Scottish wholesalers take part in SWA net zero case studies

WA's head of sustainability and engagement Ylva Hugland, Garry Whitelock, truck sales director at Volvo Trucks UK, North and Scotland, and behind the wheel Keith Geddes, chief financial and operating officer at JW Filshill

JW Filshill, United Wholesale (Scotland), Lomond Fine Foods and Dunns Food and Drinks have taken part in two SWA case studies to understand what is needed to decarbonise transport fleets and achieve net zero.

With one focusing on HGVs and the other sharing wholesalers’ journey to decarbonise their car fleets, during the pilot, the wholesalers worked with Volvo Trucks to trial the Volvo FE 19-tonne curtain sider truck with built-in rear-lift and also shared their experiences of switching their car fleets to electric vehicles.

As identified in the SWA’s recent report ‘Decarbonising the Scottish Wholesale Sector’, transport accounts for nearly 70% of climate change emissions from the Scottish wholesale sector (67.1%, with HGVs accounting for 63.7%) – and demands are increasingly placed on businesses to make changes to accelerate their transition to net zero.

Read more: SWA and FWD reveal net zero roadmap and calculation tool

Ylva Haglund, SWA head of sustainability and engagement, said: “Reducing wholesale emissions from our transport fleets is critical for the sector to achieve net zero. In 2021, the UK Government announced that it will phase out the sale of new non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) weighing 26 tonnes or more from 2035. From 2040, all new HGVs sold in the UK must be zero emission.”

She continued: “The Volvo trial instilled confidence in managers and employees when considering their future use of electric HGVs and it was encouraging that negative perceptions about EV HGVs quickly turned to a positive reception among drivers, thanks to the higher standard of vehicle, for example, reduced road noise, increased acceleration, and a modern comfortable cab.

Overall, Haglund added that both trials have shown that change is possible, but more and faster action towards resolving remaining barriers, involving all stakeholders, is now needed in order to accelerate the decarbonisation of vehicle fleets and help organisations reach internal and national targets.

“However, there are still gaps that require further investigation and action for fleet transition to be successful,” she said. “SWA will continue to work on the Zero Emissions Truck Taskforce, looking at financing the transition and how collectively we obtain further insight into how to overcome challenges such as range, strategic route planning, and public infrastructure for HGVs, including grid connection.”

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Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via and 07960935659.


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