Manufacturers and retailers are on the road to greener distribution having saved the equivalent of up to 53 million journey miles from UK highways.

Food and consumer goods firms including Nestlé, United Biscuits and Waitrose have spent the past year working together to reduce environmental damage under the IGD¹s Efficient Consumer Response (ECR UK) initiative.

Measures such as sharing vehicles and developing more efficient warehousing systems have helped the scheme remove the equivalent of 900 lorries from Britain¹s roads.

IGD president and Nestle UK chief executive Alastair Sykes said there would always be a need to transport food and grocery items from producers to shoppers, adding there is scope to do this more efficiently.

“This initiative has helped us achieve significant environmental and financial benefits. We are confident it will set the standard for future projects to improve the sustainability of our industry,” he said.

IGD will shortly launch a guide explaining how smaller and larger businesses alike can make similar savings.