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City scoops green prize


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Cape Town's City council has been talking a lot about reducing the City's carbon footprint and becoming more 'green' for the upcoming FIFA 2010 World Cup and for the future of the City and the planet. It is very encouraging to see that they are backing up their words with actions, and nothing is a greater indication of action than winning an award. That is exactly what the City of Cape Town has done through the City's Electricity department that a national prize for managing the most environmentally friendly vehicle fleet in South Africa.

The prize was presented at the inaugural Green Supply Chain Awards in Johannesburg, which is hosted by the Consumer Goods Council of SA (CGCSA) and the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport.

The annual competition is aimed at recognising and rewarding organisations that make genuine efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of their supply chain processes and actively seek ways to improve their environmental performance.

Over recent years there has been a strong move towards companies ‘being green’ and focusing on ‘environmental sustainability’. In an effort to acknowledge and applaud companies that show excellence in these endeavours, the Green Supply Chain Awards were launched earlier this year by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport: South Africa (CILTSA), the CGCSA and Supply Chain Today magazine.

Entrants needed to demonstrate unparalleled performance in environmental supply chain planning and execution. This includes compliance with environmental regulations, minimising waste from the supply chain process and the overall adoption of ‘green’ practises across the supply chain.

The Electricity Department impressed the judges with its ‘green’ innovations in managing its fleet of 740 vehicles. These range from off-road utility vehicles, sedans, LDVs and panel vans, to light, medium and heavy trucks.

By implementing a comprehensive maintenance strategy underpinned by ‘green’ solutions, the technical support services team achieved a massive 22% reduction in fuel usage, despite a 9% increase in fleet size.

Simple innovations, such as the decision not to repaint all new standard issue white vehicles in yellow, have saved the department thousands of rands.

The department also installed a satellite vehicle tracking system, enabling managers to keep tabs on every single vehicle in the fleet and affording extra protection to employees. Particular attention has been given to poor driving habits such as harsh acceleration and unnecessary trips.

A network of vehicle repair companies was also mapped across the entire metropole so that broken down vehicles can be taken to the nearest agent. This helps minimise vehicle downtime, cut down on excessive mileage and drastically reduces fuel consumption.

Gas analysers were introduced to ensure the vehicles complied with emission limits. Of the 358 vehicles tested, 95% passed. Those that failed the test were repaired and re-tested.

The fleet’s technical specifications for vehicle replacements were updated to the Euro 2 standards and incorporated fuel-efficient diesel common rail technology as an essential requirement.

The functionality of the fleet was also critically evaluated by the technical hub of fleet management in conjunction with operational departments. Right-sizing principles were applied. A good example of this was the replacement of heavy knuckle boom aerial platforms mounted on 7t trucks, with lighter telescopic-type aerial platforms mounted on lighter fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly 4t trucks.

The City is planning to replicate these innovative green practises in the Electricity Department across the City of Cape Town’s entire fleet of 6 000 vehicles.

Date Posted: 2009-10-12
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