How we minimised chemical hazards when washing our trucks

By Jens Martin Olsen, 20 August 2015

Caring about the environment is an important part of everything we do. Recently, Greencarrier Freight Services in Kristiansand, Norway made a number of improvements to reduce the environmental impact of our transports. Normally, we are used to helping our customers with logistics and transport solutions, but now, it was our time to ask our customer for help!

 

Improving our terminal operation by putting environment and quality first

In the autumn of 2014, our department Project, Oil & Gas was ISO certified for quality (9001) and environment (14001). In addition, we wanted to gradually certify our terminal operation. In order to reach the criteria, we decided to take the following actions:

  • We introduced a new and much improved sanitation program with a high degree of separation and sorting of fractions.
  • We built a recession for handling spillage under the diesel tank to prevent spillage during filling or if the tank becomes damaged.
  • We developed a process to create our own secure storeroom for storage of hazardous products used in our business.
  • We increased our general knowledge and awareness of how our actions affect the environment.

Minimising chemical hazards when washing our trucks

As a further step in the process of reducing our environmental impact of our transports, we wanted to wash our trucks in a way that limits the release of hazardous substances. The wastewater that is used when washing trucks often contains hazardous residues from detergents. The water goes down the drain and poisons our nature. We do the washing of our trucks at the Port of Kristiansand where we operate as port agents and the detergents we use also may affect the marine life. Consequently, we started to look for a more eco-friendly solution.

A joint interest in contributing to a greener planet

One of our customers, Aco Kjemi, imports different types of chemicals, oils, cleaners and degreasers. They are experts in the fields of industrial chemicals and spill control solutions. We turned to them and asked if they had any solution to our problem. Luckily they did! Aco Kjemi introduced a cleaner and degreaser that is kind to the environment, including the marine life. It is actually developed to meet the stringent environmental requirements of Harmonized Offshore Chemical Notification Format (HOCNF) and Offshore Chemical Notification Scheme (OCNS), for use offshore on board ships and drilling platforms in the North Sea.

Switching to eco-friendly detergent – a big win for both environment and humans

The detergent we previously used had a pH of 14, which is the highest number on the pH scale. All detergents with a pH level this high are very alkaline and environmentally hazardous when exposed to water. Our previous detergent also contained phosphate, which is harmful to the environment if released in large quantities, particularly to algae.

Switching to a more eco-friendly alternative is a big win, not only for the environment, but also for our own safety. The previous detergent was corrosive to the skin in its dilute suspension and very dangerous in its concentrated form – in fact, you would have had to go to hospital immediately if you got the concentrate directly onto your skin!

Said and done – we replaced our previous detergent to the cleaner and degreaser that our customer recommended to us, a detergent called ECAD. Our new detergent is not dangerous to the skin, nor to the environment.

We are so happy that we could use our own customer’s expertise to find a solution to our problem! We are now one step closer to certify our terminal operation – in benefit of nature.

A logistics and transport company that cares about the environment

We believe it is important to take full responsibility for the chemicals we use, and to follow regulations in order to protect and prevent the chemicals from impacting the environment, as well as the human health. Do you agree with us? If you do, please share it with me in the comments below! If you would like to know more about Greencarrier and our customised transport solutions, do not hesitate to contact me or visit our website.

/ Jens Martin Olsen Greencarrier Freight Services Norway

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