Environmental safety, preservation and sustainability are all ever-important issues that have come to the front over the past years. In the haulage industry, we are witnessing ever more stringent environmental regulations, both national and international, governing the vehicles we use and the cargoes we carry. Needless to say, this has an impact on business at all levels – including public relations and image management. In today’s environmentally conscious world, driving a truck that belches out noxious fumes as it climbs a steep grade or changes gear is no longer acceptable. |
Just What is Lean & Green?
Lean & Green is an accreditation scheme established in a number of European countries by Connekt, a Dutch non-profit network for sustainable mobility. The scheme encourages governments and business in the logistic industry to improve their sustainability efforts to save costs, and lower emission levels at the same time.
This year, at the Lean & Green Awards ceremony in Luxembourg on 27th June 2016, a new, international scheme was announced that is aimed at large multi-national haulage companies, shippers and logistic providers.
How Does It Work?
If a company wants to enter the Lean & Green accreditation process, they have to provide a plan of action aimed at reducing their carbon emissions by 20% over a five-year period. If the goal is reached, they are awarded a Lean & Green Star that they can display on trucks, letter headings, promotional materials etc. This enables them to demonstrate to the world that the company is not only taking active steps to increase sustainability, but is also succeeding.
Other Than Reduced Emissions – How Can My Company Benefit?
We are in the haulage business to make our shareholders and partners money. It’s a given, therefore, that one of our prime directives must be the constant battle to reduce costs. One of the criticisms often levelled against carbon reduction systems are the initial costs of converting or purchasing equipment.
While this may be true, for the haulage industry there are both short and long term benefits that far outweigh the initial cost. These include:
• Reduced fuel costs due to more efficient engines. • Less maintenance. • Less energy costs (electricity etc.) due to the use of energy efficient environments. • Where applicable, national and international grants for developing a sustainable business model. • Public recognition as a company that not only cares for the environment, but as one that takes active measures to lower carbon emissions and lessen its impact on the environment too.
How Do I Get On Board?
Apply to join the Lean & Green European programme!
Basic requirements for joining the programme include meeting one of the following four criteria:
1. Having in place a programme that deals with at least 50% of your company’s carbon emissions. 2. Be a member of a national Lean & Green scheme at the initial 1 Star level. 3. Have proven, in another carbon reduction programme, that you have significantly reduced your carbon emissions. 4. Provide audited data that your present carbon emissions are amongst the lowest in your industry segment.
Reducing carbon emissions and your carbon footprint is a win-win situation. Lean & Green is one way of encouraging haulage contractors to join in the quest to make a better planet for us all.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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