This 8 minute video shows how Linfox is going about reducing its carbon emissions. What stands out for me in this video is the broad commitment across the organisation to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Use it to help inspire a similar commitment in your organisation.
Archive for the ‘Carbon measurement and tracking’ Category
Reflecting on my interviews with various leaders in the energy efficiency space there are five things you must have to successfully reduce energy use and carbon emissions.
First you need leadership commitment.
Second you need a measurement and monitoring system. Whether you are a school (listen to Hannah Lewis, Westernport Secondary College, which has halved its energy use in the last four years) or a major corporation such as Wesfarmers, you must be able to track your progress.
Third you need more than one person active and driving the program. Witness Linfox, where a few programmers voluntarily took on the extra project of building a carbon tracking tool.
Fourth you need a well informed plan as to what you need to do. An energy audit by experienced energy efficiency engineers will provide this.
Fifth, you need investment. Money is needed to get the savings. The money could be spent on people (eg the driver training undertaken by LinfoX) or technology (eg lighting upgrades at Darebin City Council and Newcastle City Council, or the new paint plant at Toyota).
Do this and with time you’ll have a self-funding system that will continue to reduce your energy use and carbon footprint.
Linfox is well known for the “You are passing another Fox” sign on the back of its vehicles. But the company has also cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 9% in the last eighteen months, and is on track to cut its emissions by 15% by December 2010.
I had the privilege of interviewing David McInnes, Group Manager Environment and Climate Change yesterday and being inspired about Linfox’s approach to the climate change challenge. It was refreshing not to hear the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme mentioned once in the interview. Linfox is reducing its carbon emissions because it wants to, not because its being forced to, and is quietly getting on with it.
So how does a organisation with 15,000 staff, whose carbon emissions mostly come from diesel consumed in trucks, reduce its per km emission by 9% in eighteen months? You can find the interview on our “Good News Interviews” page.
For me a couple of the standouts from the interview were:
- Their staff engagement program. Almost all of their savings have come about by making better use of what they already have, rather than investing in new technology. This has been achieved by getting their staff involved in changing the way things are done and in how trucks and buildings are operated, and making hundreds of small changes.
- Their carbon accounting system – developed in-house. Linfox programmers set up their SAP system such that now monthly carbon reports can be generated, down to the level of individual trucks if necessary. A consistent theme of all organisations cutting their carbon footprints is their focus on accurately and frequently tracking their emissions
- David’s recommendation to any organisation wishing to cut their carbon footprint to undertake an energy audit, which provides the business case for action. Thanks for the plug for my profession David!
After the interview we discussed Linfox’s Greenfox program, and I wish I had left the voice recorder on. This is a fantastic program. Staff can become a Greenfox by passing five training modules. Everyone who completes the training gets a framed certificate, and drivers who complete the training get a Greenfox badge on the shoulder of their uniform. David mentioned that Greenfox’s often become ambassadors, with truck drivers going to their kid’s schools and talking about climate change.
Also not covered in the interview was the great help David got from Linfox’s IT department in modifying SAP. Normally there is a long queue in the organisation for projects requiring SAP changes. The carbon accounting adjustments though were undertaken by the SAP programmers on top of their normal requirements, such was their commitmen to the company reducing its carbon footprint.
Finally David also spoke off the record about the need to focus less on the science and more on the community and the emotional response that when sparked can result in great change.
As one of Australia’s larger businesses Linfox is taking a leadership role by getting on with reducing its corporate carbon footprint. David McInnes is providing inspirational leadership. Take half an hour to listen to David McInnes and I guarantee you’ll come away motivated and hopeful about what is possible if we focus on cutting carbon emission.
General Electric is developing “smart” appliances that can integrate with “smart meters” and thus potentially schedule loads in a way that reduces maximum demand.
With time of use pricing in place, the GE system will use pricing information to schedule loads real time. So for example if a washing machine was running it might switch it off if the price of electricity increased, then switch it back on again when the price dropped.
GE have a dedicated website looking at the smart grid as part of its “eco-imagination” drive. If you have the patience for the flash animation to download its a superficial visual view of the smart grid and smart meters, but with little detail of the technology.
Earlier today I interviewed Cameron Schuster, Sustainability Manager of Wesfarmers Limited. Wesfarmers owns Coles, Bunnings, Kmart, Officeworks, Target and a large number of other businesses.
Cameron’s says the following three things are critical to any organisation wishing to cut their carbon emissions.
- Measure. Wesfarmers is putting in an internet based measurement and reporting system in place. This will provide store managers and others easy access to information about how they are performing.
- Win senior management commitment
- Entrust and empower people throughout the organisation to initiate activities to reduce their carbon emissions. Lots of small initiatives can add up to large carbon savings.
As with my interview with Toyota the theme of continuous improvement comes through in this interview. Wesfarmer’s carbon reduction strategy also has a strong emphasis on energy efficiency.