The Journey to Sustainability and the Sustainable Freight Network

Grace Reddish

A path to a more sustainable future.

Sustainability affects us all, and will determine our future. 

We are very aware of the role we play. The transport and logistics sector is the second-highest carbon-emitting sector in the world, while also serving a huge part of the wider business community. The impact of logistics is much greater than our industry.

The greatest challenge for all of us is keeping up with the ever-changing world of sustainability. As a relatively new discipline, with lead organisations such as the Smart Freight Centre established as recently as 2013, there is a very steep learning curve, peppered with legislation, conflicting guidance and regulations.

We knew we had to embrace a new way of managing logistics, even if we couldn’t make changes quickly. We partner with hauliers, agents and carriers globally who are also on this curve, and it is important to us that we can understand the subject of sustainability deeply so we can share knowledge and ensure we are driving the change necessary in our industry.

This is where the Sustainable Freight Network began. It started as an idea, where we began with little understanding of the subject matter but a huge appetite for learning. 

We have grown so much since the early days; we have been taught by the Smart Freight Centre, secured a prestigious partnership with Nottingham Trent University and supported customers with reporting their Scope 3 emissions.

We chatted with our Innovation and Sustainability Manager, Tom, about his journey so far.


Where did the idea for the Sustainable Freight Network come from?

“The creation of the Sustainable Freight Network came during a conference with our valued customer, Portakabin.

Portakabin talked to us about their aspiration to reach net zero by 2040. This could only be achieved if all of their suppliers could commit to this and find solutions to drive down emissions.

It sparked the idea that sustainability can only be achieved through collaboration, if we don’t work together we can’t achieve this vision.

It was also clear that this was an area our industry needed more support and direction and we were inspired to lead the way and support our own network of suppliers and our customers.”

Where did your knowledge in sustainability begin?

“To develop a strong base of knowledge, I took note of new jargon appearing in the space; GLEC, Scope 3, CO2e, and finding out who were the experts within this field.

I learned about the work of the Smart Freight Centre and The Carbon Literacy Project who are some of the largest influences in sustainable logistics and breaking down the jargon.

Training with both of these partners deepened my understanding greatly. This was then further augmented by participating in global sustainability networks, such as ReverseMi. The idea that global warming is a challenge needing to be addressed by great minds from all over the globe, excited me and I became passionate about contributing to the solution.”

How has the Sustainable Freight Network developed since its introduction?

“In order to harness these ideas and help develop them into a commercial product, we pitched to Innovate UK and Nottingham Trent University to gain funding for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). We had to meet certain criteria and display how the Sustainable Freight Network would benefit our industry. Only a select few businesses are chosen to receive funding for this prestigious collaboration, so for us to be recognised and to gain a KTP is something we’re immensely proud of.

Now we have a hugely important resource, collaborating with leading academics and we even welcomed our own Sustainability Specialist, Oumaima, earlier this year who has helped build up the credibility of the Sustainable Freight Network and Baxter Freight’s culture to sustainability.”

What benefit does the Sustainable Freight Network bring to our customers?

“Now the Sustainable Freight Network is bringing products to market that can make a real difference to our customer’s sustainability strategy. We have industry wide accepted GLEC Scope 3 reports, methods of reducing carbon in a supply chain, and we’re even researching carbon insetting to facilitate the complete removal carbon!” 

Where can people find out more from the Sustainable Freight Network?

“We’re so excited to be hosting our very first webinar on Thursday 23rd May at 10:30am, helping you to break down the jargon of sustainability, and explaining how one small action can make a real difference to your sustainability efforts. This will be the first of a 3-part series, helping sustainability be more accessible.

Don’t worry if you can’t make our first session, as we’ll be holding a re-run on Thursday 13th June. In the meantime, there’s always blogs and articles being written to keep you updated on all the latest news and legislation changes.”

The changing world of sustainability can seem daunting, but all it takes is one small step. That’s how our journey began and we know it can be possible for you too! 

To keep ahead we are here with all the latest news click here to see all of our latest blog and articles.

Want to break down some sustainability jargon? Click the button below to join us at our FREE webinar session.

Are you connected with Claire?

Claire is our Talent Acquisition Specialist so if you’re on the Easter Job Hunt, she’s a great person to connect with on LinkedIn.

Claire is always sharing news on our latest vacancies, top job hunting tips and showcasing what a career at Baxter Freight looks like.

Don’t delay, get connected!

Get to know us better!

Hi – we’re Baxter Freight 🖐️ It’s great to meet you!

Yes we move freight, but take a closer look and you find we’re so much more

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Check out our Graduate Account Manager vacancy and apply today!

Egg-cellent - you've found a new job!

Forget about the chocolate eggs this Easter – you’re on an Easter Job Hunt! And we have a cracking one for you to enjoy 🥚

If you’re an experienced sales professional looking to develop long-term relationships with your clients – we have the opportunity for you.

Check out our Account Manager vacancy and apply today!

Established reputation

Our levels of experience and reputation have enabled us to innovate quickly within the industry.

Baxter Freight has been operating and excelling in the UK and Europe for over a decade now. Our leadership has been leading the way in the logistics industry for a lot longer.

We have led the way as the UK went through Brexit and established ourselves as experts in working in Europe. 

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