A partner of the EU-funded Smartfusion project has won an award for outstanding procurement as part of its smart urban freight solutions demonstration project in Newcastle (UK).

The Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) recognised Newcastle University for its initiative to reduce delivery vehicles on campus and cut its carbon footprint.

In May 2013 university researchers revealed that deliveries made up about 20 per cent of traffic entering the campus with almost 1 300 vehicles a week.

Using data to identify the suppliers that made the most deliveries, the procurement team met with other departments and trimmed the list of top suppliers to 35. The university approved the business case for the project in June 2014.

Four suppliers began consolidated deliveries in August 2014 using a 7.5t electric vehicle. Over 30 of the top suppliers are now involved in the project, which aims to reduce the number of delivery vehicles visiting the campus each week by 300 and save 90 tonnes of carbon a year. Newcastle University is the co-ordinator of Smartfusion, which aims to demonstrate the possibilities of smart freight in urban and interurban settings.