to our entire heavy truck fleet will deliver significant environmental and operational benefits”
Justin Laney, Partner and General Manager of Central Transport for the John Lewis Partnership is working at the forefront of large-scale fleet de-carbonisation.

With the ambitious target of a zero carbon fleet by 2045 John Lewis has set itself an ambitious target. Prior to the project’s commencement transport contributed 40% of John Lewis emissions meaning that an innovative approach was needed.

Having learned a great deal from the initial stages of the transformation Mr Laney is now in a position to reflect on the lessons learned from the early stages.

While broadly successful, with major interim objectives met, there were hurdles to be overcome. Everything from charging infrastructure to continency planning for biomethane trucks had to be discovered first hand. From the highly complex transition to an electric vehicle fleet, through to the science behind reducing fuel burn per truck, Justin now has a unique bank of expertise which he has agreed to share at Multimodal 2020.

Each new biomethane truck can run up to 500 miles and emits over 80% less CO2 than a standard diesel alternative. Overall, the entire HGV fleet, once converted, will save more than 49,000 tonnes of CO2 every year - equivalent to the carbon footprint of just over 6,000 UK households.

A crucial factor in the success of the project has been the creation of a business case for an ostensibly very expensive, high risk project involving restricted range vehicles and perishable products. Knowledge of system costs, skills requirements, residual values and obsolescence issues unique to zero carbon vehicles underpin a future-proof decarbonisation plan.

During research with shippers and 3PLs that informed the creation of the Multimodal 2020 conference agenda, the ‘business case’ obstacle emerged as a universal one and for those embroiled in commercial versus environmental strategy planning, Justin’s ideas and experience are not to be missed.  He opens the retail conference stream on day one of the conference, 16th June at the NEC Birmingham. The conference is free to attend.

Our new conference format and content were developed following extensive industry consultation. Multimodal spoke to a cross section of our cargo owner and 3PL delegates to understand what they’d like to learn and achieve at the conference. The result is a carefully streamed event designed to make the content you need easy to find and specific enough to help you create your forward strategy.

The plenary session covers the 3 most important themes to emerge during research, the plan following Brexit, decarbonisation strategy, and the direction of the logistics industry. The streams follow and are open to all delegates whilst being geared towards specific industry sectors. Please be sure to check all streams on the agenda for the opportunity to learn from out-of-industry speakers who might have a fresh approach to a problem you’re working on.

To register for Multimodal 2020 – and to learn more about the issues that will affect your business, please visit