How the Scottish Wholesale Association plans to reach Net Zero

How the Scottish Wholesale Association plans to reach Net Zero

The pandemic’s implications on the food and drink wholesale sector demand a lengthy discussion as we work with members, suppliers, the wider supply chain, and the government to find tangible ways of supporting those businesses most affected.

However, while Covid has dominated our day-to-day job for the past year, SWA continued to work behind the scenes on many other important issues in which their members are invested.


One such initiative is the ‘Decarbonisation of the Wholesale Industry Project’, designed to help members and wholesalers become greener and more sustainable with a goal of decarbonizing the wholesale food supply chain by 2045 or sooner. 


SWA is tackling the world’s most pressing issues head-on by focusing on initiatives such as our Decarbonisation of the Wholesale Industry Project, and with climate change on the agenda of all businesses in the 21st century and Scotland hosting COP26, our sector needs to step up. 


In the first phase of this project, we will be looking at fuel cell and electric vehicle technologies. This includes mapping out a plan to reach that 2045 target by focusing on hydrogen fuels cells and electric vehicles in Scotland’s food supply chain. We are also exploring environmental impact from members’ cold storage facilities as part of our research for Phase 2 which will explore energy use and buildings.


Of course, SWA members are already looking for greener options when they upgrade their fleet and there are some excellent examples of wholesalers ramping up their commitment to sustainability as they strive for cleaner emissions and a reduced carbon footprint.


Scottish Wholesale Association have taken the initiative to investigate and implement non-emitting technologies at a sector-wide level. The SWA could be Scotland’s first commercial testbed for HFC, in addition to becoming one of the country’s leaders in electric vehicles, and following this, they shared that they are delighted to have recruited a Strathclyde University graduate, Jessica Palmer, who has completed her MSc in Environmental Entrepreneurship. 


With the help of the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (of which SWA is an affiliate member), we will be able to work on our first phase with this new team member for twelve weeks.


The project will also help identify opportunities for investment and infrastructure requirements to be met by the manufacturers and developers of those alternative fuels.


Any wholesale business in Scotland can find out more about this initiative by contacting Colin himself at