Carbon-neutral site equipment: another step towards sustainable supply chains

As manufacturers across all industries look to their logistics partners to help deliver more sustainable services, our green equipment fleet initiative will help them reduce the impact of their outbound supply chains.

Electric machinery

With regulators tightening up restrictions on emissions, particularly in the automotive sector, manufacturers are under growing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint to meet worldwide sustainability targets. While many are adopting electrification to deliver more sustainable products to the market, ensuring the sustainable distribution of these products is equally important, which is why we’re working on ways to reduce emissions across our operations.

Having successfully introduced a digital solution to help manage emissions across our ocean shipping services, we’re also looking at ways we can make our land-based operations more sustainable going forward.

We’re transitioning to electric units at our terminals and yards to help lower energy consumption, with our goal being to ensure all new terminal and yard equipment is carbon neutral by 2022. “As equipment reaches its end of life or contractual terms expire, we are poised to make the switch from internal combustion engine machines to electric ones,” says Alex Conjour, senior vice president for operational excellence, logistics services, Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

“Our customers are under tremendous pressure to manage not only their own direct carbon emissions, but also their Scope 3 emissions – the carbon emissions created by suppliers working on their behalf,” says Jon Spampinato, senior sustainability manager at Wallenius Wilhelmsen. “Offering carbon neutral logistics services to our customers means they can rest assured we are helping them satisfy their own regulatory, investor and customer expectations.”

Equally important in supporting this shift to carbon-neutral equipment is ensuring the right infrastructure is in place. With a more pressing replacement need at our equipment processing centres in the US, we’re focusing our efforts on these sites first. “In some of our operations, there will be minimal infrastructure upgrade requirements while others may require a more expensive facelift,” says Conjour. “We may have to explore some different work routines to accommodate charging depending on the site.”

Benefits of carbon-neutral solutions

Environmental benefits are not the only advantage of carbon-neutral terminal equipment. Electric machinery is less mechanically complex, making it easier to maintain, plus electric machines often have a longer lifespan.

Start-up costs can be a factor when implementing carbon-neutral terminal and yard equipment, but the systemic benefits far outweigh these. “Slashing the amount of carbon we produce has a positive impact on the environment and once a carbon pricing mechanism is in place, the true economic benefits of converting to electric will be even more measurable,” says Spampinato. “An electric fleet will help us to better manage the climate risks and impacts on our business and fulfil our purpose of delivering sustainable logistics for a world in motion.”

Main image courtesy of Papé Material Handling

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