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Oatly’s Simon Broadbent: The climate can’t wait

2020.12.16

Oatly’s Simon Broadbent: The climate can’t wait

Customer stories

Sustainability

It’s now been nearly three months since Oatly started shipping electric in Sweden with Einride, operating on select routes between production sites and warehouses in Helsingborg, Landskrona, and Tingsryd. To date, our trucks have moved more 14,000 pallets of Oatly’s products over 30,000 km, resulting in 30 tonnes of CO2 saved, a 95% reduction compared to diesel.

That’s a lot of numbers to be proud of, but to learn a bit more about what the transition to electric freight has been like for Oatly, we sat down with their supply chain guru Simon Broadbent for a chance to catch up on how it’s gone so far and what’s next for the original oat-based food company.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself, your role at Oatly, and your background?

I’m the VP of Supply Chain and Integrated Planning at Oatly. I have worked within Operations and supply chain for more than 20 years, mainly within technology (Sonos, Sony, Sony Ericsson), and since 2019 building the Global Supply Chain here at Oatly.

Why is electric transport important to Oatly?

Sustainability is at the core of everything we do, and we work hard to lower our emissions across the board. We are constantly looking for more sustainable solutions in every area of our business to further our plant-based revolution and create societal change. Transport has been the weak spot in our climate footprint, as we continue to grow and bring our plant-based foods to more and more markets around the world. Together with Einride, we are helping drive a needed change in the transportation industry in showing that new, innovative solutions can actually be implemented. 

How has shipping electric with Einride been so far?

Great, it’s saving us 450 tonnes of CO2e per year. But beyond the positive climate impact, shipping electric with Einride has been easy to implement and operate. This solution for electric transport made switching away from diesel on our highest-volume routes simple and fast, and that’s allowed us to have an immediate impact in reducing emissions from our transport while also providing useful data that we can use to continually improve efficiency.

What's next for Oatly's sustainable transport goals?

We are “optimizing our network design,” which is a fancy way of saying building more factories in order to decrease the distance from them to our customers—which, turns out, is one of the easiest ways to decrease the overall climate footprint related to transportation.

Our goal is to transport our products with least possible impact on the environment using available (and future) technologies. We will see a blend of electric, train, and other sustainable logistics solutions evolving and replacing combustion engines over the next few years. Of course we hope more companies will join in, as I’m sure you know: the climate can’t wait.

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