Decarbonizing Logistics – New Book by Alan McKinnon

The clock is ticking: As logistics accounts for around 9 to 10 per cent of global CO2 emissions, a figure that is steadily rising, action needs to be taken urgently to reach the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. In a new book, Alan McKinnon, Professor of Logistics at KLU, outlines the many different ways in which companies and governments can reduce logistics-related CO2 emissions.

“Logistics will be one of the hardest economic sectors to decarbonize,” says McKinnon. “On the one hand, it relies very heavily on fossil fuels. On the other, the demand for freight transport is forecast to increase three-fold over the next thirty years.” In recognition of this challenge, McKinnon has compiled a thorough overview of the options for decarbonizing logistics operations – from restructuring supply chains to shifting freight to lower carbon transport modes, and transforming the use of energy in this sector. His book provides, for the first time, a global, multi-disciplinary perspective on the subject.


We have asked Professor Ralph Sims, Professor of Sustainable Energy, Massey University, New Zealand, Member of Science and Technology Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (covering climate change mitigation), and Co-ordinating Lead Author of the Transport chapter in the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014), to share his thoughts on the new book:

“The timing of the release of this book on the market is impeccable – with many governments currently grappling with how best to reduce their transport-related greenhouse gas emissions based on their nationally determined contributions committed under the Paris Climate Agreement, and the International Maritime Organisation recently agreeing to reduce global shipping-related greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the transport sector can be achieved by switching to lower carbon fuels (biofuels or renewable electricity); improving vehicle and engine design efficiency; avoiding unnecessary journeys; and providing better infrastructure to support and encourage low carbon modal choice. Each of these options is comprehensively reviewed in this book.

Societal changes in delivery expectations for goods ordered through internet shopping, and the impacts this may have on future greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector, have also been well addressed.

Overall, the book is extremely well compiled, building on many years of practically-orientated research experience by the author on this topic, and is truly international in its presentation.

I would highly recommend the book for transport policy makers, logistics firms, shipping companies, local government representatives, vehicle manufacturers, internet retail businesses, and IT specialists working in this arena."