Top Award for Newcastle University and Clipper Solution

ThelmasA unique and innovative consolidation solution developed by Clipper and Newcastle University has been recognised for excellence at the highly prestigious Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Awards (THELMAS). The event brings together the best universities to celebrate quality, innovation and leadership in the higher education sector.

The delivery solution, developed in collaboration, sees University deliveries directed to an off-site consolidation centre at the Clipper Wynyard facility. The deliveries are then consolidated onto electric vehicles which then perform the final leg of the journey, thereby greatly reducing carbon emissions and the vehicle movements on campus, providing a much safer environment for students and University staff.

When commenting on the winning entry, the judges said: “The benefits include cost savings to the University along with improvements to health and safety around the campus, while protecting the environment using electric vehicles.”

Clipper Chief Executive, Tony Mannix, said: “We’re a market leader in green consolidation solutions, but this is the first time we’ve worked with a Further Education institution in this way. We’ve applied the extensive experience we’ve gathered in the world of retail consolidation, and applied it to this project. Working with Newcastle University to develop and implement this green solution has been an exciting and engaging experience, that has its success rooted in collaboration.”

From the University’s side, the initiative arose from the EU funded* Smartfusion research project focusing on Smart Urban Freight Solutions and co-ordinated by the University’s Newrail Research Centre. Project Manager Bruce Carnaby said: “As well producing substantial benefits for staff and students at Newcastle University, the model we have developed is undoubtedly transferable to other customers, cities and public institutions.”

More than 30 of the University’s top suppliers are now signed up to the scheme, which ultimately aims to reduce the number of vehicles on campus by 300 per week and save 90 tonnes of carbon per year. The project is recognised as unique in the Higher Education sector and has received universal praise from environmental and industry commentators.


* The collaboration is co-funded by the EU, Clipper, Newcastle University and other partners, as part of the Smartfusion project ( funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme (FP7/ 2007-2013) under grant agreement No. 285195.