Customer and industry engagement

Around 40 representatives from major customers and key trade associations attended the latest of our industry-leading sustainability workshops held at the Crystal Centre in London’s Docklands to talk about the challenges and opportunities of sustainable business. 

The accent was on transport, with guest speakers from Transport for London, Mercedes, fleet car provider Pendragon and energy supplier EDF. Delegates were told about Hanson’s ongoing commitment to rail, including new facilities at Padeswood cement works in north Wales, Tytherington quarry in South Gloucestershire and Ashton-in-Makerfield in Greater Manchester, and a refreshed approach to company cars, which will see the removal of light diesel vehicles, greater use of plug-in/hybrids and enhanced video conferencing to cut down on business miles. 

Ross Paterson from Mercedes said the current design of European trucks made an all-electric HGV with a 500-mile range challenging, but a 12.8-tonne electric truck with a 200-kilometre range was already in production. He also referenced Hanson’s low-cab direct vision trucks and mixers which are now standard in London, offering enhanced safety for cyclists and other road users. The Euro 6-engined trucks have a panoramic glass cab and are fitted with 360° cameras.

David Waring from Hanson’s company car fleet partner Pendragon looked at the growing trend for hybrid and all-electric company cars, and forecast possible changes in the way such vehicles are taxed in the future.

James Ingram from Transport for London outlined the challenge of air quality in the capital and the introduction of the ultra-low emission zone from April 2019 which will have an impact on all non-electric goods vehicles. He also touched on zero emission zones and moves to encourage more movement of freight by rail and water.

Peter Lukas, HeidelbergCement’s director of global environmental sustainability, explained the Group’s commitment to helping meet the Paris agreement on climate change: holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. His presentation looked at some of the options for carbon capture and utilisation. EDF – Hanson’s energy supplier – talked about the potential for fleet vehicle batteries to provide storage for grid balancing schemes whilst recharging, with smart management to ensure they are fully charged when required for the road.