Proving that even firms in the environmental management sector can benefit from the fresh pair of eyes of an external adviser, the Neales Waste Management has been working with Groundwork Pennine Lancashire for the last couple of years.
Neales Waste Management offers an integrated commercial waste management service to the North West’s industrial sector and local authorities, which involves running a large fleet of waste trucks.
A decade ago the company's annual fuel consumption had reached half a million litres, generating over 1,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions each year.
In response, an internal transport efficiency programme was set up to reduce the carbon footprint and costs of the fleet. With free support from Groundwork Pennine Lancashire’s Resource Efficiency Club, a range of fuel efficiency initiatives have now been implemented.
A vehicle satellite tracking system has been fitted to company vehicles to generate real-time data that will allow the company to monitor and improve driver behaviour, to improve fuel efficiency. Computerised fuel monitoring systems are also being used and drivers have attended fuel efficiency training to help them reduce their miles per gallon.
Fleet vehicles have been fitted with wind deflectors to improve fuel economy and the company is trialling the use of renewable biofuels. Improved tyre pressure checks and maintenance systems are now in place to ensure optimum performance.
As a result, the company expects to achieve an 11 per cent reduction in its annual fuel consumption. An estimated 30,000 litres of diesel could be saved each year, reducing the company’s transport carbon emissions by 80 tonnes a year.
Additional energy savings have already been achieved by surveying for leaks in the compressed air system at two of the company’s Lancashire sites and making repairs that have reduced annual electricity bills by more than £1,600 a year. This cost saving comes with an environmental saving of more than nine tonnes of annual CO2e emissions.
Fresh opportunities to further improve energy efficiency at little or no cost include: adjusting thermostat and operating times on heaters, implementing a 'switch off' campaign for lighting, replacing an inefficient boiler, implementing an out-of-office 'power down' policy and reducing night-time lighting.
Debbie Salmon, the firm’s health, safety and environmental manager, said: "Like all businesses we are under increasing pressure to manage our resources efficiently, make cost savings and minimise our negative impact on the environment.
"The support and services available from the Resource Efficiency Club will enable us to explore new opportunities for improvement, track our progress and make the cost savings we strive for."
Groundwork Pennine Lancashire is a key member of the ENWORKS delivery partnership.
Case study published on 12 February 2011