What can procurement information tell about environmental impacts of freight transport?

Philippine De Radiguès De Chennevière, Sara Verlinde, Cathy Macharis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Transport of goods and services increasingly contributes to traffic growth and congestion problems in cities, with significant environmental consequences. Public institutions such as the police, academic institutions, municipalities, administrations and ministries are large organisations that initiate a considerable number of freight flows and service trips (Balm et al. 2016). They could act as a as a key launch actor for innovative and more sustainable urban freight transport solutions. This requires insights into the freight flows and service trips generated by public institutions and their environmental impact. To obtain this insight, this research is based on two case studies consisting of developing a Delivery and Services Plan (DSP) for the buildings of the Regional Administration of the Brussels Capital Region and for the main campus of a university. As there is often little freight transport information in internal procurement data, many DSPs were made mostly based on on-site data collection (Transport for London, 2013; Leonardi et al., 2014; Dambly et al., 2016). However, these methods are time consuming, especially for comparison over time or between organizations (Balm et al., 2016). In addition, understanding accurately freight transport generation requires to understand the procurement and purchasing processes (McLeod et al., 2015). The contribution of this research consists thus of exploring what procurement information are needed internally in an organisation to grasp fully the consequences of its procurement on freight transport in cities and hence on the environment. The existing and suggested procurement data to assess and monitor freight performance and their environmental impact are examined from the perspective of vehicle-kilometre, which is the feature of urban freight transport with connections to noise pollution, local air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestion and accident-related fatalities and injuries (Browne et al., 2012). The elements investigated to calculate vehicle kilometres are physical vehicle visits, distances travelled and numbers of stops.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-452
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Procedia
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Eventthe 3rd Green Cities – Green Logistics For Greener Cities Conference - Maritime University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland
Duration: 13 Sep 201814 Sep 2018


  • procurement
  • delivery and servicing plans
  • vehicle-kilometres

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