CO2 calculator shows carbon footprint of urban delivery

Belgian logistics player BD Logistics has asked Antwerp University to develop a tool to calculate the CO2 emissions of its urban delivery activities using a standardized calculation method.

The calculation tool perfectly estimates the carbon impact of a specific delivery or shipment. This technology would also allow consumers to compare different players or means of transport. When the ‘last mile’ can be done with bicycle couriers, electric delivery vans, and vehicles running on CNG or HVO (blue biodiesel), urban CO2 emissions can be reduced by 90%.

The CO2 tool was presented in the presence of the federal Vice-Premier and the minister in charge of the Belgian postal service bepost, among other public enterprises, Petra De Sutter (Green). She is committed to making the logistics sector and local delivery of e-commerce, in particular, more sustainable.

Greening e-commerce

BD Logistics is an important logistics player in the Belgian market because it operates its urban concept in a highly decentralized manner with numerous city hubs in Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven, Hasselt, Brussels, Charleroi, Mechelen, Roeselare, and Liege.

Shipments can be grouped through the various hubs and then taken from the local distribution center to their final destination in the greenest way possible. “The greenest mile is the mile you don’t have to drive,” Kristof Gouvaerts, managing director of BD Logistics, states.

Scientific approach

“We wanted quantifiable CO2 figures to optimize our platform further and continue reducing emissions in the city. Unfortunately, the available tools were insufficient for this, so we started looking for a more scientific calculator,” Gouvaerts adds.

BD Logistics called upon Prof. Dr. Dewulf and his team at the University of Antwerp to develop the CO2 measurement method. According to Dewulf, this is the most advanced CO2 calculator on the Belgian market.

It considers the first, mid, and last-mile and compares the most prominent players in the Belgian market. However, BD Logistics itself does not have access to the underlying calculation method of the software, which the university solely developed to guarantee the tool’s independence.

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