To support creation of a new market of low-carbon services, environmental data collection and sharing should be widespread within and across the involved companies (carriers, logistics services providers and shippers). Currently there are ICT tools and platforms available to companies for collecting, processing and publishing data on logistic processes. Nevertheless environmental performance data, like, e.g., green-house gas emissions, fossil fuel consumption and load factor, are not subject to strict auditing and reporting procedures such as implemented for financial and operational data. Whereas such procedures are implemented it is on initiative of individual companies, often large logistic services providers, with the investment power to adapt existing ICT systems to capture and process environmental data and to extend such methods to their subcontractors.
Companies need standard-based data gathering and reporting methods to certify their environmental performances. These shall be built-in or easily interfaced with the existing transport planning and execution systems, to allow widespread adoption even by independent small-medium sized companies. Data capturing tools should take advantage of innovative technologies supporting data collection in real-time and at a sufficiently high level of detail, as those pioneered by the EURIDICE project. To this purpose, decentralized architectures based on interoperable devices, like remote fixed units, sensors, tags and on-board units, should be preferred to today’s centralized platforms based on proprietary standards.
To support the effective usage of the collected data, both for auditing and for actual commercial purposes, the companies need certified measurement procedures based on standard indicators and approaches. Furthermore, a common platform supporting the exchange and combination of these data across the supply chain is currently not available. This is a prerequisite to allow capturing of environmental performances data at the desired detail level, e.g., emissions generated per individual item in a door-to-door route involving various carriers and transport means.
As summarised in the Table below, given the maturity of the involved technologies and the development of standards, it is expected that proven technical results from R&D should be expected by 2014. Until 2016, extensive tests should be carried out across Europe, enabling demonstration and collection of benchmark data. Actions aimed at fostering innovation on the market should be implemented up to 2018, in particular supporting business models to facilitate the publication and exchange of data.
Although it refers to ICT solutions only, the above roadmap is strongly dependent on expected developments in standardisation. Currently standard indicators for environmental performances of freight transport services are in the process or being released, in particular:
- ISO 14064 on corporate carbon footprinting,
- CEN/TC 320/WG 10 on “Energy consumption and GHG emissions in relation to transport services”,
- General frameworks for corporate environmental performances, like the Carbon Discount Project and the GHG protocol.