Food & drink industry to cooperate in ongoing measurement of supply chain environmental efficiency

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At a series of workshops, organised by Scala Supply Chain Consulting, and attended by more than 40 companies, agreement was reached by participants to measure the impact of the supply chain on the environment.

Initially the group will concentrate on measuring key indicators in transport, but will extend this to the whole supply chain.

John Perry, Managing Director of SCALA Group said that following the recent SCALA survey commissioned by the Department for Transport, it has become obvious that in order to have "fewer and friendlier miles" it is essential to widen the efficiency indicators that we measure, and eventually expand to cover the extended supply chain.

Among the 44 delegates At the workshops over two days were:

  • Retailers: ASDA, Sainsbury, Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer, Threshers
  • Food and drink manufacturers: H J Heinz, Mars Group, PepsiCo, United Biscuits, Coors
  • Logistics companies: Wincanton, DHL, Kuehne and Nagel, 3663, Christian Salvesen

There will be a pilot survey before the end of the year, to enable companies to test the models and concepts which have come from the workshops. "We believe this is one of the key issues facing supply chain and logistics operations. The support we received from industry for the DfT survey and for this latest initiative has convinced us of the need for an industry wide programme to identify and benchmark Supply Chain Environmental Efficiency 'SCEE' Indicators." Scala has therefore set up a specialised practice, headed by Roger Watkins, a senior partner with SCALA.

"The DfT survey was very valuable and came up with some surprising results", said Mr Watkins. He added: "This initiative came from the companies who participated in that survey. There is a clear and growing wish by supply chain and logistics professionals to tackle environmental issues in the industry."

SCALA are sponsoring the whole process including the start up costs; organisation of all meetings; high level data collection, analysis and reporting; and feedback to participants.

"What we want to do is to establish Supply Chain Environmental Efficiency "SCEE" Indicators", Mr Watkins said. "These need to be easy to measure, understandable and meaningful - especially as we move to cover the entire supply chain.

"We will not only have a basis for on-going comparison, but will also have a measurement of real improvement achieved. There will be comparable sub-groupings of, for instance, suppliers, retailers, foodservice and logistics companies.

The workshops are being used to start to address the need to understand transport operations environmental impacts. It was not only necessary to define what is a good carbon emissions indicator, but very importantly to identify operational data to be used to develop indicators.

"We have support from this initiative from leading organisations, including the DfT; Institute of Grocery Distribution ECR Group (IGD - Efficient Consumer Response group) and Cold Storage and Distribution Federation (CSDF). We were extremely pleased with the support from companies in the food and drinks industries", Mr Perry added.

There were 113 Fleets and the companies included in the DfT survey from the food industry: Allied Bakeries, Asda, Booker. Boughey Distribution. Christian Salvesen, Cold Move, Co-operative Retail, Dairy Crest, Elddis Transport, Fox's Biscuits, GIST, Gregory Distribution, Kuehne & Nagel Food, Langdons, Morrisons, Nestle, NFT Distribution, Nisa Today, Sainsbury, Samworth Distribution, Somerfield, Tesco, Tetley Tea, Thorntons, United Biscuits, Walkers Crisps and 3663 Logistics.

Companies in the drinks industry in the DfT survey included: Bargain Booze, Carlsberg, CERT Group, Daniel Thwaites Brewery, Everards Brewery, Hall & Woodhouse, Heineken, Inbev, Kuehne & Nagel Drinks, Miller Brand, Shepherd Neame, and Wincanton.

"Environmental issues are right at the top of the agenda for government, industry and academia at the moment", Mr Perry said. "However, there have been few practical steps taken to actually get something done to improve environmental standards in the supply chain. I believe this is a very practical step to do just that".

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