SHD: How is your operation protecting the environment?
Ashley McCulla (AM): McCulla Ireland has adopted a culture of environmental protection, implementing a range of proactive improvements from large scale projects to ongoing tweaks to facilities and processes. Most recent is a £3m investment in our own energy division, called Alternity Biogas Energy. This includes an anaerobic digester plant which enables us to produce all our own electricity, meaning we have the only 100% green-powered cold store in the UK and Ireland. We are now collecting food waste from customers and converting it to biogas. Phase two is set to open early 2020, when we plan to move to 100% sustainable gas-powered trucks, off-setting over 2 million litres of diesel per annum, with the aim of wiping out our carbon footprint completely over the next 5 years.
SHD: What’s at risk if the profession doesn’t act now?
AM: Simply put, your transport business will become unacceptable to the new generation of buyers! Any action that transport operators can take to optimise fuel economy/energy consumption ultimately reduces environmental impact and costs, so it makes good business sense as well as being the responsible thing to do. We are finding that customers are becoming increasingly focused on having environmentally responsible suppliers, so it’s something the industry will have to do to stay relevant and competitive.
SHD: What trends may influence environmental agendas in future?
AM: As well as pressures for businesses to become more sustainable, the transport industry will be faced with high increases in environmental/air quality taxes when driving in cities. The increasing availability of alternative fuel trucks will inevitably bring about positive changes too.
The Logistics Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in the logistics and supply chain sectors. The awards recognise the most innovative projects taking place throughout the industry over the last 12 months.