Wherever possible, we seek to minimise the impacts of transporting products – especially as our global reach as a retailer grows.

We have continued to achieve a reduction in UK transport CO2 emissions this year, with a reduction of 6.4%. This is the seventh consecutive year that we have been able to deliver such a reduction.

A significant contributor to this on-going reduction has been our strategy to offer customers the option to ‘click and collect’ when shopping online. By consolidating these orders alongside product already destined for our stores, we have reduced the need for couriers in the system.

In line with our plans outlined last year, our entire vehicle fleet is now fully compliant with the Euro 5 emissions standards. Achieving this target on time has helped to drive down our CO2 emissions.

This year saw the launch of a trial of a new design of lorry cab and body known as the ‘teardrop’. With enhanced aerodynamics, these vehicles are expected to further drive fuel efficiencies. We anticipate that this trial will continue into next year when a decision will be made on which models deliver the greatest benefits.

We remain committed to encouraging a fuel-efficient and safety conscious driving style among all our drivers. As part of this we have fitted all our transport cabs with forward-facing cameras this year. The feedback from our drivers is that the cameras have provided them with greater confidence when interacting with other road users and accessing constricted delivery bays.

All our drivers have taken part in a day’s training in defensive driving, adhering to the highly respected Smith System of Defensive Driving. We intend to roll out this training to our team in Republic of Ireland in the coming year. In addition, all core drivers will receive two full days’ training in 2014/15.

Our attentions across the Irish Channel will also be focused on reducing miles travelled when trunking (moving goods from one depot to another) by around one third in 2014/15.

Next year will also see the next stage in our engagement with technology to monitor fuel efficiency. We have seen encouraging results in changed driver behaviour from the telematics system previously used. In 2014/15 we will trial the Microlise system, which provides enhanced vehicle tracking, telematics and proof of delivery.

Our efforts in the UK are mirrored by the commitments made by our third party forwarders and carriers. The long-term partnerships we have forged in this area continue to reap benefits. By selecting best-in-class partners we can be sure that they share our commitments to reducing environmental impacts and CO2 emissions.

When we consider the relative impacts of the different methods of moving our products, it is clear that moving goods by ship has the least impact in terms of emissions per kilometre travelled.

Our ocean freight partners are directing major emission-reduction schemes in their businesses. CO2 is only part of the picture, however, and their focus increasingly extends to the reduction of pollutants via waste discharged at sea.

Any future plans would involve multi-country consolidation, which would enable us to optimise routing and more closely track goods so that there is greater transparency in our supply chain.

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