Whether at home or abroad, environmental regulations affect every business that generates waste, emits air pollutants and stores chemicals or other potentially hazardous materials.
For the global trucking industry, there are already minimum fuel efficiency standards and maximum emissions standards for all gasoline and diesel vehicles, for most countries in the world.
The specifications of these standards vary from country to country, but all agree that getting goods from one place to another at a reasonable cost and with the minimum impact on the environment is essential.
Environmental management within the trucking industry has been significantly increasing over the years as legislation and regulation evolves and strengthens. It is also becoming more visible with higher emissions transparency.
In the U.S. new targets were set to boost fuel efficiency by 2027, nearly 40% over 2010 levels. All new trucks manufactured from 2016 must adhere to new standards to increase their fuel efficiency.
In 2011, the U.K. established the Low Emission, Fuel Efficient HGV Task Force to both identify and promote efficient measures in order to reduce emissions; and in 2012, a low carbon trial followed, in order to promote and encourage haulage operators to both purchase and use low carbon trucks.
In 2015, the E.U. proposed changes to the design of trucks to make them more aerodynamic, greener and to improve safety features.
There are summits, conferences and debates with worldwide leaders on this topic at regular intervals all over the world.
But will increased regulation and tighter controls really make a difference to our environment?
Most will say ‘yes’. The environmental impact is significant and we should all be doing as much as we can to reduce our individual vehicles emissions.
It’s predicted that the reduction of transportation emissions on a global scale will result in significant positive effects on our planet’s air quality, smog, acid rain and climate change, in general.
Are the prevention measures in proportion with the world’s largest emissions contributors?
This is a controversial point. Geographically, the top 10 emitters contribute 72% of global greenhouse gas emissions including China at 25%, the U.S. contributing 14%, the E.U 10% and India at just under 7%.
Europe, North America, Japan and other industrialized Asian nations are characterized by a high level of environmental regulation and a sophisticated demand for technological improvements. On the other hand, countries such as China and India are extremely cost conscious and less interested in features and regulations, meaning that their trucks fall below the bar.
Global pressure is mounting and although there is currently worldwide disproportion across countries on current regulation, standards and policies, lagging countries will eventually catch up as this issue continues to dominate the news headlines, political agendas and worldwide summits.