SWA sets out next steps on net-zero goal

Industry works together to develop net-zero transition

The Zero Emission Truck Taskforce – of which the Scottish Wholesale Association is a member – has set out the next steps it will take in its net-zero journey across the HGV industry.

THE Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has come together with leaders from across Scotland’s HGV industry to develop the next steps to help the sector transition to net zero.

Titled ‘The HGV Decarbonisation Pathway for Scotland‘, the work brought together members of the Zero Emission Truck Taskforce with the final document representing the culmination of 18 months of work.

The pathway identifies four key challenges posed by a move to zero emission trucks and how to address them, including on: energy infrastructure, financial models, confidence in technological and commercial change and workforce skills.

Colin Smith, chief executive at the SWA, said: “The SWA is delighted to have been part of this important taskforce, supported by some of our members, and to have contributed to the HGV Decarbonisation Policy.

“Our recent report, ‘Decarbonising the Scottish Wholesale Sector’, explores our sector’s carbon emissions and attitudes to climate action, and shows that the majority of Scope 1 emissions for Scottish wholesalers are from vehicle fleets – in fact, HGV fuel use makes up an estimated 63.7% of operational carbon emissions in the Scottish wholesale sector.

“Our report further shows that there are differences in emissions for different sizes of wholesalers, with vehicle emissions accounting for a higher proportion of emissions from SMEs.”

The Zero Emission Truck Taskforce – made up of organisations from across the haulage and logistic sectors, energy sectors for both hydrogen sources and electricity, truck manufacturing, government, unions and commercial funders – saw representatives work together towards the SWA’s ambitious goal to reach net zero by 2040 across the industry.

The new report from the Zero Emission Truck Taskforce lays out in detail its solutions to overcoming what it believes to be the barriers to net-zero emissions across the haulage sector.

This will align with the UK’s target for the sector and in time for Scotland’s own net-zero target of 2045.

The Taskforce was first founded in May 2022 with members dedicated to understanding the challenges posed by the move towards net-zero and finding the solutions to overcoming these hurdles.

Cabinet secretary for transport Fiona Hyslop launched the new pathway during a keynote address to the Net Zero Scotland Projects Conference in Edinburgh today.

She said: “It’s a great pleasure to launch the HGV Decarbonisation Pathway for Scotland and to do so at this event reflects the extraordinary collaborative nature of this work.

“This partnership with road haulage, manufacturing, energy, government, union and commercial finance sectors is absolutely key to accelerating the transition towards zero emission trucks.”

Smith added: “It is clear to us that it is imperative to address logistics emissions to reach net zero, and that investment in infrastructure – plus confidence through help and advice to businesses – is needed to overcome the significant costs of installation of equipment and acquiring of zero-emission HGVs.

“The Pathway is an important step in industry working with the Scottish Government, its agencies and the technology developers, to identify and address what is required ensure a Just Transition, and to keep businesses on track to meet Scotland’s net zero ambitions.”