Driving To Deliver Your Business

Cutting Carbon emissions in the road haulage industryLogistics …

The government is currently heavily focused on reducing the UK s carbon emission figures, meaning the road haulage industry is currently under more scrutiny than ever before. The legally-binding EU Climate Change and Energy Package states that the UK s total emissions must fall by 20 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020, and there are additional targets to cuttransport emissions by as much as 6 per cent.

The road haulage industry is a significant consumer of fossil fuels and carbon emissions, currently accounting for approximately 20 per cent of the total emissions.

The need of reducing the fuel consumption of vehicles will not only force hauliers to develop sound environmental practises, but will also impose a real opportunity to reduce their total cost as a result.

There are a number of ways in which road haulage firms would benefit from monitoring their CO2 output, including (but not limited to):

  • Managing fuel consumption. Being aware of fuel usage is the first step towards being able to lower it.
  • Assessing environmental impact. Developing a coherent environmental policy is essential in the modern business world, and assessing your impact is a key part of this.
  • Budgeting and planning. Overall, companies are able to reduce the risks associated with changes in fuel price, helping to make forecasting easier.
  • Improving fleet efficiency. The more analysis there is available, the better firms will be able to track their carbon footprint and improve their image and reputation.

Carbon Emissions A practical guide for fleet operators and drivers1 describes several actions that can be undertaken and some of these includes

Practical actions to improve your emissions whilst improving fleet technology

One of the most effective ways to start improving carbon emissions is to keep the fleet updated with the latest technology. Some key changes worth consideration include:

  • Low rolling resistant tyres, which provide lower energy requirements (and can cause an average of 5 per cent in carbon emissions)
  • Automated manual transmissions. A computer performs clutch operation, providing up to 7-10 per cent reduction in emissions)
  • The use of alternative fuels such as biofuels, solar power and electric power)
  • The electrification of refrigeration and refuse bodies, which can reduce CO2 emissions by between 10 and 20 per cent per year).

The value of route planning

Another valuable way to cut carbon emissions (and one that can be carried out at virtually no expense) is to plan routes up-front. A number of key techniques can help to maximise the efficiency of this process, including maximisation of vehicle capacity, night running, having a strategy in place for missed deliveries, the use of telematics technology and the use of sat-navs to obtain the most efficient route.

Monitoring fuel usage

A key part of managing mileage and fuel is to ensure that the data the firm uses comprises of distance covered and fuel used. Using this data, it s possible to compare performance across drivers, vehicles and routes. For larger fleets, it can be worth exploring automatic systems, as a reduction in manual data input can help to save administration costs.

In conclusion: a reduction in fuel usage and carbon emissions should be vital work for both firms and the governing bodies that oversee the industry.

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  1. ^ Carbon Emissions A practical guide for fleet operators and drivers (www.returnloads.net)

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