(Reuters) – U.S. distributors and freight hauliers have held down diesel consumption even as their business recovers from recession by making thousands of small changes to their operations.
Improved driver training, restrictions on idling and careful route planning to reduce deadheads (where vehicles travel empty) are all reducing consumption of expensive diesel while helping companies promote their green credentials.
“In 2011, we achieved almost 69 percent improvement in fleet efficiency over our 2005 baseline,” Wal-Mart boasted in its 2012 Global Responsibility Report. “We delivered 65 million more cases, while driving 28 million fewer miles, by increasing our pallets per trailer and better managing our routes.”
“Our network efficiency improvement equates to avoiding nearly 41,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent to taking 7,900 cars off the road,” the company wrote. Read the rest of this entry »
Truckers considering natural gas as an alternative to high-priced diesel say the cost of vehicles that run on the cheap and cleaner-burning fuel is still too high for them to see a timely payback on their investment.
A push to run more of the nation’s truck fleet on cleaner, domestically produced natural gas is rapidly gaining momentum.
Suppliers like T. Boone Pickens’ Clean Energy Fuels, Royal Dutch Shell and China’s private ENN Group are scrambling to build natural gas fueling stations along U.S. highways, while Cummins-Westport Inc will begin later this year selling a 12-liter natural gas engine able to power the biggest trucks on the road.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the total energy consumption in the manufacturing industry has decreased by 17 percent since 2002. Energy output for manufacturing decreased by 3 percent in the same amount of time.
A simple solution of salt and water can break emulsions and separate organic solutes. However, the energy required to remove the water of these solvents is very high and makes purifying the waste water more expensive. Join Dr. Philip Jessop, Technical Director of GreenCentre Canada for a discussion on aqueous solutions of switchable ionic strength and several of their many applications.
What You Will Learn
What additive is contained in “switchable water” and how it works
How the additive can be changed depending on the application
How “switchable water” can be used to solve problems in mining, wastewater treatment, desalination, catalysis, and other applications.
Date: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Last year, two inspectors from California’s hazardous waste agency were visiting an electronics recycling company near Fresno for a routine review of paperwork when they came across a warehouse the size of a football field, packed with tens of thousands of old computer monitors and televisions.
ON THE TRAIL Members of an environmental group worked with researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to place tracking devices in cathode ray tubes bound for American recycling companies.
The crumbling cardboard boxes, stacked in teetering rows, 9 feet high and 14 feet deep, were so sprawling that the inspectors needed cellphones to keep track of each other. The layer of broken glass on the floor and the lead-laden dust in the air was so thick that the inspectors soon left over safety concerns. Weeks later, the owner of the recycling company disappeared, abandoning the waste, and leaving behind a toxic hazard and a costly cleanup for the state and the warehouse’s owner. Read the rest of this entry »
Los Angeles will become the biggest U.S. city to abandon coal-fueled electricity after the taxpayer- owned utility said it will support renewable sources, boost energy efficiency and build a new natural-gas fired plant.
The city’s Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal-owned utility, will phase out the electricity it imports from the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona and Intermountain Power in Utah, according to a statement yesterday. The two coal plants provide 39 percent of the city’s power.
“The era of coal is over,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement. “By divesting from coal and investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, we reduce our carbon footprint and set a precedent for the national power market.” Read the rest of this entry »
RDA/IMPACT Collision Solutions, a national group of refinish distributors dedicated to providing quality products and services and products to its customers, held its first training seminar on Saturday, March 16 in Dallas, Texas.
Bernie Blickenstaff, president and CEO of Pro Finishes Plus, led the seminar in front of 105 RDA members, salespeople and key employees. His presentation focused on RDA’s need to continually differentiate itself to remain successful and competitive.
“Our objectives at this meeting were to explain and show firsthand to the individuals who directly interact with the end user how to implement and make these programs work for them. These are the individuals who execute sales and marketing strategies at the shop level,” the RDA stated. “We would like to thank our sponsors – Evercoat, Saint Gobain and PPC – for helping to make this event the success it was.”
B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 700 Certified B Corps from 25 countries and 60 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.
B Lab has created an exclusive presentation for Sustainable Industries covering Certified B Corporations, benefit corporation legislation, and GIIRS.
An increasing demand for I-CAR training nationwide calls for I-CAR to offer a greater volume of course opportunities; specifically, those that are accessible and available on demand. To deliver on this industry need, I-CAR has added four additional online courses to its course catalog: Stationary Glass (GLA02e), Mechanical Systems Analysis (DAM03e), Damage Analysis of Advanced Automotive Systems (DAM07e), and Wind Noise and Water Leaks (WNW01e).
“To fully serve the growing training needs of the inter-industry, I-CAR has developed online and virtual instructor-led classes that are convenient, effective and essential,” said John Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO and president. “That said, as our customer focus groups have told us, quality instructor-led, Live training with effective instructors remains the preferred way to learn for many, and the only way to learn when working with more advanced or complicated subject matter. Therefore, Live training remains an I-CAR priority for the ultimate learning experience.”
These online courses fulfill I-CAR ProLevel 2 training requirements from the Professional Development Program (PDP) and are also available in a Live instructor-led environment. The content in the recently converted courses is appropriate for online, but is also beneficial when taken in the Live instructor-led environment, giving students the option to match their learning preference.
AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings (A&AC) has announced the launch of Link Manager, a new software tool designed to boost the efficiency of body shop operations. A&AC Link Manager enables data flow between CCC ONE Repair Workflow and AkzoNobel A&AC’s MixitPro and QuickMix color management systems.
Link Manager is a standalone software product that can be installed on a PC that hosts the color management software. Customers can then schedule periodic connections to the body shop management system, or connect manually at their convenience. Once Link Manager has been configured to use the customized interface for CCC ONE Repair Workflow, body shop operators will always have the latest vehicle information. Also, there is a generic interface that can be enabled for customers using other estimating or body shop management system packages.
“We see A&AC Link Manager as another tool to improve efficiency and boost productivity in body shop operations, very much in line with our entire process-driven body shop approach,” said Mike Sillay, business development services manager. “With the automatic update capabilities built into Link Manager, it can save the front office and the painter valuable time and improve accuracy with paint costing and tracking.”