Govt-industry emissions initiative slashes running costs

By: Jason Whittaker

A joint environmental initiative between the West Australian Government and Toll-IPEC is dramatically cutting the running as well as environmental

A joint environmental initiative between the West Australian Government and Toll-IPEC is dramatically cutting the running as well as environmental costs of light commercial trucks.

The Department of Environment and Conservation and Toll-IPEC last year launched a three-month trial into cutting unnecessary idling. The voluntary trial, which is part of the department’s Diesel CleanRun program, began November 12 with a focus on having drivers turn off their engines while queuing and when loading as well as unloading their trucks.

According to Toll-IPEC WA, half of the company’s drivers at the Forrestfield depot signed up to commit themselves to adopting sustainable driving practices.

Data is collected by way of 20 on-board computers installed in the trucks. The data has not yet been collated, but the Department of Environment and Conservation is finding the trial is saving Toll-IPEC may save up to $64,000 per year in fuel costs.

A case study looked at a driver of an Isuzu five-tonne FRR – which burns two litres of fuel an hour – and calculated his unnecessary idling at 260 hours per year.

"Based on these figures and today’s fuel prices, each driver would save approximately $800 per year on fuel or $64,000 per year across 80 drivers," according to a newsletter released by Toll-IPEC.

Furthermore, cutting out unnecessary idling also saw a reduction in emissions. According to the case study, "each driver will save an average of 1.5 tonne[s] of CO2 emissions per year if they turned off their trucks during drop-offs, pick-ups and while waiting in line".

"One of the great things about this trial is that we can show that there is some discernable difference being made," Toll-IPEC WA State Manager Kenton Muller says.

Drivers themselves are also experiencing the health benefits of cutting down on idling times, as turning off their engines decreases carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide levels, two substances which can cause cardiovascular disease and lung cancer.

As well as cutting environmental and running costs, Toll-IPEC stands to increase its profit margins as well.

"Most companies these days have environmental statements and do whatever they can do to live up to these statements," he says.

"Customers will want to work with Toll-IPEC rather than with other companies that don’t have as much environmental interest."

A spokesperson from the Department of Environment and Conservation says the trial is the first of its kind in Australia. The department is hoping to expand the initiative by incorporating other businesses.

For the full story see the March edition of ATN magazine, mailed to subscribers in the first week of next month. Call (07) 3854 1286 to guarantee your copy.

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