Menzies Distribution has pledged to protect and support stores as it takes the next steps towards cutting out all greenhouse emissions within just over a decade.
The wholesaler spoke to Better Retailing to mark World Environment Day earlier this month, outlining its plans to work with stores towards a full rollout of electric vehicles, delivery paperwork-reduction trials and magazine recycling.
Menzies said the changes worked towards the company’s interest in “securing the newstrade route to market for the long-term and providing a quality delivery service for retailers”.
With its fleet accounting for 93% of its emissions, vehicles have long been a priority, and more change is on the way.
Forty per cent of Menzies’ fully electric fleet is already “dedicated to the movement of newstrade products”.
Menzies promised that swapping to the new generation of electric vans would “have no negative impact on service levels to stores”, and said benefits would include “reduced noise during delivery to retailers in residential areas”.
While describing the pace of change as “gradual”, it said barriers were now being overcome.
Menzies was one of the first to trial Ford’s new e-Transits, which it said “have parity with range and payload to a standard diesel van. This will help us drive further adoption”.
Reducing fleet emissions also includes cutting “unnecessary miles driven” through route planning.
Asked if retailers should expect further route changes, the company said routes were under “continual review”.
Menzies recycles more than 26,000 tonnes of material each year. The company said it has “plans for expansion” of its recycling, though was noncommittal when asked about following its rival in offering a store cardboard recycling service.
Through partnering with a paper mill, Menzies said it is helping to protect print. “We ensure 100% of our magazine waste goes to making the paper for future magazines,” the wholesaler explained.
In the more-than-five years since opening its Sheffield sortation centre, 33 million magazine covermounts and other items have been diverted from landfill.
It said this centre helped to “increase the value of magazines and drive sales”, thought to be by reducing losses on unsold high-value covermounts and titles.
Menzies predicted rising print costs and interest in recycling would fuel further interest in the service from publishers.
Asked about supporting stores’ eco-efforts, Menzies said reducing its own emissions was the strongest way to cut each customer’s total emissions, which include ‘scope 3’ emissions (those generated by third parties providing services or goods to a business).
Using its expertise in new vehicles, Menzies also provided Better Retailing with a guide for retailers in using electric vehicles to cut costs and emissions, which will feature in a guide to modernising HND in RN’s 7 July edition.
The company also offered to support customers looking for sustainability advice.
Asked how stores can support Menzies in its drive towards net zero by 2035, the company asked for help with upcoming trials, which will include reducing delivery paperwork. Menzies also asked for feedback and collaboration on changes mentioned above and on exploring “more ecofriendly packaging”.
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