It’s been another busy year at Chepstow Plant International (CPI) – and despite the economic and political challenges the UK has faced in 2022, the company remains steadfast in its commitment to reach net-zero. Here, Iain Ormrod, General Manager at CPI, discusses what the business has implemented this year to bring it close to this goal.
With the end of 2022 upon us, many companies will be taking stock of the year’s events – while others will be making their plans for the year ahead.
During uncertain times like these, priorities change, and sustainability initiatives tend to fall off the agenda. At CPI however, we remained committed to our goal of achieving net zero by 2050.
We firmly believe that continual investment can deliver efficiencies for the future – whether that be in time, costs, or emissions – and this year we’ve made a great effort to test out emerging technologies or practices so we can learn from them.
While it would be impossible to capture everything we’ve done to reduce our emissions this year, here’s a rundown of the five key things we’ve been pushing forwards:
By using enhanced telemetry systems across our assets and holding regular management meetings or KPI reviews with our workforce, we’ve reduced idling time by around 10% across the board this year. Earlier this year, we carried out a root cause analysis to discover why our idling times were higher than expected at one of our quarries in the Southwest. We determined that adjusting the break times of our team and using a different size excavator made a significant difference – and idling time could be reduced even further through effective site preparation.
Of course, many believe that if trucks aren’t idling and are operating, then in theory, they’re burning more fuel. The important thing to remember here is that reducing idling means that assets are far more efficient with their fuel burn.
The use of data is crucial in driving efficiencies, and this year we’ve both continued our use of Volvo’s Haul Assist platform while also trialling its new Connected Maps system too. This allows our operators and our site manager to have total jobsite visibility – providing them with all the information they need to cut travel times, lower fuel consumption, maximise productivity and reduce emissions.
We’ve found that Connected Maps work particularly well in more complex sites, where we have multiple ‘Load and Dump’ zones. The initial roll-out has already helped us to reduce idling by 5% so far, and we’ll be rolling it out more widely next year.
Electric Vehicles (EVs)
Like many businesses that rely heavily on vehicles, EVs represent an easy win for us. This year, we transitioned our non-commercial vehicle fleet across to electric vehicles and have installed dozens of charge points across our sites and at our Head Office in Caldicot – a move that we estimate will save 100T of CO2 per annum. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to electrify our commercial fleet yet, and the reason for this is battery technology and the tasks required of these vehicles.
For businesses operating in cities or with sites within 50 miles of their HQ, commercial EVs can be extremely effective – so although it doesn’t appear feasible for a company like CPI at present, EVs will be a target point for us in 2023.
Tyres go hand-in-hand with electric vehicles in terms of driving results – and last year we partnered with Kal Tire, the industry-leading supplier of tyre management services, to embark upon an emissions-saving re-treading project.
As detailed in our recent blog, the project has provided CPI with data on the fuel and carbon emissions we’ve saved by re-treading tyres in comparison to buying them new.
With approximately 150 tyres re-tread and 450T of CO2 emissions – the equivalent to our entire road vehicle fleet running as carbon neutral – saved in 2022, this strategic partnership has been a substantial investment both in terms of time and money, and we’re planning to build on this further next year.
Perhaps the biggest development for CPI in 2022 was successfully completing one of the largest Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel trials across Europe.
With a 96% net-CO2e reduction, HVO represents the fastest present opportunity to reach net-zero for CPI’s direct scope emissions – and the trial has led to several customers and one of our major suppliers transitioning across to HVO. Further details about the trial can be found in this dedicated blog.
We’re incredibly excited by the efficiencies that HVO can offer – and delighted by the changes that have occurred as a result of the trial. It’s testament not only to the efforts our team put into the trial, but also the enduring support our customers have put behind this initiative and everything else we’re doing at CPI.
Without such support, we wouldn’t have been able to implement any of the initiatives we have this year – and this isn’t taken for granted. We look forward to taking the next step of our net-zero journey alongside our customers in 2023 and driving further efficiencies.
By Iain Ormrod
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