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17 May 2021

How reducing operating costs can reduce your carbon footprint

Jan Tønder

If you could put fewer vehicles on the road without sacrificing your bottom line, not only would you lower your carbon emissions, you’d also lower your operating costs. That’s an intriguing notion and presents a win-win all around.

First, let’s consider the environment. By 2050, Europe aims to become the world’s first climate neutral economy. And the UK might have left the EU, but they still plan on reaching an emissions target of net zero by 2050.

Playing an important role will be heavy-goods and heavy-duty vehicles, which account for around a quarter of road transport CO2 emissions. This includes lorries, buses and coaches, and of course, the downstream fuel distribution industry. 

To reduce those emissions, the European Commission advises making the most of digital technologies. According to the World Economic Forum, digitalisation in the oil and gas supply industry worldwide would reduce CO2-equivalent emissions by approximately 1,300 million tonnes.

And this is where the opportunity comes in to significantly reduce your operating costs.

Lower operating costs

With digitalisation, data is collected through internet-connected devices in real-time. For example, sensors on tanks at petrol stations can communicate with your office about stock levels. Forecasts and order generation can be automated. Just-in-time deliveries becomes a much easier process. With digitalisation, every area of your business is integrated. Think of it this way: digitalisation does most of the work for you and by using data, it takes guessing and assumptions out of the picture.

This is what AMCS’ suite of modules do. They transform your business, optimising your processes, with rich functionality designed specifically for the fuel distribution industry. The modules include:

  • Fuel Planner – operational route optimisation
  • VMI and Forecasting – consumption forecasting and automatic order generation
  • Mobile – driver on-board computer system
  • Web Portals – for external stakeholders, such as customers and hauliers.

The way you probably work right now is by completing each task one by one, from forecasting and orders to delivery and cash. Used as an enterprise-wide data hub, AMCS Fuel Planner does everything simultaneously and in real-time. Optimisation is continuously happening.

It handles orders as they change. You get real-time updates on each vehicle. You can see what’s being lifted and what’s being delivered. With AMCS Fuel Planner, you can balance costs of lifting stock at source depots against transportation costs during automatic planning.

Routes are optimised to real-time routes so that rush hours or accidents are avoided. Route optimisation enables drivers to handle the demands of challenging time windows.

You have an overview of specific tanks at petrol stations. It automatically generates replenishment orders based on the expected consumption rate and next dry running, as well. Forecasting is automated and based on readings taken by sensors or manual dip readings, along with historical data.

By using accurate data, you know exactly how many trucks you need at any given time and can avoid using more than you need. In fact, AMCS Fuel Planner has already reduced the fleets of current users by up to 15%. Mileage and driving time have dropped up to 20%. So right there, you’re saving on fuel costs, labour, and maintenance on trucks. 

Already, you can see how all of this would affect your operating costs.

Up to 20% reduction in CO2 emissions

Reducing mileage, driving time, and the number of trucks you put on the road can reduce up to 20% of your CO2 emissions. It’s the right thing to do, but also incredibly advantageous from a cost perspective. But it’s not only about reducing operating costs but also avoiding fines as regulations tighten.

Avoid fines

In 2019, fines included penalties for failure to comply with regulations as set by the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), and the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS).

Failing to comply with EU ETS regulations cost one CHP operator (combined heat and power plant) £608,500. A fine of £154,500 was imposed on a brewer and distiller. A steel manufacturer was fined £68,000.

Breaches of CRC saw fines levied against less obvious industries: £31,000 levied on a visual effects and computer animation company and £21,500 imposed on a gambling company. Failure to comply with ESOS cost a digital networking company £45,000 and a care home operator, £22,500.