Foodservice giant Sysco issues call for industry to work together to tackle climate change at launch of its new ‘Climate Stripes’ electric vehicle

Sysco's Climate Stripes electric vehicle

Sysco UK’s Climate Stripes electric vehicle launched at the Brakes depot in Reading

Image: Sysco

Sysco UK has called for greater cross-industry collaboration, as it launches its latest electric vehicle, built as part of a partnership that it hopes will be the catalyst for widespread, fully electric, multi-temperature deliveries.

The new electric lorry will become the first foodservice vehicle to carry the ‘Climate Stripes’ graphic, which is designed to highlight the issue of rising global temperatures. The Climate Stripes were created by Professor Ed Hawkins at the University of Reading and are designed to show vividly how global average temperatures have risen over nearly two centuries.

Speaking at the launch of the Climate Stripes vehicle at its Brakes depot in Reading, Peter Jackson, CEO of Sysco in Great Britain, said: “Food and transport are two of the most carbon-intensive sectors. We have a huge responsibility to tackle climate change through our operations and inspire our customers to do the same.

“We are on a journey to create a future where a delivery of sustainable produce arrives on an electric vehicle, charged with solar panels at the zero carbon depot. This is an important step. But we cannot do this alone and we need to work in partnership with customers, manufacturers, government and the rest of the foodservice industry. We can only achieve real change if we work together.

“Our position in the food system creates an opportunity to inspire our customers to transform their menus and the food that they buy – by far the biggest portion of our own carbon emissions. We hope that the climate stripes on this vehicle will raise awareness of the challenge.”

The new DAF vehicle demonstrates the latest electric vehicle technology with a range of around 280 km and two temperature zones – frozen and chilled – powered directly from the battery, allowing frozen, fresh and ambient products to be delivered on a single vehicle. This is the next step towards Sysco’s ambition to stop buying new diesel vehicles in Great Britain by 2030.

As part of the launch, Jackson called for greater partnership with government to support the uptake of zero emissions fleets, highlighting the challenges of a lack of infrastructure and the support needed to decarbonise commercial fleets.

Globally, Sysco has already announced its intention to electrify 35 per cent of its North American fleet by 2030 as it seeks to reduce its direct carbon emissions by 27.5 per cent by 2030.

US-headquartered Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home.

With more than 71,000 colleagues, the company operates 333 distribution facilities worldwide and serves approximately 700,000 customer locations.

Sysco foodservice companies in the UK include Brakes, KFF, Medina Foodservice, Fresh Direct, M&J Seafood, Wild Harvest and Country Choice.