The global struggle to reduce global warming through greater sustainability, conservation of resources and lowering of CO2 emissions is undisputedly one of the key problems our generation must address. Kraiburg Austria stresses that “the time for empty appeals, soapbox speeches and lip service is over,” adding that “coordinated measures need to be taken or introduced immediately to ensure the living conditions of future generations.”
CDP, a global non-profit that runs the world’s leading environmental disclosure platform, has named Bridgestone Corporation to its Supplier Engagement Leaderboard for a second year in a row. It is also the fourth time in total that it has included Bridgestone on the Leaderboard with the highest rating of ‘A’ in Supplier Engagement Rating.
The notion of harnessing the wind to carry cargoes across the oceans is finding renewed favour, and the Michelin Group hopes this mode of shipping will offer plain sailing towards minimal CO2 emissions. The company recently signed a transport commitment with French sustainable shipping firm Neoline that will see its tyres shipped by sail from Halifax, Canada to Saint-Nazaire, France.
The parent company of tyre maker Trelleborg Wheel Systems has launched a new climate goal, which it calls ‘50 by 25’. This is Swedish firm Trelleborg AB’s aim to reduce its CO2 emissions relative to sales 50 per cent by 2025. It will pursue this goal in conjunction with a vision statement to achieve complete climate neutrality, or net zero emissions, in its own operations by the end of 2035.
The world’s first carbon neutral wheel comes to market at the end of this month. This is the Ronal R70-blue, and the Ronal Group says it manufactures this passenger car rim using 100 per cent renewable energy and primarily from reused aluminium, a material that’s 100 per cent recyclable.
February’s car registration figures were released as the SMMT calls on the Chancellor to use next week’s Budget to announce bold new measures to make new-tech zero emission-capable cars, including plug-in hybrids, more affordable for mass-market buyers. In 2020, manufacturers will bring more than 23 new battery-electric and ten plug-in hybrid electric cars to the UK to add to the more than 65 already on sale, but take-up of these new models depends on affordability and the provision of adequate charging infrastructure.
A full reengineering of steam generation equipment at the Trelleborg Wheel Systems plant in Sri Lanka will improve the facility’s environmental footprint as well as its production efficiency. Trelleborg is installing a new biomass boiler at the production site in Makola, near Colombo; it reports that work on this “major investment” has already begun, and the new process will be fully operational from June 2019.
The UK may have voted to leave Europe, but for the time being we are still subject to European regulations. The EU says that tougher CO2 standards for cars and vans will be introduced to help cut transport emissions and improve air quality in Europe. They form part of a package of measures announced by the European Commission, which for the first time will also include fuel efficiency targets for trucks.
The National Franchise Dealer Association has stated that it remains “optimistic about the rise of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs), and London’s plans to become the ultra-low emission vehicle capital of Europe,” following a speech by Isabel Dedring, London’s deputy mayor for transport. Sue Robinson, the association’s director, added that the NFDA “hopes that there will be sufficient support to ensure their uptake.”
Analysts from Glass’s vehicle pricing guide have applauded the simplification of road tax announced in the recent budget and appeared supportive of measures to effective reward newer, lower CO2 vehicles. However, they also said that older vehicles are undertaxed:
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), has clarified the status of the Plug-In Car Grant (PICG), which is available for vehicles emitting less than 75g/km CO2. It has confirmed that the current version of the grant, worth up to £5,000, will end this year, at a date yet to be confirmed. Until that date, OLEV has said that it will honour any deal placed on its system for a qualifying car, provided that the vehicle has been allocated to a customer and is delivered and registered within nine months.
Central government and local authorities should think hard and look at the facts before making major policy changes in the name of in the name of achieving ‘green’ environmental improvements, says Glass’s. They point out that knee jerk reactions to studies showing the negative impact of diesel emissions on urban air quality could be counterproductive as well as affect sales and use of diesel cars and commercial vehicles.
From September 2015, all new cars must be compliant with Euro 6 emissions standards, which aims to reduce the levels of harmful exhaust emissions such as nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (THC and NMHS) and particulate matter (PM).
An article has recently appeared in the British Medical Journal warning of the dangers to public health in the UK caused by air pollutants. In 2011 a report from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee suggested that the costs to society from poor air quality were on a par with those from smoking and obesity. Air pollution has fallen sharply over the last 25 years, in particular nitrogen oxide levels have dropped by two thirds and particulates have halved. However, whilst the pollution levels have fallen, the medical profession is now better able to quantify the damage caused.
A record number of UK car buyers are opting to reduce their fuel bills by choosing ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), according to research by Go Ultra Low. The latest registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that more than 41 per cent of all alternatively-fuelled cars registered in the first quarter of 2015 qualified for the government’s plug-in car grant, up from 13 per cent over the same period in 2014.