To enhance our efficiency and environmental performance in transport and distribution, we:
- Optimise distribution networks and route planning across all our operations globally
- Explore opportunities to promote transport shifts, for example by using sea and rail instead of road
- Expand driver training, both from a safety and environmental efficiency perspective
- Use telematics and the latest technology on our vehicles where practical, and recommend our suppliers to do the same
- Explore alternative engines such as electric cars
- Support the development and use of safe and efficient natural refrigerant solutions for commercial applications, and progressively phase out HFCs appliances, and
- Implement-energy saving initiatives in our distribution warehouses.
Optimising distribution network and route planning
Smarter network and route planning and transport mode shifts have had a marked effect on reducing air emissions, noise and road congestion. We are pleased to report that in Poland, relocating a distribution centre resulted in a 25% decrease of distribution costs, a 20% reduction in GHG emissions and a reduction of 60 km in each domestic delivery journey. Furthermore, a new way of transporting finished products, involving short-sea transport, has more than halved GHG emissions from Poland to Portugal and halved the emissions from Hungary to Spain.
Promoting long distance transportation in Europe by rail and short-sea
We aim to shift long-distance transportation from road to either rail or short-sea shipping, both of which result in significantly lower air emissions.
In our European operations, this shift has delivered a reduction of approximately 5,300 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the last year.
Despite these achievements, much of our short-to-medium distance transportation continues to be by road. To mitigate its effects, we are: optimising truck efficiency (with new engines, aerodynamic devices and eco-driving training), increasing the load factor to optimise transport capacity, avoiding empty runs, and exploring alternative vehicles (smaller delivery vehicles, electric engines, hybrid vehicles, alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, methane or hydrogen).
Using telematic systems to monitor driving behaviours
Telematic systems – similar to the black boxes in aeroplanes – remotely collect data on how vehicles are being driven and their engine's performance. In 2011, Nestlé Switzerland assessed five telematic systems in 66 trucks. The tests showed that telematics encourages safer driving behaviours and improves environmental performance, which in turn reduces our operational costs.
In parallel, Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) and our Direct Store Delivery in the US carried out similar pilots. Based on NWNA’s pilot results, reduction in idle time could save as much as USD 1,000,000 in fuel costs and approximately 2,595 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The engine diagnostics information could lead to USD 150,000 in yearly maintenance savings. NWNA plans to install telematics across its whole fleet of 1,600 route trucks in 2013. Similar savings are expected by our Direct Store Delivery in 2013. Following these successful tests in North America and Switzerland, telematics systems are now also being rolled out in other regions.
In 2012, as part of our aim to reduce GHG emissions, we began testing electric trucks for customer deliveries. Nestlé Switzerland piloted two new electric trucks for ice cream and frozen food delivery, and optimised delivery routes.
We’re reducing energy consumption in our warehouses by using natural and low-energy lighting, and better insulation, and are currently exploring options to use solar panels.
Photovoltaic panels, which generate electricity from solar energy, were installed on the roofs of the Singen and Weiding warehouses in Germany. Both sites have generated nearly 1.5 million kilowatt hours within one year, equalling the annual amount of electrical energy consumed by 350 representative German households.
We estimate that approximately 357,500 tonnes of GHG emissions (2010: 450,000 tonnes) were generated from our warehousing in 2011.