Speaking at the Microlise Transport Conference in 2013, Brit European’s Managing Director, Graham Lackey, outlined their Environmental Efficiency project – delivering his vision of running dual fuel vehicles and the problems they needed to overcome with infrastructure to support this new technology. A little over a year on and this ground-breaking project has now been recognised by their industry peers at this year’s Motor Transport Awards.
The Brit European award synopsis on the mt awards website reads; “Reducing carbon emissions while at the same time lowering operating costs demonstrates that being a more environmentally-friendly haulier is not all about spending vast sums. With a mixed fleet of 200 vehicles, covering cars, vans, HGVs and plant, Brit European Transport identified a need to not only reduce its operating costs but also lower its carbon output”.
“Through its Environmental Efficiency project, first undertaken in 2012, the firm identified several key goals, most notably an overall aim to reduce carbon emissions by 25% and lower operating costs by up to 5% through the use of biogas. To achieve its ambitious CO2 reduction targets, Brit European also recognised the need for a portable refuelling facility to support up to 50 vehicles.”
“The judges were pleased to see that Brit European’s success had been measured by effectively validating the substitution rates of biogas to diesel in its vehicles through the use of (Microlise) telematics to track the vehicles and monitor diesel/gas consumption and CO2 output. Strong testimonials from customers, including Jaguar Land Rover and JCB who were keen to lower the overall CO2 contribution of their activities, proved instrumental in showing the judges that the company had successfully got big customers to buy into its low carbon vision.”
“Importantly, the panel felt there was clear signposting of how the environmental targets would be achieved and by using live data from the beginning of 2014 the company was able to show average savings of 42 tonnes of CO2 per month by substituting biogas for diesel at a rate of 47.1%.”
“While the project was undertaken for environmental reasons, the judges felt Brit European had capably demonstrated how low carbon initiatives can improve profit in a sustainable manner by “recognising the environmental, social and economic benefits required of the business when setting targets”. Overall the project has seen the firm lower its CO2 output from its trucks by between 15% and 18%, utilise bio-methane from landfill or anaerobic digestion for further CO2 reductions of up to 25%, and reduce tailpipe particulate emissions. In a wider context, its work has helped raise the profile of dual fuel and contributed significantly to the expansion of gas refuelling systems through redesigning the truck chassis to accommodate storage tanks and developing a portable fuelling systems that maintain the same compression capabilities of a permanent site.”
Graham Lackey commented, ““It is great to finally get industry recognition for our continued innovation, but more importantly, the industry needs to step up to the plate and play its part in cleaning our environment for future generations. We can demonstrate that cutting carbon doesn’t automatically mean on cost and that it can indeed show commercial gains by reducing fuel clauses for customers. It becomes a win win for all.”
Along with Brit European on the night, winners also included CEMEX UK Logistics – winners of the Safety in Operation Award and Culina Logistics – winners of the Temperature Controlled Operator of the Year Award – all of whom use Microlise transport management solutions and its many different modules, to monitor their fleet performance.
Bob Harbey, Executive Director at Microlise commented, “I would like to offer our congratulations to all the winners at the MT Awards, especially to our customers. With regard to the Low Carbon award going to Brit European, Microlise would like to congratulate Graham and the team for the hugely innovative step they took and the hard work he and his colleagues, supported by Microlise in part, have undertaken to make his vision a reality.
Bob also wanted to take the opportunity to express his delight at MT choosing to honour Des Evans, of MAN Truck and Bus UK, with the Service to Industry Award. Bob commented’ “Des has been an inspiration to all in the industry and a man I have worked closely with over the years. On behalf of everyone at Microlise, I would like to wish Des the very best for the future.”