The general public often views the trucking industry as a big contributor to pollution and a destroyer of the environment. The reality, as we know, is quite different. The industry has made great strides toward designing and engineering vehicles that are fuel-efficient and emit very little CO2 and NOx.
But more fuel-efficient, cleaner diesels are not the only place where the industry can make a difference. The recent celebration of Earth Day got me thinking about additional “green” initiatives that can be put into practice by owners and managers of facilities where truck maintenance and repair are performed.
I know that many of the green shop efforts focus on new facilities and talk about things like LEED certification, but the reality is that most of use can’t afford to start from scratch. The good news is that there are things you can do in your existing facility to lessen your energy use.
- It can be something as simple as putting recycling bins in the staff lunchroom or as complex as collecting rainwater and using it to wash trucks.
- An easy change that can deliver big gains is in the lighting arena. Consider using LED lights or adding motion sensors so that lights come on only when someone is in the room, and automatically turn off when they leave. For your office staff, consider task rather than overhead lighting, especially if their offices have windows that allow them to take advantage of available light.
- Consider zoned heating. Areas that house your people need to be kept at comfortable temperatures. But the parts storage area, where people only visit periodically, can be zoned with its own thermostat so temperatures can be a little warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter.
If you’re not sure you are taking advantage of all the green opportunities in your facility, assign a team of people on your staff to walk around and look at things. For example, are used oil, anti-freeze and batteries being collected properly?
And if you really want to engage your employees in your green effort, install bike racks at your facility and encourage them to bike to work.
Truth be told, it’s pretty easy to be green if you put your mind to it, even for a business that services trucks.