To achieve the environmental vision of our Castor Green Terminal by 2020, we need to build upon the experience of our employees across the globe

These the five winning ideas – currently being implemented – introduce simple but effective solutions that are not only “greener” but also save costs.

“To achieve the environmental vision of our Castor Green Terminal by 2020, we need to build upon the experience of our employees across the globe,” says Erik Nyheim, Chief Operating Officer, Technical and Terminal Services. “From their innovative ideas and solutions we can create bold new KPIs for environmental performance.”

Quantity and quality from Canada
The Annacis Island Auto Terminal in Canada came up with an impressive 26 “green” ideas in the competition, ten of which are currently being implemented. One of the best ideas was to use battery-operated “Smart Carts” to move auto parts within the yard, instead of a truck. Besides running on electricity and reducing fossil fuel usage, the staff can easily add – or reduce – capacity to the carts, cutting out multiple truck trips once the truck is full. “It was not only the volume, but the range of entries from this group that was impressive,” comments Melanie Moore, WWL’s Global Head of Environment and member of the jury panel. “They thought of many quick fixes such as reducing vehicle idling time, through to the ‘Smart Carts’ concept.”

Lighting controls cut electricity bill in US
Clarence “Bo” Smith, from the Smyrna Vehicle Processing Centre in the US, suggested installing lighting controls on the high mast lights at the vehicle storage lots to reduce electricity usage by 228,000 kWh. This idea will cut CO2 emissions by 139,764 metric tons and save almost $US60,000 per year. “Installing lighting controls to help manage and schedule the ‘on and off’ times for the lighting in certain areas helps us reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions,” says Moore. “Managing energy efficiently is crucial for the Castor Green Terminal.”

Making the most of local advantages
In sunny Australia, Melanie Keating came up with the idea of installing solar panels on the rooftop of the Laverton Technical Services’ large 8,500-square-meter workshop. The panels are expected to be in place by June 2011 and to generate 15-20 percent of the site’s electricity – this is part of the site’s efforts to reduce electricity usage and its carbon emissions.

“This project had a detailed cost and benefit proposal including significant CO2 emissions savings,” says Moore. “Renewable energy sources matched with local environmental conditions are integral to the Castor Green Terminal.”

Going solar in Thailand
In Thailand, Nithid Rochanakit from yard operations recommended replacing the lead acid batteries used in the outdoor traffic and security lights in the yards with a solar panel solution. The solar-powered lights have now been installed at the Auto Alliance yard and will soon be implemented in the yard at General Motors’ plant in Thailand, both of which are managed by WWL.

“This is a quick win from an environmental, safety and security perspective as it saves electricity and reduces battery waste,” says Moore. “Using renewable energy sources is integral to the Castor Green Terminal concept.”

Simple and effective lighting solution
Karsten Koppetsch at the Lehrte-Aligse site in Germany discovered a simple but effective way to save up to 16,000 kWh of electricity per year, worth about €1,500. The 125-watt mercury arc lamps in the vehicle storage lots have been replaced with new energy saving 70-watt halogen metal vapour lamps with an optimised lamp reflector. The result is better lighting, reduced energy and longer-lasting bulbs. “Lighting is one of the main energy consumers at our facilities,” says Moore. “Reducing energy consumption is a first step towards using renewable energy to power our sites. Switching to more efficient lighting also has medium-term cost saving benefits.”