• Sonny Neil

Wholesale decarbonisation project moves to next phase

The association aims to decarbonise the wholesale food supply chain and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045 or earlier

The Scottish Wholesale Association is now moving into Phase 2 of its decarbonisation project, designed to help members and the wider wholesale sector become greener and more sustainable. With ambitious plans to decarbonise the wholesale food supply chain and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045, if not before, Phase 1 of the Decarbonisation of the Wholesale Industry Project has seen the SWA examine the emissions associated with its members’ vehicle fleets via a survey. The results will be analysed to calculated individual wholesaler’s carbon footprint. Colin Smith, SWA chief executive, said: “We will then present various options to our members so we can discuss the best way forward on our journey to decarbonisation. In addition, we are in the process of creating a bespoke toolkit to help members calculate, estimate and keep track of their own vehicle fleet emissions.”


Phase 2 will examine emissions generated from buildings, which includes warehousing, cold storage and offices, as well as the energy consumed by them. A questionnaire has been sent out to the membership and the results, combined with those from Phase 1, will enable the SWA to calculate the carbon footprint of the wholesale sector in Scotland. Smith adds: “We are looking at various aspects of decarbonisation and a particular focus of Phase 1 was on Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) and Electric Vehicle (EV) technologies. Phase 2, which is shining a spotlight on energy and buildings, is now in progress and it is heartening that many SWA members are already forging ahead with their own plans to make their own fleets and buildings more sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

SWA member Lomond: The Wholesale Food Co will be trialling a fully electric vehicle in November in the Glasgow area, which coincides with the global COP26 climate change conference. The SWA collaborates on the decarbonisation project with its affiliate member the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association and its members, including the developers, producers, manufacturers, and infrastructure engineers of HFC and alternative fuel source products.


Smith continues: “All of this gives SWA a baseline and allows us to draw a route map to net zero for our sector which we will then present to the Scottish Government and its agencies, including Transport Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and HIE, to hopefully release some of the targeted £109 million Scottish Government funding set aside for business investment in greener technologies.” The SWA will also be working with Arcola Energy, a specialist in hydrogen and fuel cell systems, and East Lothian-based Logan Energy which designs, commissions, installs and maintains hydrogen refuelling stations.

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