Despite the failure of delegates from 192 nations to formulate a global emissions control policy to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, the Copenhagen summit held in December 2009 did highlight the need for urgent steps to be taken internationally to intensify control of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, most notably carbon dioxide (CO2).With the European Union (EU) and Japan leading the fight to prevent rapid climate change, China and the USA – the world’s leading producers of greenhouse gas emissions – have been slow to embrace the notion of a universal emissions standard. Post-Copenhagen, it is therefore obvious that much needs to be done to plot a clear course in this regard.
While electricity power stations, oil refineries and heavy industry remain the primary culprits in releasing CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere, global road transport contributes an estimated 14.6% of total GHG emissions by way of vehicle exhaust fumes. “This is a significant percentage, but one that can be easily reduced simply by driving more efficiently,” says Mark Rousseau, managing director of international vehicle telematics company, DigiCore Fleet Management and C-track South Africa.
“Vehicle manufacturers in the EU and Japan are busy developing ‘green’ passenger and commercial vehicles designed to run on a host of alternative fuels, from ethanol to electricity and hydrogen. While this is all well and good for those who can afford such luxuries, the reality is that action needs to be taken now on a mass scale.”
Driven by moral and business imperatives to help conserve our environment, DigiCore recently released a CO2 emissions reporting tool designed to work in conjunction with its vehicle fleet management system, C-track.
“Astoundingly, South Africa is the world’s 13th highest emitter of CO2 with a relatively high per capita CO2 emissions rating of 8.59 metric tons. If South Africa is to remain competitive in the global economy, it will have to begin implementing stringent emission reduction strategies,” Rousseau continues.
“C-track’s new CO2 Emissions Report is a first for South African fleet owners and has already proved a great success in truck and bus fleets in Europe,” says Rousseau. “Fleet operators looking to gain early-mover advantage on the ‘green’ front now have the perfect tool not only to proactively reduce their CO2 emissions, but also to generate reports quantifying their carbon footprint. This will assist them in gaining valuable contracts while receiving tax breaks from South African Revenue Services (SARS).”
“A vehicle group is created for each category of vehicle, including the make and model. Fuel consumption and emissions values, as stipulated by each vehicle manufacturer, are then entered into the C-track database. We then enter a CO2 grams-per-litre value, a CO2 grams-per-kilometre distance value and a corresponding CO2 grams-per-hour value. If we receive fuel consumption figures through the CANbus or through a fuel flow meter, the value according to grams-per-litre is displayed. If we do not receive a fuel consumption reading, we generate a grams-per-kilometre report. For equipment that logs hours rather than distance, we use the grams-per-hour value,” DigiCore’s technical director, Deon du Rand, explains.
The new C-track CO2 Report also boasts a ‘green’ dashboard, which graphically represents CO2 emissions as well as fleet CO2 emissions trends.
“With this vital information integrated with C-track’s existing fleet management reporting on fuel consumption, speeding, over-revving, excessive idling and route deviations, fleet operators can quickly identify where CO2 is being unduly emitted and implement corrective measures. Through ongoing driver training and optimised route scheduling using C-track, fleet owners can ‘go green’ by saving fuel, thereby making a positive contribution towards slowing climate change. It’s beyond debate: the future of good business is ‘going green’,” Rousseau concludes.