Author: Jonathan Webb - Categories: CSR & Green
Countries are lowering speed limits to preserve oil supplies. Can companies do the same?
It appears that high oil prices are here to stay. Older oil-dependent practices are simply too expensive to maintain. Procurement is best placed to prepare businesses for this change.
Spain has recently reduced the speed limit across the country to 110 kilometres per hour (68 miles per hour) from the previous limit of 120 kilometres per hour (75 miles per hour) in a bid to maximise national oil reserves. A similar practice has long been in use in the marine industry.
Many ocean-bound steamers have employed a 'slow steaming' method on the high seas, which preserves fuel. Maersk has recently ordered the construction of three of the world's largest vessels, which are specifically designed to cruise at slower speeds.
Can we take a similar approach when it comes to road transportation?
Most cars' fuel consumption reaches an optimum level at between 80 and 88 kilometres per hour (between 50 and 55 miles per hour). At higher speeds, the rate of fuel consumption increases.
Although many logistics companies impose speed limits of 50 miles per hour on their heavy goods vehicles, further use of this option is seldom made. Perhaps fleet, purchased taxis or couriers could be similarly limited to reduce fuel costs. Moreover, this would reduce organisations' carbon footprint and improve corporate social responsibility scores.
Perhaps procurement could mandate that all company cars be similarly restricted to the 'optimum speed' of the vehicle?