Knowles Transport moved up a gear with commitment to Net Zero

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Third-party logistics provider Knowles Transport has made significant inroads in propelling its green agenda, having already reached a number of key objectives on the road to achieving its Net Zero goals.

With sustainability constantly top-of-mind at Knowles, the company has indeed undergone extensive change in recent years.

By continually investing in its fleet replacement programme, Kg CO2 e per mile has significantly reduced in recent years. Knowle is also engaged in a vehicle roof deflector aerodynamics trial which improves airflow and reduces drag therefore increasing efficiency and minimising emissions generated. Currently 5% of the fleet are engaged in the trial and should it prove successful, the customised roof deflectors will be fitted on all new Knowles artic vehicles from new.

With Knowles also actively utilising alternative fuels such as HVO, further extensive emission cuts are tipped in the not-so-distant future. 

But their efforts do not stop there. With a continuous commitment to driving sustainability amongst his fleet, 80 per cent of Knowles’ warehouse MHE are now powered by electric – with a target of converting its entire fleet to electric penned in for 2027. 

The company’s electric drive has also seen the business bolster much of its company car fleet with electric vehicles – something that it aims to fully convert by 2030. Moreover, Knowles recently completed an electric vehicle trial in conjunction with Volvo involving a Volvo XE 19 tonne rigid with a view to be used for local delivery or pallet network operations. 

Furthermore, across its two million sq/ft of its warehousing portfolio, Knowles is currently producing 300,000 kWh of electricity per year representing 10% of total warehouse power usage, with all operations also being powered from green energy grid supply. Knowles is also currently further looking at expanding its solar energy and storage generation.

Rainwater harvesting, which has reduced Knowles’ dependency on pumped and treated water sources, as well as its ongoing waste management programme has also played a part in driving forward the company’s ambitious sustainability goals. 

Never one to rest on its laurels, Knowles recently looked to further develop its commitment to reduce carbon emissions and work towards Net Zero as well as to both better understand its current footprint and to develop accurate emissions reporting for their customers as part of its service offering. 

In doing so, they joined forces with supply chain logistics consultants Davies & Robson, which provided Knowles with a comprehensive analysis of their carbon footprint. Once the appropriate data was gathered and evaluated, the supply chain consultants were subsequently able to offer recommendations to optimise data collection and refine measurement in future years.

According to Alex Knowles, Managing Director at Knowles Transport, the project will essentially serve as a foundation for continued carbon-reduction efforts, ensuring that Knowles Transport remains at the forefront of sustainable logistics. 

Alex Knowles commented: “As the need to become more environmentally conscious has increased over the past decade, sustainability has been core value for the business driving procurement and operational decision making. From solar energy generation to truck aerodynamics, we have consistently looked at ways where we can reduce our environmental impact. 

“By bringing in Davies & Robson, our aim was to get a clear picture of all emissions across transport, handling and storage services and generate a unit of measurement for each that we can use as a barometer to ensure we are becoming more sustainable despite growing volumes across all service areas. These measurements are Kg CO2 e per mile for transport, Kg CO2 e per pallet in for handling and Kg CO2 e per pallet week for storage.  

“From the outset we were keen to not only better understand our current footprint but also to develop accurate emissions reporting each service area and to be able to offer every customer their own unique emissions data as they utilise our respective services which is becoming an increasing requirement for customers as they seek to understand their scope 3 emissions. 

“With this now in place we can now embark upon a strategised carbon reduction plan in line with our Net Zero roadmap that will take our ability to achieve sustainability goals to the next level. 

“The roadmap that we now have in place will not only enhance all our current sustainability focused initiatives that we have in place but also give us scope to explore new ways to decrease our carbon footprint.”

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