Home FleetWatch 2011 De Swardt becomes ‘Da Green’

De Swardt becomes ‘Da Green’

Abrie de Swardt receives his award from Mapule Ncanywa, acting CEO services, at the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa.

Congratulations to Abrie de Swardt, marketing director for Imperial Logistics, who has received the Green Supply Chain Industry Leadership Award 2011.

The nomination was due to his far reaching work on bringing green to the supply chain both within Imperial Logistics and by spreading the message broadly throughout the supply chain and business communities.

On receipt of the award, de Swardt said: “We need to develop a sophisticated view of the impact we have on the environment. We need to change our paradigm, our behavior and the way in which we look at green. I have experienced that journey in Imperial Logistics.’Speaking of the need for greater collaboration, he noted: “Whether or not we compete in the market, this is a great opportunity to embrace collaboration and work together across boundaries.’

Imperial Logistics is on a sustainability focused growth path that balances people, planet and profit – a factor that contributes to the group being a leading global logistics and supply chain player.

“Within Imperial Logistics, there are many inspiring, collaborative examples of greening operations and customer supply chains.’ Best practice formulation and application has been pioneered through introducing Euro 5 specification vehicles, innovative water management system development specifically for the needs of transportation companies, ‘˜extra distance’ analysis and network redesign for cutting carbon emissions and cost simultaneously, as well as an investment in zero emission vehicle refrigeration that operates in complete silence , no moving parts, no
harmful emissions and absolutely no noise.

Over the past two years, Imperial Cargo has designed and built a self-sufficient, green Western Cape headquarters, literally transforming a dumpsite into a Logistics Service Provider (LSP) national logistics hub that showcases pragmatic use of renewable energy and a self-sufficient approach to both power generation and water management.

“These projects,’ he said “are examples of the significant scale on which companies can use clean, renewable and sustainable electrical energy, as well as the way in which better business efficiencies simultaneously enable greener operations.’

“It is initiatives such as these that translate the group’s strategic green leadership into action,’ said de Swardt.

Editor’s Comment:

Apart from applauding De Swardt on his well deserved award, we also compliment him on a statement that really stands out, namely, his comment on collaboration: “Whether or not we compete in the market, this is a great opportunity to embrace collaboration and work together across boundaries.’ Yes, yes, yes!!! Global warming has no boundaries and affects all of us.Harmful emissions generated in Mozambique through the burning of wood to make charcoal do not stop at the Komatipoort border post. Not even bothering about passport or customers clearance, those emissions just come on over into our air where they join the foul emissions emanating from plants like Eskom’s Grootvlei power station and ArcelorMittal’s Vanderbijlpark gunk-spewing factory. Certainly it is true that by the very nature of business competitiveness, boundaries are created between companies with no company wanting to give away any initiative it may come up with to gain a competitive advantage. When it comes to the environment, however, we’re all in it together and companies should be willing to break down the boundaries and as De Swardt says, “embrace collaboration and work together across boundaries.’

This is the right path to follow and under the FleetWatch Call to Action initiative, we will take this further as the true potential of greening the trucking industry will only be fully realized through sharing ideas, actions and values. In that way, we will give our kids and grandkids a long-term competitive advantage to live and thrive in a cleaner world than we do now. That has to make it all worthwhile.

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