The move will entail switching its 3,200-strong fleet of trucks, trailers and vans – operating for Waitrose and John Lewis – to zero-emission vehicles.
Transport emissions account for 40% of the retailer’s overall carbon footprint and it will initially focus on reducing HGV emissions, which account for two-thirds of its transport emissions. It is switching 500 HGVs used for store deliveries to biomethane-powered vehicles and 60 have already been acquired.
The retailer says it will switch heavy trucks and all smaller vehicles to electric versions as the UK’s charging infrastructure improves in the coming years. It has already started to electrify its van fleet, working with technology company Arrival to trial four smart home delivery vans.
It is also testing zero-emissions refrigeration units on six Waitrose delivery trucks as part of the government’s Low Emissions Freight and Logistics Trial.
“Transport is a significant part of our overall carbon footprint so we need to take urgent action to decarbonise our fleet,” says Justin Laney, general manager of central transport.
“It’s a huge challenge and viable technology and infrastructure still needs to be developed for heavy trucks, but we are committed to leading the way on the road to zero emissions.”
The company is also reviewing its company car scheme to incentivise the uptake of electric cars. It has 75 electric vehicle charging points across the estate and from this year these will all offer a minimum of fast (7kW) charging.