Meet the expert: Andrew Prior talks safety, quality and sustainability

Passionate about cars since childhood, Andrew Prior started his career in finished vehicle logistics as a rail supervisor. In 2016 he joined Wallenius Wilhelmsen as an operations manager in Baltimore and has since moved to different locations across the US gaining valuable experience. Now, he’s bringing this experience to his new role as senior manager for safety, quality and sustainability, helping to drive sustainable logistics across the company.

Andrew Prior

What attracted you to the role of senior manager for safety, quality and sustainability?

The opportunity to learn about other areas of Wallenius Wilhelmsen appealed to me, as it will help me to become a more well-rounded leader.

What are your key responsibilities

As the job title suggests, my role is focused on three things: creating a safe workplace for all our employees, delivering the best quality for our customers and driving our sustainability ambitions for all our stakeholders.

What skills and expertise do you need to manage quality, safety and sustainability?

You need to be able to think locally while striving to effect global change. Each facility has its own particular set of constraints, so not every programme will work for every facility. You have to be able to see the big picture, but understand how to implement it at grassroots level with employees. Without the buy-in of every employee these programmes will never be successful.

How do your particular skills and expertise benefit not only your team, but the customer too?

Global quality, safety, and sustainability affects everyone – our employees, our customers and our stakeholders. Our quality initiatives allow us to produce the highest quality product for our customers, while growing our safety initiatives allows us to provide the safest working environment for our employees. Finally, our sustainability efforts allow us to demonstrate to all parties how we are lowering emissions for the health of the world.

What my team and I seek to do is to seamlessly integrate sustainable practices into our employees’ work life.

Andrew Prior

What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?

Sustainability is a clear priority for us, our customers and stakeholders, so finding the right initiatives that can deliver value while improving quality, safety and sustainability is key. It’s important not to just consider the short-term, however; we need to consider what offers the greatest value both for right now and further down the road.

How have we made sustainability a more integral part of our operations?

Sustainability is part of our day-to-day work. What my team and I seek to do is to seamlessly integrate sustainable practices into our employees’ work life. It’s not only big projects that make a difference, it’s the small things that count too, such as replacing switches in our offices with motion detection lights to use less power. For our customers, these small changes are also helping to ensure the sustainability credentials of their own supply chains.

We’re participating in the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit programme. Why is this programme so important?

The LCFS programme is a rebate program that rewards companies in California who choose to use equipment that does not generate emissions. We’ve rolled out a pilot programme at our Los Angeles and Oxnard sites in collaboration with Smart Charging Technologies (SCT), which allows us to generate carbon rebates at these facilities that can be used by higher CO2 generating companies. We hope to expand these programmes to other sites across the US in the future as part of our zero-emissions journey.

What other sustainability projects are in the pipeline?

We have a lot planned for local, regional and global sustainability initiatives. Everything from carbon-free equipment to green facilities and many future technologies that will allow us to continue to be a leader in sustainable initiatives.

Do you think you can make a difference in your new role?

Oh yes! It’s my job to make a difference. And it’s my job to provide these opportunities for the company to help move things forward.

Sustainability Report highlights

Our 2020 Sustainability Report showcases our sustainability work from the past year. Here we look at some of our achievements when it comes to emissions, safety and waste reduction in our land-based logistics:

  • CO2 emissions from fuels = 8,322 tonnes CO2e
  • CO2 emissions from electricity = 6,166 tonnes CO2e
  • Lost Time Incident Frequency (LTIF) = 13.99 (a 10% improvement from 2019)
  • Waste to landfills = 4, 538 tonnes (20% less than in 2019)

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