The UK Government has committed to reduce carbon emissions by a minimum of 20% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. The new coalition government has recently gone one step further in announcing an 80% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions by 2050.
The Nilfisk Group takes its environmental responsibility seriously, recognising that as a large organisation it needs to work actively on reducing its carbon footprint. As a result, the group is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and is enrolled as a participant within the Carbon Disclosure Project.
With 43 subsidiaries around the globe and over 5000 employees, levels of travel are significant and a major element in collective CO2 emissions. In a bid to cut travel emissions Nilfisk has equipped 11 video rooms at offices in several countries including Denmark, US, China, Italy and Hungary. The investment is expected to enhance general communication in addition to saving cost and travel time.
The investment in video conferencing equipment was 1.1 million Danish kroner compared to travel expenses in the same year of 61 million kroner. It is clear that the system will soon pay for itself irrespective of valuable time savings and productivity.
President and CEO of Nilfisk-Advance, Jorgen Jensen, said: "Face to face meetings are still important but as we have grown increasingly familiar with the technology we are finding that video conferencing can provide us with effective and constructive meetings. We are firmly committed to reducing our total carbon emissions, and we are convinced that we will reach our target of a 12% reduction in the period 2009 to 2011."
The Nilfisk UK/IE subsidiary is also tasked with analysis of its collective carbon footprint and as a result has recently outlined a new vehicle policy across the fleet. Changes to sales vehicles are already underway and will see key account manager vehicles changed to Peugeot 3008 1.6 Hdi Sports. CO2 emissions are reduced from 159g per kilometre to 137g with increased fuel efficiency.
National account manager vehicles will change from the current Passat 2.0 Tdi diesel to the new blue motion technology versions. CO2 emissions will fall from 158g per kilometre to 124g.
The service van fleet will also change from November 2010 onwards with the van choice moving to Renault SL19 DEi 115 SWB. CO2 emission reduction is also significant, moving from 232g per kilometre to 195g.
UK general manager, Stewart Dennett, said: "Our collective CO2 emissions will fall significantly as a result of the new policy. Other beneficial factors include a lower road tax liability and increased fuel efficiency which will benefit our cost base going forward. Additionally, of course, any individuals who are taxed for personal vehicle use will pay less tax as a result of the reduced ‘benefit in kind’ vehicle value. Overall a winner all round and we are delighted to be contributing so positively to group efforts."