Commercial vehicle fleets are being renewed at a “slow rate” resulting in a disproportionate number of older vans on the road, according to Iveco senior vice president Sam Burman.

As a result, “society is not fully benefiting from the huge improvements in terms of low exhaust emissions and fuel economy that modern commercial vehicles offer”.

Burman has called for a European industrial policy for research and development activities to be funded centrally rather than by individual countries which he warned could be influenced by national interests and therefore result in market distortions.

The policy would help “outline the future path for road transport vehicles in addressing CO2 emissions”.

As part of the policy, he proposed new purchasing incentives to aid the introduction of innovative technologies into the market.

Meanwhile, a voluntary scheme to record, report and reduce CO2 emissions in the UK freight sector has officially launched.

The Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme, managed by the Freight Transport Association, “positions the logistics sector in the lead as government challenges business to respond to national and international climate change targets”.

All 37 scheme members use a framework to track emissions which is then consolidated by the FTA to create a big picture on emissions.

FTA’s Simon Chapman said: “The scheme gives individual businesses the tools and the confidence to join in the response to the climate change challenges that confront us all.

“Even small businesses can use the scheme to measure carbon dioxide emissions in the same way as the largest operators do.

He added: “The LCRS allows the logistics sector to stay one step ahead of government legislation and to get the credit for the improvements in efficiency that it is continually making.”

Follow BusinessCar on TWITTER