November will be seen in the British International Freight Association’s (BIFA) history as an auspicious month with the first meeting of its new Sustainable Logistics Policy Group, managed by Mike Jones, policy advisor for sustainability and environment.
For many years BIFA has been monitoring the legislation, tracking any new regulations, and delivering advice to its corporate members on various environmental issues such as plastic packaging and the problems surrounding its disposal, as well as the development of different fuel types and their respective merits and de-merits.
Environmental and sustainability issues are not new and, over time, the environmental agenda within freight and logistics has developed. Whilst the focus is often about carbon emissions, there are other wide-ranging generic issues.
With all of the above in mind, BIFA felt the need to establish a policy group to help identify and report to the Association and its Members on environmental-related issues which may in the future have an impact upon their businesses, or in fact are already doing so.
At the meeting, attendees discussed how the policy group could work to provide guidance to the association in order to deliver meaningful support on environmental and sustainability issues as they impact the UK and the international freight services industry. Future meetings will discuss how to agree and set the association’s policy on all matters concerning environmental matters.
The date of the meeting also marked ‘Use Less Stuff Day’, which seemed like an appropriate time for the first meeting of a policy group established to help BIFA assist all of its members, whatever their size, meet the ever-increasing challenges associated with environmental and sustainability issues within freight and logistics.
Sustainability expert and consultant to BIFA Kelly Hobson of Shape Tomorrow gave a presentation about the wider business case and requirements of any supply chain, whilst Lucinda Maxwell, founders’ associate, from Pledge delivered an interesting overview about calculating freight emissions and sustainability regulations.
At the meeting, Director General, Steve Parker emphasised the significance of this new policy group and urged members that were present to encourage other members to engage with the group and attend future meetings.
He said: “All BIFA members are at different stages of their journey in regards to the development of policy that addresses environmental and sustainability issues within the supply chains that they manage. By participating in this policy group, members will be able to help shape best practice guidance; and influence how BIFA can represent members’ interests on this subject in our interaction with Government and other stakeholders that are developing legislation on the matter.”