Bridgestone South Africa

Eco Training brings in the Green

Nov 20, 2009

R20 000 saved in fuel costs, 19 400kg in CO2 emissions saved, some trainees cut fuel consumption by over 20%

The FIA's Make Cars Green environmental motoring campaign, which is sponsored internationally by Bridgestone, has had a handsome payoff for Bridgestone South Africa.

Romano Daniels, Bridgestone SA General Manager of Group Communications and Marketing, said the local tyre maker has experienced large reductions in fuel costs and CO2 emissions after training 121 sales and managerial staff countrywide in defensive and economical driving skills as part of its commitment to Make Cars Green. "Our staff attended a three-part training programme, presented by driving skills company, driving.co.za, which started at the beginning of July," he said. "The progress of 40 trainees who are participating in our "Eco-Drive Challenge" is being closely monitored via our fleet management system."

Average fuel consumption from April to June 2009 was 8.71l/100km but then dropped to an average of 8.36l/100km from July to October. Average CO2 emissions, which were calculated at 224.8g / km from April to June 2009, dropped to 215.7g/km from July to October.

"About three-quarters of the "Challenge" trainees have reduced their fuel consumption and several have managed to save more than 20 per cent over their April to June averages," Daniels said. "This has directly saved Bridgestone over R20 000 in fuel costs for the Challenge group, and we expect to recover the cost of training in around eight months through fuel savings alone," he explained. He added that only route changes necessitated by roadworks and additional client visits in the run-up to Christmas had prevented even greater savings.

Without the estimated 19 400kg reduction in CO2 emissions to date for the entire trainee group, Bridgestone would have had to plant 566 trees to absorb these emissions. "By next July, the reduction in CO2 emissions will be the equivalent of planting over 2400 trees since the start of training," said Daniels.

Driving.co.za Managing Director, Rob Handfield " Jones, said that the savings in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions were part of a broader picture. "Trainees are already reporting increases in brake pad and tyre life," he said. "The production of these items has an environmental impact, so making them last longer means fewer emissions per kilometre," he added. "And then there's the safety benefit. The trainees have commented on how much more relaxed and alert they are after training."

Daniels said that the success of the training programme had set a world-wide benchmark for putting Make Cars Green into practice and that Bridgestone would continue rolling out training for additional office staff and its dealer network in 2010. "The reductions in fuel consumption we"ve seen are proof that eco-friendly driving can be profitable for companies, as well as greener and safer," he said. "We encourage South Africa corporates to reduce their costs and carbon footprint by adopting the philosophy of Make Cars Green in their fleets," said Daniels. "Any company needing more details is welcome to contact us," he concluded.

SUMMARISED TABLE OF SAVINGS

Item

Eco-Drive Challenge Group

(Fleet management system data)

Entire trainee group (estimated savings)

Litres of fuel saved to date

2 501l

7 505l

CO2 emissions saved to date

6 467kg

19 402kg

Fuel costs saved to date

R20 015

R60 045

TRAINEE FEEDBACK

"I picked up some very abnormal habits from my normal style of driving for many years only to be put back on the right path by the instructor. This exercise was definitely money well spent from BSAF side. Thank you." " Terence Bowren

"I think I"m a lot less rushed and more patient on the road. Also more aware of my following distance and leaving enough of a gap between myself and the car in front of me. Had a few cars hoot at me for that during rush hour and found this very amusing " smiled and waved. I"m less stressed now as well." " Veronique Greyling

"A trip in the Transkei is stressful and challenging for any driver on this planet. I find that after applying the Eco driving techniques I am more relaxed and not as stressed as before. I am also more aware of the surrounding and other road users including animals." - Neville Neveling

"Overall I am very glad I attended and will definitely recommend it." " Johan Mostert

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Bridgestone South Africa

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