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Home » Industry News » Sustainability News South Africa » Scania Southern Africa is planting a forest

Scania Southern Africa is planting a forest

One tree for every Scania Sustainability Pioneer who partners with them to drive the shift to a sustainable transport system.

SCANIA’s sustainable transport solutions include low emission Euro 5 vehicles, the soon to be launched Scania Super with Euro 6 engines and zero emission Scania Battery Electric Vehicles. 

The trees will be planted in areas where they have the most impact. Many communities in South Africa lack green spaces. Research links trees to a reduction in crime, better school performance and improved health benefits. Every tree planted in a Scania Sustainability Pioneer’s name, will create a healthy and sustainable community ecosystem, while ensuring these business visionaries are forever a part of the environment, they are helping Scania to protect. 

“Considering that our roads carry more than 70% of all goods transported across South Africa, ensuring the effects of climate change are drastically reduced is a pressing responsibility,” explains Erik Bergvall, Managing Director, Scania Southern Africa. As the only heavy vehicle manufacturer to set science-based targets aligned to the Paris agreement, Scania is, together with its sustainably minded customers, taking collective ownership of their role in climate change. “Already our vehicles produced in 2023 emit 20% less carbon emissions than those produced in 2015”, says Bergvall. “To further increase efficiencies, we have introduced optimised vehicle specifications that include better powertrains and further fuel efficiencies.” 

When fossil fuels, like diesel, burn, they release carbon dioxide. These gases are trapped in the atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise, leading to climate change. The transport sector is particularly exposed and vulnerable to impacts of natural disasters. Climate change is expected to exacerbate future risks. Extreme weather may disrupt and damage the vital connections that provide access to economic opportunities, healthcare, education and social connections. In South Africa, the transport sector is the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, with most vehicles running off internal combustion engines powered by fossil fuels. Transport contributes 12% to South Africa’s total carbon emissions. Of that, freight transport is responsible for 85%. “The shift to sustainable transport solutions is a collective effort,” says Bergvall, “We can’t do it alone. By partnering with our Scania Sustainability Pioneers, we are working together to reduce the carbon emissions necessary to limit climate change in Southern Africa”. 

The shift to sustainable transport solutions offers transport operators a competitive advantage. Many companies have climate-related targets and are looking across their supply chains for opportunities to reduce carbon emissions. A fleet that includes sustainable transport solutions could soon become a factor to enable transport operators to win in a competitive bid. “By differentiating as a transport operator, with a distinct focus on people and the planet, your company engages with a sense of purpose and could attract a new customer base that prefers to do business with sustainably minded suppliers”, says Bergvall.  

The costs of inaction are steep, especially if carbon emissions continue to rise. Resilient transport interventions can significantly help to reduce future loses across the transport sector. “At Scania, we measure the climate impact from our vehicles using operational data from all our globally connected trucks and buses”, explains Bergvall. This commitment to a transparent process of tracking emissions ensures Scania and their visionary customers can play a leadership role in combatting climate change. 

“We look forward to growing our Scania Southern Africa Sustainable Forest, with each tree a symbol of the on-the-ground partnership we have with our visionary customers”, says Bergvall. “By managing their operations with less climate impact than their competitors, they are paving the way for a new and sustainable transport system across Southern Africa”. A shift that promises to deliver long term benefits for the transport industry, society and the environment.

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