A founder member of the Palletforce distribution network is in the running for a prestigious environmental award.

C&D South West has been named a finalist in the environmental category of the Somerset Business Awards, which takes place on October 23.

The Chard-based firm impressed judges by demonstrating its long-term commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency across its entire operation.

This includes major investment in energy efficient, eco-friendly vehicles – including a range of longer trailers as part of the Department for Transport trial to increase load volumes, reduce carbon emissions and maximise fuel efficiency.

However, key to the family-run firm’s submission was how membership of the Palletforce network has helped reduce emissions by around 15% across its vehicles used on national trunking routes.

“With road transport accounting for more than 20 per cent of all UK CO2 emissions, the road haulage industry faces tough challenges when it comes to balancing environmental responsibilities with profitability,” said Carl Wylde, commercial manager of C&D South West.

“But saving fuel and cutting emissions is not just limited to the road. Thanks to Palletforce’s business model and our state-of-the-art vehicle route planning and tracking systems, major improvements in operational efficiency have been achieved.

“Our trucks now travel to Palletforce’s Midlands hub fully loaded and hand over the consignment to a haulage partner, enabling our vehicles to return to base fully-loaded.”

The Palletforce network has won many awards for its efficiency and operations.

In 2015 it was named Logistics Supplier of the Year at the Grocer Gold awards for delivering benefits to the challenging grocery sector. It has also been listed as a double finalist at the National Business Awards in November for introducing innovation to the UK freight distribution sector.

As one of a small number of hauliers taking part in a pioneering Government initiative to slash emissions from the road haulage sector, C&D South West’s 30-strong fleet now boasts some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the region’s roads.

Each of its trucks meet European 5 and 6 emissions standards to reduce emissions of carbon and particulate matter. The fleet is also fitted with low-rolling resistance tyres to reduce drag and improve fuel economy even further, while drivers are enrolled in a continuing training and management programme.

Palletforce chief executive officer Michael Conroy says: “C&D South West has shown consistent and wide-ranging commitment to its environmental responsibilities, and winning this award would be a fitting acknowledgement of their efforts.

“We wish them luck on October 23, and look forward to playing a part in their success.”

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