Sustainability is an increasing consideration in procurement, with many businesses building social, economic and environmental factors into procurement processes and procedures.
Businesses are faced with rising pressure to shift to a more sustainable business model and reduce their impact on carbon emissions, and fleet operators such as Toner Transport & Logistics is positioning its businesses to provide more sustainable services.
“For those businesses who are actively integrating the use of sustainable practices into their supply chain management, they stand to gain a real competitive advantage,” Toner Transport & Logistics Managing Director, Paul Toner, said.
DECARBONISING CUSTOMER SUPPLY CHAINS
Toner Transport is an award-winning Dublin-based family business that has been at the forefront of the transport industry for four generations, working closely with its customer base to discover cleaner transport solutions.
One such way the business has looked to decarbonise its supply chain is by transitioning its fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG).
CNG is a proven and reliable alternative to diesel that is particularly suitable for use in long-haul trucks, heavy passenger vehicles and other commercial vehicles where electric solutions are not a viable option.
“When one of our largest customers, the paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa, approached the team to investigate ways they can reduce carbon emissions, we instantly knew that one way is through the switch to a CNG truck from a diesel-fuelled truck,” Paul added.
“We work with Smurfit Kappa to deliver packaging material throughout the 32 counties of Ireland, from Cork to Dublin and everywhere in between, and the new CNG truck will clock up over 100,000km a year.
“Throughout the 40-year association with Smurfit Kappa, we always innovate and look at new ways we can adapt our fleet to work with them and all our customers to help achieve their business goals.
“From a business development perspective, being able to offer a lower-carbon transport solution is a strong differentiator for any business. It demonstrates a focus on sustainability when tendering for new business.”
CNG REFUELLING NETWORK
These lower carbon journeys have been made possible by the introduction of several CNG stations strategically located to support prominent haulier routes. The state-of-the-art fast-fill stations have the capacity to fill 50 Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) a day, with each fill taking no more than five minutes.
Last year, Gas Networks Ireland opened the country’s third and fourth public CNG stations at Circle K’s forecourts at Clonshaugh in Dublin and Ballysimon Road in Limerick City. This is in addition to stations at Circle K’s forecourts in Dublin Port and Cashel.
“The opening of the new public CNG in Cashel has made a massive impact and enabled this switch. The location of the CNG station in Cashel has allowed our truck drivers to refuel the vehicle on route from Dublin to Kerry or Cork. Our drivers travel to virtually every county in Ireland daily, and the gas-powered vehicle has already travelled over 80,000 kilometres across the island of Ireland,” he explained.
“These new stations and the funds available through the CNG Vehicle Grant scheme are helping make it even easier for fleet operators and businesses to make the sustainable switch to CNG.”
Gas Networks Ireland is providing a €2.9m CNG Vehicle Grant scheme for the purchase of up to 400 gas-powered trucks, buses and vans to support Irish fleet operators and hauliers in funding the transition to new, cleaner CNG vehicles.
The scheme is open to any Irish business that wishes to obtain grant support for the purchase of an approved CNG vehicle. More information on the grant and a list of the type of vehicle types supported by the grant are available on the dedicated webpage here.
“As a business, we knew we wanted to begin the processes of switching our fleet to incorporate CNG vehicles, and the availability of financial assistance via the CNG Vehicle Grant scheme was a bonus,” concluded Paul.
For Toner Transport, the move to purchase a CNG truck as part of its sustainability strategy was an obvious choice as CNG is readily available in Ireland.
It provided an ideal solution to ensure they were adaptable and competitive against others when vying for business.
As a business operating for four generations, the move to CNG provides an option of moving to an even more sustainable gas solution in the years ahead with renewable gas, further reducing emissions and maintaining its competitive advantage for many more generations to come.