Environment & Mobility
PROMOTING FLUID, SAFE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY MOBILITY
New motor technologies and partnerships in energy networks
Three trends are shaping the car of the future, all of them being the fruit of technological advances: the electrification of cars, connectivity and automation, and the transformation of the car into a smart, multi-use mobile tool.
In parallel with these technological advances, a number of societal and economic trends are converging to transform the concept of mobility. These include restrictions on the number of private cars, a narrowing of road lanes, the introduction of new forms of taxation based on usage and above all, the move towards a sharing economy.
In response to these changes, D’Ieteren Auto created D’Ieteren Mobility at the end of 2016. This new department is charged with promoting better understanding of the mobility market in the short to medium term, and encouraging and accelerating mobility-related innovation within the company. D’Ieteren Mobility will also aim to forge active links with the academic world and to seal commercial partnerships with start-ups or incubators that are active in the sector.
Towards more flexibility for employees
D’Ieteren Auto encourages its employees to adopt more fluid mobility solutions for their travel needs. Possible approaches to reducing the CO2 emissions caused by company travel are regularly put forward, including more home working, greener driving habits and more use of multimodal solutions.
D’Ieteren Auto is pursuing efforts to ensure optimal safety to the users of its products. In addition to basic safety equipment, cars equipped with smart systems offer on-board, computer-based anti-collision and driver assistance systems, such as automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. This equipment offers benefits not only in terms of safety and mobility but also to the environment.
D’Ieteren Auto has also signed a partnership with two training centres specialised in people who already have a driving licence, particularly young people and car fleet customers. The aim is to raise awareness about safe driving practices with a view to reducing the risk of road accidents. Close to 5,000 training courses have already been completed.
Vehicle recycling network
Through its different brands, D’Ieteren Auto currently sells close to one out of five cars purchased in Belgium. Managing the end-of-life of these vehicles forms an integral part of a responsible mobility strategy. In Belgium, 94% of unusable vehicles are recycled and valorised via an approved and monitored network. D’Ieteren Auto participates in the successful recovery and processing of the resulting composite materials with Febelauto, a partnership that makes Belgium a leader in European recycling.
D’Ieteren Auto has surpassed its 2016 target to reduce its energy consumption by 20% compared to 2006 and to self-produce 25% of the electricity consumed by its own buildings. In 2016, the operating sites self-produced 36% of the company’s electricity needs (18% from photovoltaic systems and 82% via cogeneration). This performance is the fruit of measures such as the carrying out of energy audits, the installation of cogeneration plants, the use of gas via the acquisition of new boilers, the installation of photovoltaic panels, etc. Whether it be the renovation of existing buildings or new constructions, D’Ieteren Auto also strives to optimise energy efficiency through eco-design and insulation. The company aims to self-produce 40% of its electricity needs across all sites by 2018.
Concerning the question of waste management, the company is actively promoting the sorting and collection of its waste generated in offices, workshops, stores and garages, as well as the storage of harmful materials. At present, close to 60% of the company’s waste is recycled.
Reducing the impact of the fleet on the environment
Earlier in 2016, fleet managers from across Belron came together to share best practice and review opportunities for improvement. One key area was how to reduce the impact of the Belron fleet on the environment. This accounts for 60% of the carbon footprint and costs approximately EUR 50 million per year. Key proposals to reduce fuel consumption, accidents and general wear and tear were: how to improve driver behaviour through better training, better reporting and management, the use of apps to provide drivers with performance information, the introduction of electric vehicles and the use of hardware to limit the driver’s ability for aggressive driving. Each business unit is now assessing how best to take advantage of these opportunities and best practice will be developed and shared in 2017.
How do electric vehicules compare?
With Carglass successfully implementing an electric van in large cities across France, there is renewed interest from other Belron businesses to reduce risk of increased access costs to city centres and overcome potential access restrictions on diesel and petrol vehicles. From this initial implementation two key questions have been raised: what is the total cost of ownership (TCO) and what is the real impact on the environment when manufacture and disposal are taken into account. Research from Vrije Universiteit Brussel shows that with subsidies, the TCO of electric vehicles is at least as good as others and ultimately, better for the environment. This information will help Fleet Managers across Belron take advantage of the electric van and start to include it in their strategic fleet plans.
Glass waste management
A team of people from Belron UK, Belron Purchasing, Belron Technical and the European Distribution Centre (EDC) have been reviewing how to reduce the cost associated with glass waste and improve the revenue by finding new markets for the recycled glass and the PVB (polyvinyl butyral resin). As a result of the review, the glass waste from the UK will be centralised at the UK Distribution Centre and sent overseas to Belgium. The UK waste will be combined with the waste from the EDC, saving over GBP 200,000. The combined waste will be recycled and be made into other products such as building insulation, glass containers, carpet backing and industrial paint. Other Belron businesses will evaluate how they can take advantage of the benefits of centralising the waste with the final recommendations being developed with the Supply Chain team this year.