Posted on: Tuesday, 22 November 2016 by Alice Bayford
Helping industry decarbonise
Never has there been more pressure on the road freight industry to focus on reducing carbon emissions and helping to improve air quality. The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF) is a unique collaboration between Cambridge and Heriot Watt Universities and the freight industry to help make road freight economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
Set up in 2012 with a major five-year grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Centre has developed a comprehensive research programme.
FTA is a consortium member of the SRF and recently took part in the Centre’s first press briefing alongside other partners to publicise the success of the programme to date. The event provided an insight into the Centre’s research and its impact on helping industry to decarbonise. As research is set by consortium members, the Centre seeks to answer the relevant questions that industry needs to know. Projects have focused on aerodynamics, dual-fuel HGV research and eco-driver training to name but a few.
The SRF has also launched a web-based support tool to help operators decide on the best measures to save fuel and carbon emissions within their fleet. Known as the SRF Optimiser, it is free to use and models the effects of 29 carbon reduction measures including driver behaviour, use of aerodynamics and using alternative fuels. The tool aims to give tailored advice to operators whatever their size of fleet. It will also complement FTA's Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme.
As the Department for Transport (DfT) plans to publish its Freight Carbon Review by the end of the year, it is great to have a research centre exclusively focused on projects to assess how freight can decarbonise.
(The views and opinions expressed by the authors of these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Freight Transport Association)