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How to make more sustainable equipment hire choices

Discussion is growing in Australia around the need for tougher climate targets and better environmental performance across industries like energy, transport, mining, manufacturing and construction.

As Australia’s leading equipment hire company supporting many of these industries, Coates takes sustainability seriously. Coates is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and recently released its first Sustainability Strategy outlining the roadmap for reaching these targets.

Here are some of the products and initiatives currently helping Coates to reduce emissions and support customers in making more sustainable equipment hire choices.

 

Access to a greener fleet

 

In recent years, Coates has trialled and invested in a fleet of increasingly sustainable construction equipment, but the pace of change is beginning to accelerate. According to Dan Goodfellow, Group Manager for Products, Coates has to think about its long-term product range more strategically than ever before to be emission-free by 2040.

“2040 may seem like a long way off, but given the lifecycle of our fleet these choices are upon us now, even in areas where the technology is still being perfected,” says Dan. “So as well as considering how our product range will meet the current and future needs of our customers, we also need to look at how these products will help to achieve net zero emissions.” 

Examples of some of the more sustainable equipment currently available include:

  • Solar powered and hybrid (diesel/solar) lighting towers
  • Hybrid diesel and electric equipment across access, earthmoving and compaction
  • All Coates heavy equipment is now also capable of utilising from 5% biofuel, with some equipment taking up to 20%.

 

Informing sustainable choices

 

Information is key to helping customers make sustainable choices, says Dan. “By capturing and sharing telemetry data, Coates is able to provide customers with valuable information to inform their equipment hire choices,” he explains. “Much of our existing heavy equipment range is now retrofitted with this technology, and telemetry is mandated on all suitable new additions to our fleet.”

Coates Connect is another tool supporting Coates’s customers and informing sustainable hire choices. This digital platform connects customers with equipment utilisation rates, equipment location data and other telemetry-sourced information.

“Coates Connect streams all of the available telemetry data onto one platform to help customers optimise their equipment hire,” says Dan. “This is a vital tool for understanding how equipment is being used, and to encourage more sustainable hire choices.”

 
Changing hire behaviours

 

In supporting sustainable construction, Coates also plays a role in helping customers to embrace sustainable thinking and to understand the long-term value proposition that sustainable equipment brings.

“Initially, some of the new and more energy-efficient technologies can demand a higher capital cost from suppliers,” says Dan. “But in addition to the environmental benefits, customers need to understand the value these products can deliver throughout the project lifecycle, certainly in terms of fuel efficiency and reduced hire time.”

Lithium batteries are another interesting area of innovation and Coates is already supporting a handful of customers in changing their diesel and gas forklifts over to lithium. “To support these customers, Coates is assisting with the logistics of setting up charging stations,” Dan continues. “Coates is also helping these workforces to adjust to new ways of working to ensure equipment remains charged and ready for use, and that efficiency can be maintained.”

 
Future technologies

 

While Coates is already investing in equipment and technology to future-proof its fleet, many more products and technologies will become viable in years to come. Hydrogen-fuelled heavy equipment and HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) renewable fuel are examples of technologies that Coates will be watching closely.    

“In America and many European countries hydrogen is subsidised, but Australia isn’t quite there yet in terms of backing hydrogen as a sustainable fuel source or having the infrastructure in place to allow construction to rely on it,” Dan explains. “So while it is a much cleaner fuel, it’s still too expensive and difficult in terms of logistics and safety for Coates and its customers to consider at this stage.”

Whatever the future holds, Coates remains deeply committed to achieving sustainable change. Read more about our Sustainability Strategy

 

For sustainable hire solutions tailored to your business, call 13 15 52 or contact us today

 

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