Purpose: Road freight transport is responsible for 24 percent of CO2 emissions from transport in Finland (LIPASTO 2011). Since many projections state that road freight transport will grow in the future, there is a growing need to find solutions to reduce the CO2 emissions, and improve the energy efficiency. The objectives of this study were (1) to identify the obstacles of improving the energy efficiency of road freight transport, (2) to identify possible measures for overcoming these obstacles and (3) to give recommendations on the measures which can be used to promote reaching of the targets.
Research approach: In order to fulfil the objectives of the study, three workshops were organised during 2011 in Finland. Each workshop was designed to answer one of the three research objectives and the workshops comprised a continuing process to build a national action plan for improving the energy efficiency and reducing the CO2 emissions of road freight transport. Various stakeholders of the road freight transport sector were invited to participate in the workshops. 8-15 experts attended each workshop and gave their opinions through individual assessments, group discussions and voting. Many experts attended all three workshops and thus contributed greatly to the process.
Findings and Originality: Three major problem areas were identified in the workshops: (1) lack of knowledge and best practices of energy efficiency within logistics service providers, (2) inadequate environmental consideration by industry and trade in purchasing logistics services and (3) lack of coordination of urban logistics. In order to overcome these issues, seven action packages are proposed and their benefits, challenges and responsibilities are analysed. There is an on-going initiative to promote energy efficiency through sectoral energy efficiency agreements in Finland and many proposed actions aim to improve these agreements. International best practices (e.g. McKinnon 2009; TfL 2011) are also used in the action plan. In the proposed action plan cooperation and division of responsibilities between various stakeholders of the road freight sector are emphasized.
Research impact: The study showed that the multi-stakeholder workshops are a practical tool for identifying the obstacles and measures for improving the energy efficiency and reducing the CO2 emissions of road freight transport. As an outcome of these workshops, a proposal of recommended actions was produced.
Practical impact: The workshops provided an excellent forum for discussion between various stakeholders of the road freight sector. Workshops summoned the key actors and thus enabled networking and sharing of knowledge. Active involvement in the process also enabled a deep commitment to the resulting national energy efficiency action plan.
Authors: Heikki Liimatainen, Erika Kallionpää, Markus Pöllänen
Title: Building a national action plan for improving the energy efficiency and reducing the CO2 emissions of road freight transport
Published in: Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Logistics (ISL2012). July 8-11, Cape Town, South Africa. p. 450–458.