Decarbonising transport and logistics chain

In February 2018, CEPI (Confederation of European paper and forest-based industries) presented its 2050 vision to decarbonise its transport and logistics.The supply chain for industry’s raw materials such as forest fibres and collection points for recycled paper are more dispersed than in many other industries. The industry also relies mostly on road rather than other means of transport and finished products need to be delivered with short lead times to final customers across Europe. Transport and logistics chains are as a result complex and represent a significant share in the cost of the industry.

Based on a review of industry’s experts, and in stakeholder cooperation with European Shippers’ Council, Transport & Environment and European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, a 60 % decarbonisation by 2050 is possible with current measures and technology developments provided that infrastructure and enabling policy frameworks are in place. An additional 20 % reduction, needed to achieve the 80 % reduction objective, is very challenging and would notably require a step change in innovation and technologies as well as in policies for their deployment.

Four pathways have been identified to decarbonise, the most prominent was truck fuel efficiency, which can improve at least 30 % by 2050. In addition, emissions can be reduced through fuel shift, increase in permitted unit loads and digitalisation pathways, which can all together contribute to further 30 % reduction. The enabling policy conditions and infrastructure will need to be set, notably with the support of environmentally friendly trucking and harmonised EU rules and regulations.

The European forest fibre and paper industry envisions itself at the forefront of a low-carbon European circular bioeconomy in which renewable raw materials replace fossil resources. With its transport decarbonisation paper, the industry contributes to the European Union’s debate on low-carbon mobility.

The paper can be downloaded here.