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Micro-logistics firm set to cut carbon with aim to revolutionise courier industry

March 28th, 2013 | 8:58 am

A NEW eco-courier service, that uses energy efficient Smart cars, has been launched with vital funding from the Resource Efficiency Yorkshire (REY) programme.

eco-Link Logistics was set up by self-employed courier, Bill Notey, who realised that 87% of the parcels he delivered were small enough to be couriered in a smart car. Switching from the traditional courier van to an entry level diesel smart car will reduce carbon emissions by 48% and fuel consumption by 47%.

To set up the business, Mr Notey received a grant of £15,000 from the REY programme, which is delivered by the low-carbon consultancy CO2Sense and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The REY grant paid for marketing, branding and other vital equipment such as IT equipment.

Three new jobs have been created as a result of the business and Mr Notey has forecast a first year turnover in excess of £180,000, as well as two more jobs to be created by the end of 2013. 

Using a Smart car also allows eco-Link to adopt a competitive pricing structure, as Smart cars have lower insurance premiums and fuel costs, and are not eligible for road tax or congestion charges. The company, which delivers to anywhere in the UK, plans to offset any carbon they do produce through UK based initiatives.

"The idea for eco-Link couriers was born out of a conversation with my 11 year old daughter who had just watched BBC's Frozen Planet and was concerned about the impact that CO2 was having on the polar ice caps and its wildlife," Mr Notey said. 

"I empathised with my daughter and talked with her about how we can reduce our carbon footprint. 

"The following day however, I was driving from Leeds to London in my van with an envelope to deliver sat on the seat next to me. As I approached my destination I suddenly realised how inefficient it was to use a gas-guzzling van to deliver small packages across the length and breadth of the country, as most couriers do. Having conducted a study, it turned out that out of 1000 jobs I completed 87% of them were small packages! That is when I started to develop the business plan for eco-Link. 

"I want eco-LINK to be recognised as the business that made a massive difference to the logistics industry both in the way that packages are delivered but also the way that we think about and implement the greenest practices in all that we do."

CO2Sense's REY programme was established in 2009 to help SMEs in Yorkshire and the Humber cut carbon emissions and grow their business through resource efficiency. Over the past four years, REY has supported 470 businesses in either the form of a grant or a free two-day resource efficiency review. The programme has directly resulted in 63 being new jobs created, with a further 32 jobs expected by the end of 2013; and five new businesses being created, with a further eight predicted by the end of 2013. 

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