BSI Research Seminar: Preparing logistics for a low carbon world

BSI Research Seminar: Preparing logistics for a low carbon world
BSI Research Seminar: Preparing logistics for a low carbon world

Principal speaker

Professor Alan McKinnon

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now argues that to keep global warming to a sustainable level of total CO2 emissions will have to drop by 45-50% over the next twelve years. What does this mean for logistics, a business activity accounting for 10% of energy-related CO2 emissions? Decarbonising logistics will be a very tough challenge. This is partly because of its very heavy reliance on fossil fuels, but also because the demand for freight transport is predicted to rise steeply over the next few decades.

In this seminar I will explain how companies can devise a strategy for decarbonising their logistical activities. This involves measuring greenhouse gas emissions from logistics, setting ambitious carbon reduction targets and finding the most promising ways of meeting these targets. Five sets of decarbonisation initiative will be examined: reducing transport intensity, shifting freight to greener transport modes, improving asset utilisation, increasing energy efficiency and switching to lower- carbon energy sources. It is encouraging that there are many ways of decarbonising logistics, most of them mutually-reinforcing, but they vary enormously in their cost effectiveness, scalability and speed of implementation.

Climate change presents a multiple challenge for logistics businesses. In addition to cutting their carbon emissions, they must move the materials required to decarbonise other sectors and, at the same time, adapt logistics systems to climate change. The seminar presentation will also consider the exposure of these systems to climate risk and the wider logistical implications of climate-change adaptation.

Alan McKinnon is Professor of Logistics in the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg and Professor Emeritus at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He has been an adviser on logistics to several governments, parliamentary committees and international organisations, including the OECD, World Bank, United Nations, European Commission, World Economic Forum and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Much of his research has focused on the environmental aspects of logistics. His book on Decarbonizing Logistics was published in June 2018.

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RSVP on or before Friday 1 March 2019 , by email, or by phone 3735 7411

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