HW Richardson Group targets two million litre fuel saving

One of New Zealand's largest trucking businesses is targeting fuel saving and sustainability by joining the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority's (EECA's) Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Programme, which aims to improve fuel efficiency and decrease carbon dioxide emissions in the heavy vehicle sector.

The agreement, signed between EECA and the HW Richardson Group (HWR) has the ambitious target of a reduction in group-wide fuel consumption of 10% - nearly two million litres. This would reduce HWR's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by around 5130 tonnes each year, equivalent to the carbon emissions released by 1800 cars.

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill was in Invercargill today for the first of a series of workshops as part of the programme and says the agreement is important because HWR are one of the largest companies in the transport industry and its investment in this programme reinforces the value of fuel efficiency to others in the industry.

"A strong trucking industry is essential to New Zealand's economy. The fuel efficiency programme not only improves the sustainability of the business, it also helps improve safety and reduce maintenance costs. Drivers who have been through training as part of the programme have fewer incidents of speeding and arrive at the destination less tired or stressed," says Mr Underhill.

HWR's Managing Director Scott O'Donnell said that it was important to the company that the programme's focus was not solely on fuel efficiency gains.

"Getting our people safe home every night and ensuring that we do not put the public at risk from our operations is key to us. We continually look for ways to improve performance, and the investment in the fuel efficiency programme will assist in achieving this. The safe and fuel efficient driving training that forms part of the programme aligns with where our priorities lie for both our people and the communities we work and live in."

The HW Richardson Group, based in Southland, runs over 800 trucks in 30 fleets nation-wide and consumes over 19 million litres of fuel per year, moving freight in the form of concrete, fuel, stock, aggregate and other products from one end of New Zealand to the other.

An early trial of the programme with HWR subsidiary Southern Trucking identified an overall 7% fuel saving and a 48% reduction in gear changes which flow through to a significant reduction in both fuel and maintenance costs. Prior to training, drivers believed that fuel efficient driving would mean a trip would take much longer - but a post-training review based on 21 trips showed that there was in fact a seven minute reduction in time.

As a sector almost totally reliant on fossil fuels, improving transport fuel efficiency is essential to reducing New Zealand's CO2 emissions. EECA's Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Programme guides fleets through a review of their business which includes; fuel data management, driver training practices, vehicle maintenance and selection and a number of other areas, as well as helping to implement initiatives and monitor resulting changes to ensure the savings are sustained over the long term.

Find out more about the Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Programme on the EECA BUSINESS website.

Media enquiries:

Jane O’Loughlin, Communications Manager, EECA

Phone: 04 470 2421 or 027 445 5975

Email: jane.oloughlin@eeca.govt.nz