Earth Day 2021
3 weeks ago
Earth Day 2021 – 22nd of April
In Ireland, we have one of the most ambitious and progressive climate action targets in the world. In March the Government approved a landmark Climate Bill that puts Ireland on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050, including a 51% reduction in CO2 emissions by the end of this decade.
Ireland’s transport system is currently a high net contributor to Ireland’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with 19.5% (11.3 Mt CO2eq) of Ireland’s total GHG coming from the sector.
The Go-Ahead Group is committed to caring for its communities and the people it serves. This means that we take seriously the responsibility for ensuring that we are as considerate as possible in relation to energy efficiency and the environment. As such we have realistic and quantifiable measures in place at both depot and vehicle level to reduce emissions and waste as much as possible.
Examples of energy saving measures we take at both our Ballymount and Naas depots are:
1. The lighting in our depot is primarily LED, which is the most energy efficient lighting available. What’s more it monitors the amount of natural light entering the building and adapts the brightness accordingly, so that no energy is wasted lighting an already bright space
2. Furthermore, our lighting is motion sensor activated, to ensure they are only being used when the room is occupied. We have also optimised the standby periods for these lights to ensure that the lights are used only when necessary.
3. We ensure that we operate all office and workshop appliances at the most efficient cycles when applicable, and only use when necessary.
4. We minimise pressure loss in workshop main air-line to minimise compressor operating time when not in use.
5. We engage with all necessary staff to make sure of compliance in relation to appliance usage. Energy Key Performance Indicators are shared to raise internal awareness.
Go Ahead Ireland also takes the same care and attention to our vehicles.
The Outer Dublin Metropolitan Area (ODMA) bus fleet contains 93 Volvo B5’s, 9 Volvo B7’s, 12 Volvo B9’s and 40 Wrights Streetlites. The commuter fleet contains 11 Daf VDL’s and 24 Volvo B8 Sunsundegui coaches. The performance improvement plan will be implemented for all vehicles in both Ballymount and Naas depots..
Examples of energy saving measures taken at fleet level are:
1. Install a telematic system in bus fleet vehicles. This system monitors engine behaviour and other vitals that allows for detailed energy reports. We then take that data to implement continual changes that increase efficiency and reduce the vehicles’ CO2 output.
2. Utilise idle shut-off system, to ensure that the engine is not running unnecessarily when the vehicle is not in motion for more than five minutes.
3. Incorporate efficient driving methods and techniques into driver training.
4. Ensure vehicles are maintained to manufacturers’ specifications using manufacturer-specified lubricants and parts. This attention to detail results in more efficient-running and longer-lasting vehicles.
5. Ensure vehicle dynamics are aligned and correct to manufacturers specifications, again to ensure the smoothest, quietest, and most energy-efficient results possible.
Go-Ahead Ireland has achieved ISO 14001 for Environmental Management and proves that we manage our business in an environmentally friendly manner. Covering air, water, waste and noise pollution, this certification validates our commitment to environmental stewardship at all levels.
Recently achieving ISO 50001 for, Energy Management Systems, in conjunction with the ISO 14001, demonstrates Go-Ahead Ireland`s commitment to ensuring environmental standards are met. We actively seek areas of improvement, for example by considering solar energy to power the depots and working on a plan to phase out older vehicles and replace them with electric vehicles. A result of this is that, on 24th March 2021, Go-Ahead Ireland reviewed the latest electric bus technology at the Ballymount Depot; for more details please click here.
Looking after our planet with every operating company
On a broader scale, other operating companies of the Go-Ahead Group commit on a local level to improve environmental standards for the communities they serve.
Go-Ahead London`s switch to electric buses, has saved over 700 tonnes of CO2 to date.
In 2016, Waterloo Garage converted from diesel to fully electric Enviros EVs. In comparison to the diesel buses they replaced, these high capacity singe decker buses are more efficient by 700 tonnes of CO2 per year have significantly improved London`s air quality since their introduction.
Go-Ahead Singapore launches proof-of-concept trials for ultra-thin solar panel fitted buses
In March 2021, Go-Ahead Singapore has launched proof-of-concept (POC) trials of ultra-thin solar panels fitted on the roof of the two buses for trial. This is in-line with Go-Ahead Singapore's continual efforts to be a responsible public transport operator by implementing solutions to support sustainable transportation.
The utilisation of solar energy also seeks to improve vehicle efficiency. The solar energy saved by the ultra-thin solar panels will be used to charge the battery of the buses, reducing the load on the alternator which in turns reduces the load on the engine. It is estimated, the solar panel technology will reduce the fossil fuel consumption, by 492 litres per year..
‘There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew. ‘-Marshall McLuhan