The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport has struck an agreement with the German government to implement a statistical index measuring the socio-economic impact of the freight and logistics sector on the province.

The newly developed "Green Logistics Index" intends to aggregate data ranging from crime, vehicle emissions and delivery times.

This will better guide policies aimed at driving down transport costs in the province, as well as inform inventions ranging from job creation to policing.

The provincial government also reached agreement with the German government to further co-operation on best practice between regulators, civil society and logistics companies, Gauteng roads and transport MEC Ismail Vadi said on Thursday.

Both the development of the index and the agreement were aimed at bringing into line goals "such cost effectiveness, speed and competitiveness … with broader development goals, such as environmental protection, social economic development and the safety of the urban environment," Vadi said.

The Green Logistics Index intends to aggregate information from logistics companies, provincial departments, academic institutions and state agencies, in order to provide bench-marking comparisons over time.

This will feed into 51 indicators allowing comparison across provincial regions for categories such as CO2 emissions, the share of goods being moved by rail instead of road, or the cost for public infrastructure being generated.

Only the index itself has been developed, with the project now moving to the data collection phase.

Christoph Henseler, a researcher at the Nexus institute, one of two German institutes that developed the index, said the index was "intended to be implementable". Once the data collection phase was complete, pilot tests in municipalities to test various indicators will be undertaken.

German deputy minister for the Environment, Building and Nuclear Safety Gunther Adler said as a follow on from the recent Paris climate change agreement, it had become necessary for various goals aimed at mitigating environmental damage to also have the support of politicians, administrations of municipalities and business.

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