Going green: now is the time
Triton Express – a large road transport company – has taken the initiative to reduce its carbon footprint and create a safer working environment in our trucking industry. On behalf of the entire FOCUS team, I would like to congratulate them.
At the Institute of Road Transport Engineers’ July meeting, Jo Anne Wilkinson from Triton Express presented an excellent paper on green technology and explained how the company has implemented an environmental policy to reduce its carbon footprint.
Wilkinson said senior management – motivated by the reality that close to 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide is produced annually by motor vehicles around the world – had embarked on a Go Green strategy to reduce Triton’s CO2 footprint.
The company operates a fleet of over 200 vehicles and, although there is currently no legislation requiring road transport companies to implement an environmental policy, Triton, as industry leaders, felt it was right from a moral and ethical perspective.
With an estimated 600 000 medium and heavy commercial vehicles, plus buses and minibus taxis, operating in South Africa at present, we could vastly reduce our carbon dioxide footprint if all the operators implemented such a policy – which would also ensure a healthy and safer workplace for all employees.
According to Wilkinson, an environmental strategy will only be successful if it is driven by a senior management team which is totally committed to making the policy work. Staff must be trained in all the aspects of the policy and encouraged to work in an environmentally-friendly manner.
The Triton Express environmental policy is not limited to reducing the CO2 footprint and also includes:
• Lowering water usage by recycling the water used to wash vehicles;
• Lowering electricity usage by educating staff to conserve power;
• Reducing waste through re-use and recycling, as well as by purchasing recycled, recyclable or refurbished products and materials whenever possible;
• Reducing fuel consumption by educating drivers on how to operate their vehicles in the most economical way. This includes closely monitoring fuel consumption on each vehicle, reducing the risk of fuel theft, and purchasing the right vehicle for the job;
• Improving the health of employees by avoiding the use of hazardous materials and products and ensuring that all dangerous materials are correctly stored.
The purchase of environmentally-friendly vehicles is another key factor in reducing the CO2 foot print.
Surely the time has come for all road transport companies to play their part and be more active in the reduction of the harmful carbon dioxide that they produce daily?
One of this country’s most respected commercial vehicle industry authorities, VIC OLIVER has been in this industry for 45 years. Before joining the FOCUS team, he spent 15 years with Nissan Diesel, 11 years with Busaf and seven years with International.