UN Climate Week 2019: Countries with Green Freight Programs doubled to 26 since 2014

27 September 2019 - Our Executive Director Sophie Punte's speech during the UN Climate Week 2019 in New York at the 11th CCAC High Level Assembly.


Freight and the Climate Challenge
Freight transportation contributes to 8% of global CO2 emissions today according to the International Transport Forum and is expected to double by 2050 due to increasing demand for freight. More than 25% of the global population shops online. Yet, freight is not high enough on the sustainability agenda of government and business. For example, only 29% of countries mention freight explicitly in their climate plans or ‘NDCs’.

Green Freight Programs help companies to report and reduce emissions through collaboration, while also improving efficiency and saving costs. Examples are SmartWay in the US, Canada and Mexico, Lean and Green in parts of Europe, and Clean Cargo for marine shipping.

The Global Green Freight Action Plan was launched in 2014 by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and backed by 50 governments and organizations with the goal to expand green freight programs across all countries and modes. Only then can we achieve substantial emission reductions from freight transport at scale.

Achievements since the launch of the Global Green Freight Action Plan
More guidelines and tools are now available for both companies and countries. The ‘GLEC Framework’ as a universal method to calculate both greenhouse gas and Black Carbon emissions across modes, and which will now be a main basis for a new ISO standard. A freight assessment tool was developed for countries to understand where the biggest opportunities for improvement are to reduce emissions, and put to practice in four countries (Vietnam, China, Brazil, Argentina), and for HomeDepot for a multi-modal route from China to the US. Training courses for drivers and fleet managers
are helping them to improve energy efficiency of their trucking fleets.

We have seen the number of countries with a green freight program double: from 13 in 2015 to 26 countries today. Some of the new countries are Chili and Argentina as well as a spread across Europe. In addition, a Green Freight Strategy was developed for the North African corridor covering six countries (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo).

The increase in guidelines, tools and programs has contributed to more companies reporting their logistics emissions in their annual sustainability reports. Of more than 100 leading multinationals surveyed who are buyers of freight services, 33% reported on logistics emissions in 2015 and 43% in 2018. Disclosing the logistics emissions footprint is rapidly becoming the norm for multinationals with global supply chains.

Plans for the next years
We are not stopping here! Our focus for the next years is to:
- Develop more guidelines and tools to help countries and companies in their efforts to report and reduce freight emissions and roll out existing ones. Priorities are target setting, carbon financing, freight procurement and urban freight.
- Promote green freight programs to governments and companies to increase the number of countries covered and companies that join. Programs should become increasingly aligned.
- Expand training of truck drivers and fleet managers to more countries and smaller fleets, ideally linked to existing green freight programs.
- Integrate the GLEC Framework into more green freight programs, product labels, and other tools and initiatives to encourage companies to report their GHG and Black Carbon emissions in public reports and to CDP. Through better data, consumers shopping online can be given a green choice that minimizes the carbon footprint.

I call on all governments, if you don’t have a green freight program, start one. I call on all companies, if you haven’t yet joined green freight programs, join them. And don’t forget, we need to do three things together: Report, Reduce, and Collaborate.

For more information see or email or The Steering Committee of the Global Green Freight Action Plan includes representatives from the US and Canada governments, Clean Air Asia, ICCT, Smart Freight Centre and World Bank.

List of countries with a Green Freight Program

North America:
US, Canada, Mexico: SmartWay

Latin America:
Brazil: Brazilian Green Logistics Program (PLVB)
Chile: Giro Limpio
Argentina: Transporte Inteligente

France: Engagements Volontaires pour l’Environnement (EVE)
UK: Logistics Emissions Reduction Scheme (LERS) and EcoStars
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland: Lean and Green

China: China Green Freight Initiative (CGFI)
India: Green Freight India
Japan: Green Logistics Partnership
Singapore, Vietnam and members in other Asian countries: Green Freight Asia

For more information on the CCAC 11th High Level Assembly please click here

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