SPAR’s streamlined consolidation centre system is annually reducing the number of road miles their delivery lorries take by 7.4 million miles – a huge jump in productivity and fantastic news for the environment. The consolidation centreis proving to be an exceptional asset to SPAR. Recognising SPAR’s close working relationship with distribution firm Oakland International, the chain has seen huge carbon reductions, environmental and renewable changes, and a dramatic reduction in road miles. This represents a reduction of 3,259 tonnes per year of carbon emissions savings. SPAR has combined the five wholesalers’ networks into one operation in a move to reduce costs and the amount of road miles it covers. The operation also provides a better service for SPAR retailers by allowing the consolidation centre to develop more convenient distribution schedules, therefore improving availability and increasing the frequency of deliveries. Debbie Robinson, SPAR UK Managing Director, said: “The initiative delivers huge savings in carbon reduction and road miles travelled through the use of efficient and sustainable supply chain routes, underpinned by Oakland International’s environmental policies of replacing energy rich with energy efficient heating, refrigeration and lighting systems. “The strength of our partnership with Oakland International and the enormous support of all our stakeholders has helped us to deliver what now is a world class supply chain that is both environmentally and commercially beneficial for our suppliers, SPAR retailers and in-store customers. “The ability to offer a daily delivery of chilled goods for all suppliers, while reducing road miles, was a massive challenge – but an amazing 7.4 million miles are now saved per year, marks a huge saving. ” said Robinson. “The success of the scheme helps us demonstrate our long term commitment to providing world class service to our retail partners, which we have been doing for almost 60 years. We are serious about being a sustainable symbol group and one of the nations’ best convenience supply chains.” Oakland International has been investing in photovoltaic solar panels and renewable green technology, including installing a sustainable reed bed sewage system and on-site sewage treatment plant. Other major projects planned include a roll-out of more solar panels, a wind turbine and biomass which form part of a much larger programme of carbon reduction currently underway at the firm. Investment in energy efficient chillers to its warehousing facilities, together with replacing energy rich lighting systems with LEDs and substituting existing heating appliances with energy efficient radiators, have all delivered significant energy savings. This will contribute to Oakland International’s goal of becoming a fully carbon neutral business by 2016. SPAR’ recently announced how its service levels are at their highest ever – currently running at 98.7%, with all five SPAR wholesalers recording on average 97.5% of deliveries arriving on time over 13,000 deliveries made per week. SPAR has over 380 lorries delivering to SPAR stores from the Scottish Highlands to Land’s End and Strabane to Lowestoft, six days a week.