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BRUSSELS: May 30, 2016. IKEA, Nestlé, Philips, DB Schenker, Deutsche Post DHL, Mercadona, Colruyt and Kingfisher are among 19 global brands that have told European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker his regime must introduce fuel efficiency standards for new trucks and trailers by 2020.

The companies say the move would save businesses billions of euros, lead to cheaper goods, protect the environment and boost energy independence.

Road transport currently accounts for one-fifth of Europe’s carbon emissions, and while trucks make up less than 5.0 percent of all road vehicles, they are responsible for 25 percent of road transport’s fuel use and carbon emissions.

Nestle milk Meeting the EU’s 2030 climate targets as well as the more challenging targets of the Paris climate deal will require major efforts in the road freight sector said the companies in a letter to Juncker.

Bart Vandewaetere, Nestlé’s assistant-vice president Relations with European Institutions noted: “Nestlé is working, together with our supply chain partners, to cut transport fuel consumption and GHG emissions by another 10 percent by 2020 (versus 2014), on top of already made reductions. We do this by efficiency optimizations such as routing, avoiding of empty runs and using at maximum the available vehicle capacities. Increasing the fuel efficiency of trucks will give the transport industry the required boost to further reduce overall CO2-emissions after 2020, when most of the other options have been fully exploited.”

Nestlé’ (right) is currently celebrating its 150 anniversary in the historic district of Vevey, Switzerland where Henri Nestlé invented his ‘farine lactée’ and established his first production plant.

In the letter to Juncker the company said it costs €35,000 per year to fuel tractor-trailers – costs which are then passed on to consumers through higher-priced products. Nestlé and the other members of the group argue that a 35 percent improvement in efficiency would save businesses up to €10,000 per year, per truck, while reducing annual carbon emissions by 37 million tonnes by 2030. “This would help big shippers, freight forwarders and hauliers to scale up their voluntary emissions reduction commitments and help the EU meet its ambitious climate goals,” they said.

Ewald Kaiser, CEO of DB Schenker Region Europe and board member for Land Transport pointed out: “Political framework decisions should provide balanced incentives for best-in-class performers in order to drive innovation.”

William Todts, freight director at sustainable transport group Transport & Environment added: [EC] “Commissioner Cañete has said truck CO2 standards are essential and he’s right. More fuel-efficient trucks will save hauliers money, boost the economy and protect the environment. It’s time for the Juncker Commission to follow the example of the U.S., China and Japan and set ambitious truck fuel economy standards.”

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