THE VW DIESEL scandal has thrown our transport and logistics systems into the spotlight, but businesses don't believe the technology is moving quickly enough to deliver sustainable supply chain solutions.
Food miles and carbon emissions may have been cut, but these are baby steps compared to what's required next. "This is about more than pumping up the tyres and adding biofuels into the mix," said Rethink solutions Catherine Weetman at this week's Footprint Forum.
Weetman wasn't alone when she called for a carbon tax as a necessity, pointing to how fiscal mechanisms, like the landfill tax on waste, can accelerate action and investment.
Indeed, progress to date on "greening" logistics has been led by commercial gain rather than carbon cutting, admitted many of those on the panel.
"We promote the carbon we've saved by consolidating our supply chains but we've done it because it's cheaper," said Sodexo's director for supply management Chris Johnston.
For caterers, convincing clients to take the next step on sustainability isn't always easy - especially if there's an extra cost. Clients are beginning to "ask the right questions", said CH&Co's Elsabe Snyman, but who pays for any additional investment - for example storage equipment to reduce weekly deliveries - is a big question.
The transport of food is responsible for 19 million tonnes of carbon.
A full report of this month's forum will be published in December's Footprint magazine.