Sustainability and safety in the transport industry

Posted by Jannie Nel on 15 Oct 2021 12:22:52 PM

Barloworld Transport Solutions

Sustainable transport refers to any means of transportation that has a low impact on the environment. Achieving this is about balancing current and future needs and ensuring we are putting the pieces in place now to continue improving sustainability in the transport industry.

Sustainability can be improved in many ways. Small changes now can have a big long-term impact and fleet managers need to keep sustainability in mind with every decision they make.

In many cases, safety and reduced costs are directly linked to improved sustainability, which means there is plenty of incentive for players in the transport industry to make sustainability a core focus of their business.

Current sustainability benchmarks – what are fleet managers doing?

Environmental sustainability is facilitated through management of the following key fleet aspects:

1. Fuel: Consumption is always a moving target and can be reduced by:

  • Driving behavioural monitoring and helping drivers to improve their driving skills in relation to smoother and better fuel-saving driving styles.
  • Regular maintenance of vehicles to ensure that vehicles operate optimally.
  • Route planning to minimise the distance travelled, to avoid unsafe areas or to avoid poor road conditions.
  • Employing PBS (Performance Based Standards) vehicles that are designed purely for function rather than looks. This has a significant impact on carbon emission reduction through transporting higher volume through less km and fuel...

2. Tyres: Tyre consumption is minimised through the effective maintenance of vehicles and tyres as well as tyre retread cycles that further reduce waste to landfill.

3. Electricity: Employing energy-saving initiatives such as solar sources and energy-efficient lights has a big impact on sustainability. Barloworld, for example, uses energy-saving measures and the company has seen a reduction in energy consumption of 7.9% (498 444 kWh) from YTD F2020 to F2021. The aforesaid was largely facilitated through operational reductions e.g. site closures, vehicles etc.

4. Water: There are many ways to reduce water consumption and recycle where possible. Barloworld has managed to significantly reduce its water usage by 17.7% (12 367 Kl) YTD from F2020 to F2021. Water from wash bays is reused.

5. Waste: Waste to landfill is minimised through recycling of waste including oil, batteries, paper, plastic etc.

6. Fit-for-purpose vehicle: A fit-for-purpose fleet - a fleet where every vehicle is chosen and used specifically for its ideal purpose - has a direct and positive impact on running costs and consumption of fuel and tyres.

Furthermore, vehicle design impacts directly on maximum load capacity, for example, superior aerodynamics lowers fuel consumption by reducing drag and wind effect.

How a more sustainable fleet benefits your business

As seen by the examples mentioned above, improving your business sustainability leads to long-term cost savings and fleet stability.

Whether it’s by choosing the perfect vehicles for your fleet or employing energy-saving measures, it all directly benefits your fleet and company. In addition, sustainable and environmentally friendly practices improve your company and brand reputation. This, in turn, leads to increased customer opportunities and support, as well as the opportunity to work with like-minded partners.

The near future of fleet sustainability

Logistics management is continuously evolving to be smarter. This directly impacts environmental sustainability and business sustainability through balancing people, profit, and the environment.

Sustainability and improvements in fleet technology go hand-in-hand. As more fleet managers turn to smart technology, lower consumption and sustainability automatically become part of the process.

The close link between sustainability and safety

Safety management directly impacts people through providing a safe working environment to minimise injuries, lost time and ill health due to occupational health exposures.

Safety also directly impacts profit through minimising road accidents and associated losses such as injury lost time costs, health medical costs, and business continuity impacts.

At the same time, safe fleet practices impact the environment by reducing negative environmental impacts such as spillages that can result in pollution and excessive fuel and energy consumption.

The above must be seen from a holistic perspective where integrated safety, health, and environmental risk management practices are utilised to improve sustainability from a people, profit, and environmental perspective.

As the logistics and supply chain partner for many blue chip companies, Barloworld Logistics safely transports your cargo around the world, on time, on target, and on budget.

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