The UK logistics industry is a massive part of society, employing millions of people. While the industry gears up for a sustainable future, green skills must be taught to learner truck drivers who are looking to begin their career in the industry.
The Government has been encouraging individuals to kick start their career as truck drivers to tackle the unprecedented driver shortage. At the same time, the transport and logistics sector is accelerating its efforts to support the UK’s Net Zero ambitions - where the adoption of electric vehicles is a prime example.
They have established targets that require a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050. It is the responsibility of all UK businesses, including those in the logistics sector, to take part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and becoming greener.
As a result, there are new skills needed within the industry to help it achieve its goals of being greener and more sustainable. It is important that logistics companies have the necessary tools, such as technology and education programs, to prepare them for these changes.
This can be done through a number of means: new environmental legislation, better technology, or even new educational programs. The goal is to not only reduce harmful emissions but also to make logistics companies more efficient at their jobs so that they can continue to thrive while also reducing their carbon footprint.
Learner lorry drivers must learn these appropriate skills to play a key role in the sustainable future of the industry. This is not only useful for learners but also for employers who are looking to strengthen their corporate social responsibility (CRS) initiatives. Hiring truck drivers with these green skills can play a vital role in their environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework.
What are green skills?
Green skills are the knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society. For HGV drivers, this means learning to drive in an eco-friendly manner.
Sustainable driving is defined as being environmentally friendly through correct vehicle maintenance, efficient use of resources, and supporting environmental causes. However, this term also refers to a driver's mindset—it takes more than simply knowing how to drive for someone to be considered sustainable. It takes a certain amount of commitment and an understanding of what it means to be sustainable in today's world.
The skills necessary for a driver to be considered green are varied, but there are two main areas that must be addressed: fuel efficiency and vehicle maintenance.
The majority of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by trucks come from burning fossil fuels for propulsion. Following eco-friendly driving techniques can reduce GHG emissions by up to 20% during loading, transit and unloading. This includes using cruise control, when safe to do so, accelerating gently from rest to maintain optimum speed and avoiding unnecessary braking or sudden acceleration.
Aside from the day-to-day driving processes, an HGV driver needs to know what kind of engine they're driving, how efficiently it uses fuel, and whether or not it's equipped with a diagnostic system that allows them to stay aware of its maintenance status.
If you're operating a vehicle that's been adapted to be more environmentally friendly, you can ensure that those systems are working and maintain them accordingly.
Why is investing in green skills important for your business?
A driver with green skills will possess knowledge of how to reduce fuel consumption and vehicle emissions, as well as how to maintain his or her vehicle in an environmentally friendly way. By hiring drivers who have taken the time to learn these skills, you show both your employees and the world that you're an environmentally conscious company that cares enough about its impact on society to take steps toward mitigating its effect.
In addition, if you're considering transporting goods overseas, it's important for companies to consider differences in regulation between countries. A driver with green skills may know how best to adhere to regulations in other parts of the world and help avoid fines or even getting your goods seized during transport.
Having an appropriate ESG strategy in place has become a vital part of CSR initiatives. Employing drivers with these skills can not only promote the awareness of these sustainable skills, but also have a positive impact on the corporate image of employers.
The future of green
Green skills are important to the future of the transport and logistics sector because they'll ensure that companies have a solid base in which to build on as they try to reach their goals of sustainability.
The main long-term benefit of sustainable driving is that it will greatly reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and help us meet our climate change goals. Anyone who learns these skills as a learner driver will have less impact on the environment from day one because they'll be aware of the need to practice good habits every time they're behind the wheel.
The more people who are familiar with these techniques, the better off we'll all be when we reach the point where we can't depend on fossil fuels anymore—we'll already have a huge pool of drivers who know how to do things right.
This training can be taught by almost any member of the workforce (from warehouse managers to drivers themselves) or it may be integrated into an existing curriculum for an eco-friendly certification for new employees—especially those who are working near or in sensitive areas, such as nature preserves.
By choosing System Group as your training provider, we will arrange to either come to your workplace to deliver company wide training or work with individual employees in a method that works best for them. We currently offer a SAFED (Safe and Fuel-Efficient Driving) Course which could be included in your next routine maintenance of vehicles or combined with one of our other HGV courses to top of the skills of your drivers and ensure future sustainability.
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