I caught up again today with David McInnes, Group Manager Environment for Linfox – you can find the interview here. Linfox have cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 28% per km since 2006/07. They are aiming to cut their emissions by 50% by 2015. I find this tremendously refreshing and a great example for other companies to follow.
The 28% reduction has cut fuel costs by $18 million annually compared with what they would have been with no action. Most of the savings have come from what David calls cultural change, the process of engaging with staff and getting them committed to minimising their environmental impact at work. The company is putting all its drivers through its Eco-Drive program, the single largest source of its savings. The Eco-Drive program has now been translated into six languages by Linfox.
When Linfox started on its greenhouse gas saving program back in 2006/07 it didn’t do a dry cost-benefit feasibility study, rather its board took the attitude that as a large contributor to transport emissions it had a responsibility to act. It set a target of a 15% reduction by 2010, not knowing how to achieve that, but putting faith that by going through a structured process of cultural change the results would be achieved. Their faith in this process has certainly paid off.
Its modelled its change process on the eight step change model developed by Harvard University academic John Kotter, who has written several books on the process of organisational change.
The first step of Kotter’s process is to create a sense of urgency. Linfox created this by focussing on the climate change science. Part of this involved commissioning a series of mindmaps by West Australian artist Jane Genovese, one of which which can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that greenhouse emissions need to be reduced globally by between 25% and 40% by 2020 on 1990 levels to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees. David believes that this target can be achieved, and Linfox is a great example of how business can lead the way.