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How To Make Supply Chains More Sustainable

A Difficult Year Highlights The Need For Improvement

In 2021, we’ve seen just how fragile and unsustainable supply chain practices can be. From the Suez Canal block, which was holding up $9.6 billion of trade each day, to the product shortages causing an increase in prices to the lack of HGV drivers in the UK, which have caused fuel supply issues, logistical delays and price hikes.

As well as the economic sustainability, COP 26, the biggest climate summit to date, has highlighted the pressing need for environmental sustainability with regards to supply chains.

It’s estimated that the supply chain of an organisation accounts for up to:

  • 80% of its greenhouse gases
  • 90% of its pollution (air, land and water)

However, with supply chains having a variety of stakeholders, all with varying economic, environmental, and social interests, sustainability becomes a key issue. So, what can supply chains realistically do to become more sustainable?

The Pressure For Commercial Vehicles And HGVS

On the roads, HGVs have a huge impact. For the UK alone, it is estimated that HGVs cost the economy £6.5 billion per year. Furthermore, at COP 26, the UK has pledged for zero-emission HGVs by 2040. Many in the industry have described this as ‘impossibly fast’. However, there are things that we can do now to increase their sustainability. Here are some of the sustainable innovations that can help HGVs to reach their efficiency targets.

Three Sustainable Innovations To Support Supply Chains

1.     Fuel-Saver Technology

UK road freight emits 22 times more emissions than rail freight and accounts for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. What’s more, the cost of fuel has risen, with the price increasing by  around 30p per litre in 2021 alone.

As a result, sustainable innovations that help save fuel can be essential for economic and environmental efficiency. Ogab® offer fuel-saving sustainable technologies with Advanced TRS®. This patented Active Flow Control system can help HGVs enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamics, which helps reduce drag and, therefore, fuel consumption.

Using Advanced TRS® on HGVs can reduce the drag force of the vehicle by up to 40%, which can dramatically increase fuel efficiency. In fact, the breakthrough system has been seen to cut fuel consumption in HGVs by up to 20% with dramatically enhanced HGV mpg results. All of which significantly increases the cost efficiency while also cutting carbon emissions too.

2.     Sustainable Transparency

With enhanced onboard technology, there is now a wealth of data regarding supply chains. Supply chain transparency has become an essential innovation to help reduce supply chain risks while also providing consumers with the information to track environmental and social concerns.

More and more companies are investing in traceability systems that help to track a range of metrics that consider many sustainability concerns. This can include the load of the HGVs as ’empty running’ is a growing concern for sustainability. In 2020, empty HGVs travelled 4942 million kilometres, causing significant, unnecessary emissions.

3.     Reduce PM Emissions

Road transport in the UK accounts for 27% of its particulate matter (PM) emissions, and HGVs account for 18% of road transport emissions, with vans accounting for a further 17%. Vans and HGVs combined produce 38.5 MtCO2e of emissions. While cars actually account for more miles travelled in the UK, HGVs have disproportionately greater emissions.

As well as reducing HGV emissions through fuel-efficient sustainable technologies such as Advanced TRS®, it is also possible to increase HGV sustainability and reduce PM emissions through braking cooling and particle capture technology working in tandem.

Ogab® has developed a Sustainable Braking system that can optimise brake performance, vital for HGV safety, while also reducing brake disc and pad  degradation, and therefore, emissions. Brake wear accounts for 50% of non-exhaust PM emissions in vehicles, while the intensive production of brake discs can create up to 20kg of CO2 emissions per disc.

Fortunately, with Sustainable Braking from Ogab®, it’s possible to extend the lifespan of brake discs, reducing the need for intensive production while also capturing brake wear particulate matter on vehicles to reduce air pollution.

Sustainable Braking uses Active Cooling technology, which helps to prevent heat escalation and ensure brakes can perform optimally. This brake cooling increases the longevity of the brakes, while the system also houses a particle storage vessel to capture deadly PM emissions.

To find out more about how to increase sustainability and reduce emissions with sustainable HGV innovations, get in touch with Ogab®, who can help enhance the sustainability of your fleet.

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