Truck drivers in British Columbia, a province on Canada's west coast, are being given a hand towards reducing the volume of diesel fuel burned in the course of doing business in the vast provincial hinterland.
The Carbon Offset Aggregation Co-operative of BC
(COAC) has reached a five year agreement with Pacific Carbon Trust to "sell carbon offsets created through the reduction of diesel fuel consumption by heavy trucks and equipment," according to Globe-Net
COAC Board Chair, MaryAnne Arcand, is happy with the speed with which the idea came to fruition. "We've created a model and opportunity that will allow companies large and small, right down to a single owner-operator," she told Globe-Net
, "to make real and lasting changes to their operations that will have a significant impact on the environment, and their bottom lines."
The government of British Columbia's Climate Action Secretariat in the Ministry of the Environment approved COAC's methodology in July after it received third party validation. The BC government has set a carbon reduction target of 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020, and the efforts of the COAC will be important in helping the province reach their goal.
The 23 founding members of the co-operative collectively burn upwards of 50M litres (13.2M US gallons) of diesel fuel annually, and so any reduction of that amount used in transportation, equipment, or heavy machinery would be welcomed. BC is the third largest hydro-electricity producer in Canada, and the second largest natural gas producer in the country, making the importance of long-distance trucking critical in a province where products are often far from the closest market.
The COAC operates as a middle-man between various trucking companies and the Pacific Carbon Trust who buy the offset credits. COAC helps with vehicle and equipment upgrades, installation, and training to help smooth the transition into a more cost-effective and lower-carbon future, in addition to creating the baselines of consumption and tracking any progress made on fuel savings.
The programme is being sold to trucking companies primarily as a way to save money on fuel consumption - and anything that offers to assist the bottom line will be enticing for business dependent on diesel as fuel prices fluctuate.
"This isn't just a numbers game," Arcand told Globe-Net
. "This is a true reduction of carbon, a measurable, verifiable reduction of fuel used." And considering the time line between idea and reality was a mere 18 months for COAC, Arcand has reason to be optimistic.