Making a contribution to the low carbon circular economy in London
In the world of online retail in which we now live, most of us who work in offices across the capital think nothing of using our work place as our primary delivery address. It is convenient, reliable and, for many people, just an essential part of modern living.
The 400 people who work at the Grosvenor Head office in Mayfair were no different. With stationery, personal deliveries and the usual office supplies, there were up to 20 delivery vans arriving at the building every day. That was until Grosvenor Britain & Ireland decided to change things.
What is unusual about the Grosvenor head office is that it sits in the heart of the company’s London estate. Grosvenor is, effectively, landlord to a great many of its neighbours.
“This is a busy traffic area with narrow, often congested streets. We identified an opportunity to help improve the environment for everyone that lives, works and visits here,” says Richard Jefferies, the Operations Director for Grosvenor’s London estate, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland.
Deliveries and consolidation
All supplier and personal deliveries are now sent to a collection point on an industrial estate in Bow. They are then consolidated into one daily delivery by the all-electric parcel service, Gnewt Cargo.
“The model is very much a collaboration,” says Jefferies. “We got together with Gnewt and our main office supplier Anglo Office Group to work out the best system. We are three very different companies in terms of size and what we do, but we share many of the same values. This project is all about the social value we can create by working together.”
“Anglo’s business proposition is to deliver smarter, sustainable purchasing solutions via consolidation and rationalisation. This can only be achieved when there is genuine collaboration between the customer, their vendors and a logistics partner, said Russell Hodson, CSR Director, Anglo Office. “The project with Grosvenor is a prime example of what can be achieved when this approach is applied.”
Founder of Gnewt, Sam Clarke says, ‘The concept of consolidation has been proposed and attempted in the logistics sector to varying levels of success for many years. I am absolutely delighted that this project has demonstrated it to be viable, cost effective and proven huge environmental savings along the way.’
Making a difference locally
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland ran a pilot for three months before adopting the system outright. If staff were a little nervous of the new arrangements to start with, they soon got used to it. The pilot alone saved 2,000 delivery journeys and 3600 diesel van miles and importantly, people started to notice the positive difference that having fewer vehicle movements made to the street.
Jefferies has little time for critics who say that the scheme just moves the traffic associated with a high number of deliveries elsewhere. “We can’t solve the entire problem in one go but we can make a start. Pollution levels are very high in central London so it makes sense to keep vehicle movements outside of the centre where we can.”
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Anglo and Gnewt have a shared vision to roll the system out to other buildings in the area. “There is a lot of interest in the scheme already, says Jefferies. “It could make a huge difference to this area, and to London as a whole. We are excited to share what we have learned.”
In the same vein, Grosvenor is working to consolidate all the commercial waste collections from the London Estate to a single zero-to-landfill operator. First Mile now collects from more than 650 buildings on the London Estate, reducing vehicle movements even further and increasing the average recycling rate to a level very much higher than the London average.
Founder and CEO of First Mile, Bruce Bratley, believes partnerships like this are critical to achieving the Mayor of London’s target recycling rate of 65% by 2030. “Partnering with progressive landlords on preferred supplier schemes like this is a recipe for success. Grosvenor has been very forward thinking and now has much better access to overall waste and recycling data and their impact on air quality across their portfolio.”
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