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Environment
Monday, November 1, 2010
Setting emissions benchmark

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDC) recently reported that the transportation industry, worldwide, accounts for 13% of global emissions. With only 9% of transport companies currently investing in low carbon initiatives, it is clear that the sector is lagging behind in terms of carbon reduction strategies.

The 2009 UN Copenhagen Climate Conference stressed the importance of reducing emissions. Those countries responsible for over 80% of the global carbon emissions agreed that serious cuts needed to be made. South Africa is one of these countries and contributes an excessive 1.48% to global emission levels, making it the 13th largest contributor of greenhouse gases.
A sister company of Cargo Carriers, Ezethu Logistics, is helping to improve our transport sector’s reputation. In bringing the first Euro IV fuel distribution fleet into South Africa, Ezethu has positioned itself as a leader in environmentally friendly transportation. Euro IV is the latest standard set by the European Union for reasonably acceptable carbon emissions. According to Cargo Carriers joint CEO Murray Bolton, the Euro IV fuel distribution fleet upgrade, combined with Ezethu’s high levels of Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (SHEQ), has already become a key differentiator when looking for new business.
Ezethu was founded by JSE-listed logistics company Cargo Carriers, which sees SHEQ as a top priority and encourages all its subsidiaries and associated companies to do the same.
“We have to place a high importance on SHEQ as we transport gas, fuel and chemicals,” comments Bolton “These industries set high standards for sustainability, so embracing a more environmentally friendly approach is a non-negotiable for us. Introducing the country’s first Euro IV fuel distribution fleet proved to be a major advantage in the tender for what is essentially a renewal of our Total contract.”
Ezethu’s recently awarded contract with Total South Africa involves the transportation of fuel from Waltloo to Pretoria and Pretoria North. Being able to guarantee the highest levels of SHEQ was an essential prerequisite.
Companies like Total insist on such high standards for good reason. There are four toxic pollutants found in fuel: Nitorgen Oxide (NOx), Total Hydrocarbon (THC), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Particulate Matter (PM). Particulate Matter refers to the fine incombustible particles that are spewed out of the exhaust into the atmosphere. Reducing carbon emissions is something that the transport industry – being such a large contributor – needs to look at very seriously.
In 1992, the European Union developed a system to define acceptable limits of exhaust emissions from new vehicles sold in EU member states. This system was defined in a series of directives that allowed for the gradual implementation of increasingly stringent emission standards, beginning with Euro I. In 2006 Euro IV was set up and it is still in use today. The ‘Euro system’ has since become an international benchmark for emission standards.
By complying with international emission standards and supporting the Copenhagen Accord. Ezethu Logistics is an empowered South African company that is keeping pace with global environmental and safety trends. That Ezethu has enjoyed such immediate success in embracing best practice should teach us an important lesson: the environmental imperative is fast becoming a business imperative. Those companies that lag behind are going to miss out on future opportunities.
 

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:23.11 1st November, 2010
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