Harking back to the Transport Forum’s Workshop on the coming carbon taxes, I was impressed with the presentation by Abrie de Swardt, marketing director at Imperial logistics. Abrie says get educated and learn how to measure and monitor your carbon footprint and identify the level of change you achieve as your plan and procedures take effect.
This, says Abrie, requires establishing a business case to support your initiative and your plan to become greener. The business case must meet three criteria , financially, environmentally and socially.
The green strategy Abrie recommends includes:
- Investing in new and emerging fleet technology to reduce emissions and retrain even the best drivers to gain a better understanding of how their driving style can be improved to reduce the carbon footprint.
- Review the maintenance plan and procedures to keep vehicles in appropriate condition taking into account even the disposal of old oil and parts.
- Revisit routing and scheduling of vehicles to ensure unnecessary kilometres are eliminated and best suited routes are chosen with the objective of reducing CO2 emissions and unnecessary idling.
- Recycle everything you can from the office and workshops keeping in mind that all small things add up to make a difference.
- Co-operate with suppliers, contractors and customers to optimise production, load and delivery planning to reduce congestion, delays and unnecessary trips.
“Admitting you have a problem is the first step to establishing your green initiative,’ says Abrie.
With this in mind, I submit my contribution to green initiatives. Assume a vehicle travels 150 000 kilometres a year. In the process, 55 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres is consumed. Assume 2,67 kilograms of CO2 is omitted for each litre of diesel consumed. This equates to 82 500 litres of diesel a year and 220.3 tons of CO2 emissions.
Now assume we can improve each of the following factors by just 1% by taking steps to eliminate waste, duplication, outmoded practices and the use of better technology.
- Unladen mass of vehicles and trailers.
- Less air resistance (frontal area).
- Less rolling resistance (tyre tread pattern and maintenance of pressure).
- Actual kilometres (eliminate unnecessary and unauthorised kilometres).
- Average speed travelled.
- Harsh braking.
- Harsh acceleration.
- Correct lubricating oil (less friction).
- Tyre management (maintenance, pressure monitoring and choice of tread pattern).
- Green band driving (better use of gearbox and engine power).
- Properly trained and retrained drivers.
A 1% improvement in each of the above items would not only reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions but will also contribute to better tyre life, lower maintenance costs and a better chance of achieving the designed useful life of the major components.