Efficient estate management makes good business sense, and the extent to which building management can also support businesses in achieving their ESG and net zero carbon ambitions is coming into sharp focus.

Ashley Smart

Ashley Smart

Over the past 18 months, the increased reliance on deliveries – and the logistics to support these – has become a prominent area that requires addressing. Take, for example, freight traffic within the City of London, which accounts for 25% of all motorised traffic in the Square Mile.

There is no question that measures to limit the volume of logistics-related traffic would have a meaningful impact on congestion, as well as associated environmental and wellbeing factors – and delivery consolidation could be the answer.

Freight traffic can be significantly limited through an affordable and scalable consolidation approach

For big businesses with many locations or large estates, the consolidation of freight traffic is already in motion. By identifying assets that can share delivery vehicles as well as consolidation warehouses to act as the central point for all deliveries, businesses can limit their environmental impact.

The reality, however, is that not every business manages its own building or has access to a consolidation centre to handle last-mile logistics. A multi-user campus is therefore a more viable approach. By combining the efforts of many businesses and buildings within a defined area, freight traffic can be significantly limited through an affordable and scalable consolidation approach. This can make use of a diminishing supply of logistics land while supporting the efficiency and ESG efforts of all involved.

London traffic

London traffic

Source: Shutterstock / Dom J

The City of London Corporation’s 25-year transport strategy sets out an ambitious plan to respond to the challenges arising from freight vehicles. It is now mandated within the City of London’s planning process that all new major developments must reduce deliveries through consolidation services. There is the potential for this to be collectively actioned across the borough through a commercially sustainable approach.

The next step is to identify how delivery consolidation can be adopted across other less clearly defined geographical areas – encouraging local authorities and businesses to consolidate their logistics facilities and work together to reduce emissions and achieve their net zero carbon ambitions.

Ashley Smart is EMEA logistics business development director at JLL