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Environmental Initiatives Save RSC Nearly $26M in 2009

RSCemissionsRSC Equipment Rental saved approximately $25.8 million in 2009 by implementing several environmental initiatives ranging from an equipment refurbishment program to a tire pressure equalization system, according to the company’s first CSR report.

RSC’s sustainability program is centered on integrating environmental considerations and eco-efficiency into all of its business processes and practices, partnering with stakeholders to drive sustainability goals, monitoring and improving environmental impacts of its equipment and its own environmental footprint, addressing environmental regulations and establishing goals related to reducing its carbon footprint.

As an example, in addition to cost savings, RSC’s refurbishment program delivers savings in raw materials and energy, while the tire pressure system increases gas mileage while reducing overall fuel consumption. Other programs include a shift from solvents-based parts washers to water-based washers, the use of solid tires, which deliver greater safety, reliability and longer lifespan, and an initiative to reduce engine-idle time.

The company also launched its Equipment Emission Tracking (E2T) solution, which calculates greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions from RSC equipment. As of December 31, 2009, the company calculated engine-specific data on 97 percent of its fleet, and as of this report met its goal of 100 percent completion by the end of 2010.

The company is also focused on continuous improvements through its 5S lean-management program based on reducing waste through five steps (sort, shop flow, shine, standardize and self-discipline), and reducing paper waste through the implementation of electronic data interchange (EDI). The company’s waste oil recycling program alone diverts nearly half a million gallons of used oil per year from permanent disposal.

The company also reports that its total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2009 were 149,778 metric tons (measured as CO2-e), down from 168,351 metric tons in 2008. The company attributes the decrease to lower emissions from the non-rental fleet.

Total electricity use in 2009 was 45,261 MWh, up slightly from 43,148 MWh in 2008.

Some of the actions RSC is taking to reduce its emissions and to improve the efficiency of its vehicle delivery fleet include using a satellite-based tracking and communication system and combining multiple delivery and pick-up stops into one trip when possible.

In addition, all 2009 and newer delivery vehicles are equipped with an “auto shutoff” feature that will automatically turn the truck off if the vehicle is parked and has idled for more than 5 minutes.

The company is also incorporating energy-saving features in its newly opened store locations to lower their energy consumption. These measures include low-emittance, high-solar-gain e-glass; insta-hot water heaters, T-5 high-efficiency fluorescent lighting, occupancy sensors on lighting, upgraded insulation, and cool roof technology.

Existing locations are also getting retrofits that include programmable thermostats, low-flow toilets, and compact fluorescent light bulbs. These locations are also undergoing maintenance on heating and cooling systems.

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One thought on “Environmental Initiatives Save RSC Nearly $26M in 2009

  1. My congratulations to RSC on their progress. My comment relates to the transparency of reporting on savings from sustaiability initiatives. Savings seem to be one of the new metrics in the field, but all too often there is no way of discerning where the savings are coming from. In this case RSC published a $26million dollar number and listed 8-10 initiatives – where did the savings come from? I don’t expect a complete breakdown and ROI, etc. but it would be tremendously helpful to see some detail. I looked at the report primarily because the number struck me as high for a company of that size with a relatively modest carbon and energy footprint. Thanks.

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