British Sugar Case Study: Sustainable Supply Chains

01 January 2020

British Sugar is continually looking at ways to improve the environmental performance of every aspect of its supply chain. The business embraces the latest technology and looks for both significant improvements and marginal gains to drive down both cost and emissions, ensuring that its operations are as efficient and sustainable as possible



  • Sugar Manufacture
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British Sugar has taken a holistic approach to investigate ways to improve the sustainability of logisitcs involved in transporting sugar to its UK customers. This has included substantial developments like investment in new, state-of-the-art vehicles, combined with a consistent focus on operational improvements such as improving drivers’ driving style and efficiency, and better planning of product movements to minimise journeys and distance travelled.

Wincanton operate a core fleet for British Sugar that is 100% Euro 6, which is the highest engine standard currently available and therefore emit low levels of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Abbey Logistics provide British Sugar with bulk tanker transport from its factories to large manufacturing customers, and British Sugar added new trucks to its fleet in 2018. Microlise fleet telematic and fleet management systems have been introduced, providing regular feedback on vehicle and driver performance. This has resulted in an incease in miles per gallon from 7.81 to 9.21 across the fleet, delivering obvious benefits in terms of reduced emissions and less fuel usage.

By working with both Abbey Logistics and Wincanton to increase the volumes transported in each vehicle, Abbey Logistics increased its payload to 28.24 tonnes per vehicle (a 0.83 improvement) in the year to March 2019.

British Sugar have been able to maximise each vehicle load through working with customers to increase order size. This has been implemented since September 2018 and has demonstrated positive results. The average order size through Wincanton has increased from 12.17 pallets in May 2018 to 14.08 pallets in March 2019.

Together with their three logistics partners, British Sugar has trialled alternative-fuelled vehicles and continues to closely monitor developments in alternative fuels. British Sugar’s future ambition is focused on playing its part to meet AB Sugar’s 2030 commitments., including specifically the ambition to deliver a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions.

View Ambition 2025 Progress Report.

“Sustainability Is very important to use at British Sugar – and this extends across every aspect of our operations – from growing the crop, to our factories, to our supply chain in its entireity. We’re proud to work with suppliers who share this approach, and together we’ve already driven impressive results in improving the efficiency and environmental performance of our transport operations.”

Paul Kenward

Managing Director, British Sugar