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Long-time champion of local sourcing, Greencity Wholefoods has started delivering food to retailers, cafes and restaurants using an electric trike in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

The Glasgow-based wholesaler is trialling the Iceni e-cargo trike, which can take loads up to 250kg, this summer. The trike was funded through Glasgow City Council’s Co-Operative and Social Enterprise Fund.

In 2016, the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland estimated that ambient air pollution causes 40,000 premature deaths, over six million sick days, and an estimated social cost of £22.6bn per year. The city introduced Low Emission Zones in 2018 with Phase 2 due to be introduced in 2023, so looking at alternative distribution models for inner city deliveries is essential.

Chris Wallace, who had the idea to trial the e-cargo trike, said: “It’s great Greencity has supported the idea, and if we can make a success of delivering goods in e-cargo trikes in Glasgow, we would then look to expanding delivery options in other cities across Scotland and Northern England. Communities deserve clean air and this is one method that could help mitigate pollution. We need to see more businesses adapt to create a more resilient society.”

Long term member Scott Erwin added: “With Glasgow hosting COP26 in November, it is incumbent upon businesses to find ways to reduce their CO2 emissions and help build a cleaner infrastructure for distribution. This shows one possible alternative mode of transport that could be utilised, but we require greater investment and options on the market for electric vehicles with larger payloads to really make a difference.”

Greencity Wholefoods has been addressing its carbon footprint in recent years; it has installed solar panels at its distribution centre and is currently retrofitting all its existing lighting to LEDs.