31 August 2009 - Companies making genuine efforts to minimise the environmental impact of their supply chain processes and actively seeking ways to improve environmental performance were recognised and rewarded at the inaugural Green Supply Chain Awards which took place on 27 August in Randburg.

The City of Cape Town’s, Utility Services - Fleet Management Department took top honours for the Best Project category, whilst PM Systems scooped the Award for the Best Product. Ettienne van der Lith, Environmental Project Manager for Bombela Civils Joint venture was honoured as the best Green Leader.

Over recent years there has been a strong move towards companies “being green” and focusing on “environmental sustainability”. In an effort to acknowledge and applaud companies that show excellence in “going green”, the green supply chain awards were launched earlier this year by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport: South Africa (CILTSA), the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) and Supply Chain Today magazine.

Entrants needed to demonstrate unparalleled performance in environmental supply chain planning and execution. This includes compliance with environmental regulations, minimising waste from the supply chain process and the overall adoption of “green” practices across the supply chain.

Best Green Supply Chain Leader

Ettienne van der Lith is the environmental project manager for Bombela Civils Joint Venture and is responsible for ensuring the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link project meets its environmental obligations. The project has been underpinned by a strong environmental component. Environmental benefits of the project include reducing traffic congestion and air pollution, increasing energy saving. During the project’s implementation phase many environmentally-friendly initiatives have been implemented, such as water, steel and oil recycling.

Best Green Supply Chain Project

The City of Cape Town’s Utility Services Fleet Management Department received the gold award and trophy. Through implementing a comprehensive maintenance strategy underpinned by “green” solutions, the organisation achieved a significant reduction in fuel usage, despite an increase in fleet size. Their fleet comprises 740 vehicles ranging from off-road utility vehicles, sedans, LDVs and panel vans, as well as light, medium and heavy trucks.

Various technologies were used in the execution of the strategy included:

  • The Netstar Vehicle Tracking and Monitoring system, which was installed in all vehicles, enabling the fleet to be effectively managed and controlled. Particular attention was given to poor driver habits such as harsh acceleration and unnecessary trips.
  • Vendor mapping was implemented to minimise vehicle down-time and excessive mileages travelled. This reduced fuel consumption.
  • Gas analysers were introduced to ensure the vehicles complied with emission limits. Of the 358 vehicles tested, 95% passed. The vehicles that failed the test were repaired and re-tested.

The fleet’s technical specifications for vehicle replacements were updated to the Euro 2 standards and incorporated fuel-efficient diesel common rail technology as an essential requirement.

The functionality of the fleet was also critically evaluated by the technical hub of fleet management in conjunction with operational departments. Right-sizing principles were applied. A good example of this was the replacement of heavy knuckle boom aerial platforms mounted on 7t trucks, with lighter telescopic-type aerial platforms mounted on lighter fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly 4t trucks.

The certificate for the silver award, in this category went to courier company, TNT,  which has reduced its carbon footprint by as much as 25 %through large-scale driver training.

Best Green Supply Chain Product

PM Systems received the Gold Award for designing an energy-efficient bulb which resulted in an 84% reduction in total energy used. Through innovation and forward thinking, PM Systems recognised a need for a better way to provide the correct amount of light in freezer stores, while at the same time significantly reducing the total energy required. The company designed a light fitting which gives over 100 lux at floor level in a 12 metre-high freezer store. Initial tests with prototype fittings were carried out in a Cape Town freezer store over a period of months and the design was refined. The lights have been commercially available since January this year. Traditional lights use 519 300 Kwhrs per annum. The new lights designed by PM systems uses 81 304 Kwhrs per annum.

Nick Tselentis, Legal and Regulatory Manager at the CGCSA adds, “Now more than ever, consumers are concerned about how and where their products come from. They want businesses to prove their commitment to environmental sustainability. It is not merely a matter of saying you are ‘green’, but being able to prove to the consumer your ‘green credentials’.”

“It is clear that adopting green supply chains strategies are fast becoming a business imperative,” confirms Catherine Larkin, Executive Director of CILTSA.

With a network of National Councils and Sections in over 30 countries, CILT services the interests of over 30 000 members. CILT is a professional body committed to the advancement of Logistics and Transport. CILT established a Section in South Africa, known as CILTSA, in December 2002. The purpose of CILTSA is to establish and maintain the professional standing of its members so that they are recognised for their superior ability and expertise to create world-class logistics and transport value within their organisations and South Africa.

Launched in 2002, the CGCSA incorporates a number of companies dealing with best practice, standards and legal and regulatory issues in the retail, wholesale, manufacturing and service providers in the consumer goods industry. The CGCSA is a neutral, not-for-profit standards and services organization.