The purpose of this paper is to investigate empirically how information and communication technologies (ICT) can contribute to reduction of CO2 emissions in road freight transport and to identify opportunities for further improvements. Design/methodology/approach - This research adopts a multiple case study approach with three leading UK grocery retailers as exemplars of fast-moving consumer goods retailers, conducted using multiple data collection techniques including interviews, system demonstrations, onsite observations and the use of archive information. Findings - ICT solutions have a direct positive impact on CO2 emissions reduction but opportunities to further reduce CO2 emissions are perceived as lying beyond retailers' own distribution networks. These opportunities are not fully utilised due to the complexities of collaborative ICT provisions and retailers' reluctance to share information with competitors. Research limitations/implications - A limitation of the study is that it is exploratory and only three cases were examined. Even though these three retailers represent over 60 per cent of the UK grocery retail sector, other retailers may deploy significantly different ICT applications. Practical implications - The research provides an overarching insight for businesses on how to leverage the existing and emerging information technologies for environmental and economic benefits. Originality/value - While sustainability issues have received increasing attention recently, the role of ICT in freight transport for CO2 emissions reduction has not been investigated in depth and its impact is largely unknown. This research advances understanding about how ICT contributes CO2 emissions reductions and provides a framework for further investigation.