As the land transport task, especially road is expected to increase significantly, by 2015, it would hardly be surprising that many policy makers will look to some form of urban transport environmental control long before this date. One method is via the introduction of a set of operational environmental hurdles. This is not a new concept. However, this paper proposes a new environmental initiative for urban transport operations. The scheme which is simple for both operators and regulators proposes an effective and meaningful operational rating system which reflects the efforts an operator may go to in their internal fleet environmental policies in purchasing equipment, daily workload planning, waste disposals policies etc.
The three tiered environmental operator performance rating scheme, the E-plus scheme has three levels of operator segmentation. A good basic auditable level of environmental compliance, an E rating, an excellent rating E plus, and an exceptional rating would be an E double plus. Probably no fleets currently in Australia would earn a double plus rating at this time.
Why should there be a road transport operator environmental rating scheme? Firstly as a measurable benchmark for the community and the fleet operators themselves. Secondly and a factor of growing importance is for the customers who are the buyers of freight services. Already customers are specifying in their tender requirements that transport operator environmental competencies and capabilities be listed. This may aid the selection of an operator for a specific task. For example; food sensitive freight handling may require specific food certification scheme adoption such as the HACCP classification system. Similarly an urban courier contract may specify, environmental credentials which sit under an ISO 14000 framework. However, what more specific operator differentiation criteria can be requested by the customer? The E plus system is being designed for this very purpose. In Australia some regulators and teaching centres have begun to take an interest in this transport operator framework.
Hassall, K. (2004), "The E+ Transport Environmental Operator Classification System", Daganzo, C.F. (Ed.) Logistics Systems for Sustainable Cities, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 449-457. https://doi.org/10.1108/9780080473222-033
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