Distribution centres, branches and specialist vehicle fleets
6,100 fleet vehicles
Our extensive distribution network and large fleet enable us to ensure same or next day availability of a wide basket of products to our customers. Our customers rely upon us for prompt and flexible delivery options to meet their own needs.
Suppliers deliver in bulk to our distribution centres, our branches or directly to our customers. We predominantly distribute from distribution centres, ship hubs and branches to customers.
The safety of our drivers is taken very seriously and during 2016/17 an in-depth risk assessment was conducted into driver safety by our health and safety experts. The assessment took into account vehicle condition, road hazards, loading and unloading risks, physical health risks and driver training. Existing controls have been strengthened and new controls introduced to best protect our drivers. We monitor our collision rate monthly for both our goods fleet and company car fleet. Each business has targets to reduce their collision rate and performance is reported to the Executive Committee each month and to the Board every other month.
Approximately 55 per cent of our carbon footprint is generated by transport (including commercial vehicles, company cars and business travel by road, rail or air) and 43 per cent of this is from commercial vehicles, whether our own or that of third party hauliers that we partner with.
To keep our distribution network running efficiently with minimal impact on the environment, each of our businesses has targets to reduce carbon and the associated costs for transport, relative to revenue. Distribution network improvements in 2016/17 which have positively impacted our environmental performance include fleet upgrades and the installation of a telematics system in the commercial fleet in the USA (see case study below). Our branches also use the distribution network to support their waste management efforts, sending recyclable packaging waste back to the distribution centres for sorting, baling and recycling.
Where possible, we work with our suppliers to reduce their environmental impacts. For example, we help our suppliers to avoid unnecessary travel by “backhauling” product from their factories when our trucks are returning empty to our distribution centres. In 2016/17, we saved our suppliers in the USA and UK from travelling 4.2 million miles. This equates to 5,946 tonnes of avoided carbon emissions (the equivalent of taking 1,256 passenger vehicles off the road for a year*).