The full list of Heathrow's ten cargo commandments for staying Green:

12 / 10 / 2017

Here are the ten steps outlined by Heathrow Airport to make sure that its cargo operations remain environmentally friendly despite the extra volumes driven by a third runway.

1.     Launch an online load consolidation tool by 2017

Starting later this year, hundreds of trucking companies and cargo freight forwarders based around the airport will be able to access an online tool to consolidate freight loads coming into and out of Heathrow, as part of a new “Heathrow CargoCloud”.

This app will help improve efficiency, and reduce the number of trucks and emissions on the roads surrounding the airport.Companies that subscribe to the load consolidation app will be able to exchange and share information about any spare capacity on their vehicles, or ask for help on a load they need to be transported. The app will work to match them, and they then contact each other offline and discuss the opportunity.  The “Heathrow CargoCloud” will be the UK’s first app of its kind.

2.   New Cargo Village delivered with expansion

Heathrow will help major partners deliver a modernised, more efficient cargo village to allow more direct trips to the airport   This will increase capacity to allow more cargo to be processed on airport, helping to reduce the need for shuttling movements to and from off airport warehousing, which represent around a third of cargo related trips. 

3.       Increase airside transhipment facilities

We will begin consulting on plans to install airside transhipment points to eliminate the need for goods to be transported landside to the cargo area or pass through control posts twice by the time the airport expands. Streamlining our air-to-air processes will reduce transit times, trucking costs for handlers, free up warehouse space, and of course, reduce emissions and the number of freight vehicles involved.

 4.       Consolidation facilities to reduce traffic on local roads

Today, up to 36% of freight vehicle trips are made moving goods between sites. As part of the airport’s plans for expansion, we will consult on building enhanced off airport consolidation centres to reduce the number of freight vehicles on local roads, most of which are not carrying full loads. 

These consolidation centres will build on the success of Heathrow’s retail consolidation centre, which has already reduced the number of supplier vehicles on the roads entering the airport by 42%. The policy has also driven behaviour change through the supply chain helping to consolidate loads before they even arrive at the consolidation centre.

5.       Local Code of Conduct for Freight Operators

In 2017, Heathrow will work with the freight community to deliver a Code of Conduct for all Heathrow freight operators to reduce our impact on local communities. The Code of Conduct will focus on the behaviours that impact most on the local communities around the airport.  These include inappropriate parking, littering, vehicle routes and aggressive driving.

6.       Integrated, Enhanced Enforcement

Heathrow will work with the local highway authorities and boroughs around the airport to develop an integrated, consistent approach to enforcement.  This would include closer working relationships between parking and traffic enforcement teams, sharing of information and co-ordination supported by Heathrow so matters can be addressed across all boroughs rather than merely displacing the issue.

7.       Deliver a strategic freight plan with local authorities

Heathrow’s expansion masterplan will be developed in conjunction with local authorities to prioritise efficient cargo operations in planning the land use around the airport. We are leveraging the investment and opportunities of expansion to improve local road pinch-points which currently cause congestion and have not been adapted to freight vehicle demands.

As part of a coordinated approach with local authorities, we will identify appropriate locations for freight facilities to try and avoid inappropriate traffic movements close to residential areas. Local residents, authorities and businesses will have the opportunity to feed into our proposals, as part of the airport’s public consultation process on Heathrow expansion.

8.       Institute a Sustainable Freight Group

In 2017, we will establish a partnership with leading cargo and freight companies including DHL, the Freight Transport Association, IAG Cargo, Dnata and the British International Freight Association (BIFA).   The Sustainable Freight Group will meet twice a year to exchange experience and best practice, support the development of initiatives to reduce emissions from freight activity at the airport and feed into local and national freight policy development.  Specific areas that the group will address:


  • Supporting the roll out of freight accreditation schemes with emissions reduction targets – building on existing initiatives such as FORS or ECOSTARS;
  • Trialling and sharing experience with new low and zero emission vehicle technologies, and supporting infrastructure;
  • Identifying measures to improve efficient and consolidated freight movements to and from the airport.

9.       Trial of low emission vehicles and technology on local roads

While most road traffic on major roads around the airport is not attributable to airport operations, we are committed to reducing the amount that is.  We welcome the latest ULEZ proposals from the Mayor of London, including his plans to implement a London-wide ULEZ for heavy vehicles by 2020 which would cover the areas around the airport and we will consult freight companies this year on their views on how we can deliver this in cooperation with them.

To tackle emissions and promote the use of electric vehicles, Heathrow has invested or approved over £4 million in vehicle charging infrastructure since 2014 including 45 charging points for operational vehicles.  To facilitate the move towards a London-wide ULEZ for heavy vehicles, in the lead up to delivering expansion, we will look to trial the use of low-emission freight vehicles and geo-fencing technology to encourage electric mode use of vehicles at Heathrow.

10.   Ultra-low emission zone for airside vehicles

As part of our sustainability strategy, Heathrow 2.0, our ambition is to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from airside vehicles by at least 50% by 2020 and 70% by 2025 (from 2013 baseline)  

More than 400 companies operate around 8,000 vehicles airside at Heathrow – and our cargo operations are a significant component of that activity. Over the past 14 years, we have worked closely with airport companies through the Heathrow Clean Vehicles Partnership to facilitate collaborative trials of low and zero emission vehicles, promote best practice in sustainable fleet management, and provide free guidance and training to reduce emissions.

To further encourage companies operating on the airfield to make their fleets more sustainable, in 2025 Heathrow proposes to introduce airside vehicle emissions standards in line with London’s ULEZ.  This will allow us to control airside access and tie airside vehicle permits to the age and emission standards of cargo and other airside vehicles and eliminate the use of the most polluting vehicles.