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Mark Footman

Chief Operating Officer, CitySprint

Recognising that the logistics sector faces a tough set of sustainability challenges, a same-day delivery service firm has developed a robust plan to minimise its environmental impact.

The most effective way for an organisation to drive its sustainability plans is from the top down, insists Mark Footman, Chief Operating Officer of same-day nationwide delivery service, CitySprint. “Big, important issues — and they don’t come bigger or more important than sustainability — must have board sponsorship,” he says. “This means that sustainability is owned at board level, but it’s also kept alive at board level, which ensures buy-in from the rest of the organisation.”

Making logistics more sustainable

As an industry that produces significant vehicle emissions and packaging waste, logistics faces particularly tough sustainability challenges. However, Footman notes that CitySprint — which achieved carbon neutral certification in 2022, 18 months ahead of schedule — has a plan to minimise its environmental impact.

Consult someone who really understands this subject and can help you build a detailed sustainability plan.

This includes moving all its sites to 100% renewable energy; setting strict recycling targets; expanding its electric vehicle fleet and cargo bike fleet; developing technology to make route-planning more efficient; carbon offsetting; and running an in-house energy efficiency campaign to incentivise best practice among staff.

Sharing sustainability achievements and targets

“Sustainability is a key topic at the conferences we hold for our sales, senior operators and leadership teams,” says Footman. “We produce a CSR brochure that allows us to share our sustainability achievements and targets with customers and colleagues.”

If a company is just starting on its sustainability journey, Footman advises bringing in expert help. “A small or medium-sized business might not have the expertise to achieve real change in this area,” he says. “So, consult someone who really understands this subject and can help you build a detailed sustainability plan.”

National and local government must do more to help businesses reduce their impact on the environment, says Footman. “For example, the country’s lack of charging infrastructure makes it a challenge for us to promote zero emissions vehicles to our self-employed couriers,” he explains. “Nevertheless, we take our sustainability responsibilities very seriously and are determined to play our part in a greener future.”

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