Mission Climate = Mission Possible

Hiab stories | 7 september 2021 11:52 AM | Tobias Bunne - Environment, Health and Safety & Sustainability Director, Hiab

Climate change is a global crisis that we all need to tackle. Einstein famously said that “in the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity”. For Hiab this is true. We see the climate crisis as an enormous business opportunity that provides a path to financial sustainability.  

Hiab, as part of Cargotec, is a 1.5°company. This means that our environmental sustainability is aligned with our climate ambition to limit a global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Our business opportunity is the same as mission climate, offering new products and services with less impact on the environment and thus climate. In other words, going forward sustainability is good business and profitable growth is the enabler!

There is an increased interest in energy-efficient and electric products from our customers, often but certainly not always, supported by pressures from shareholders and regulators. In the short term, electrification and mid term energy efficiency will be key competitive advantages and Hiab is already well-positioned with several products and technologies to help with this. We foresee that there will be both a push and pull towards products and services with less impact on the environment. Companies that can not offer this will be left behind.

Tobias Bunne, Quality & Product Support Director_Print_90968.jpg

Tobias Bunne - Environment, Health and Safety & Sustainability Director, Hiab

It is our strong belief that the climate crisis is very real and needs to be tackled to minimise the damage to the planet. However, we are in a great position to limit our own impact and help our customers reduce their carbon footprint. Mission climate is mission possible.

Carbon neutral operations and better use of chemicals

Starting with ourselves, we are committed to our operations being carbon neutral in 2030, including fleet cars, transportation of goods and the energy use in our multi-assembly units that produce our load handling equipment. The emissions from Hiab’s own operations are marginal in terms of our total CO2 footprint, however, it is important to walk the talk and contribute where we can.

A key initiative is our Evolve programme that will define Hiab’s new sustainability strategy and facilitate the rapid business transformation required in order to reach our breakthrough objective of reducing our CO2 emissions by 200,000 tons by 2024.

Similarly, we are actively engaging with our suppliers to reduce emissions from the materials and products we acquire to make our products. We take part in the development of emission-free steel, applying sustainability policies to the supply chain operation, ensuring regulatory compliance and actively optimising the weight of our products. 

At Hiab, we have a holistic view of our climate impact. For this reason, we are also reducing the climate impact by being more responsible with the use of chemicals, hazardous substances and rare earth minerals, as well as providing services to help the equipment last longer and recycle old cranes. 

Lifetime services to prolong life and recycle 

Producing new equipment has a significant environmental impact with both low emission component manufacturing and more efficient use and recycling is crucial. Today we offer several solutions to improve the lifetime of all our load handling equipment and we have solutions that offer re-use of old equipment, an operation that we will scale up. Once available in the market, Hiab will be early adopters of emission-free steel.  

In recent years Hiab Services has launched service and maintenance agreements so equipment can be maintained regularly for a fixed cost. This has several advantages, the equipment has less downtime, it lasts longer and increases resale value

The problem is diesel

The most important part of our mission in coming years is to reduce the CO2 emissions from the operation of Hiab products by 50%. Given the planned growth, closing this gap is more than a challenge, it is a mission to change and we are off to a strong start. Mission climate is mission possible. 

Most of the emissions related to our products come from our customers’ operations. The biggest part is from the trucks themselves burning diesel, both by carrying the weight of the products and powering the actual product movements, which is a true challenge for the truck manufacturers that need to engineer trucks that can run on alternative power sources like electricity or liquid gas. 

Alternative power sources, no problem for Hiab

At Hiab we live up to our pioneering values, delivering solutions that drive progress for our customers’ business. We constantly innovate and our equipment can be used by electric vehicles and other vehicles powered by alternative power sources either as is or with minor, non-costly modifications.

The latter is true for all of our cranes. A good example is the new electric Renault trucks with HIAB HiPro 142 ES-3 installed on them, which were recently delivered to Noblet Group in France.

As a stepping stone, we also offer battery-operated cranes using ePTO (Electric Power Take Off) for use with LNG, hydrogen or diesel trucks. Since it provides its own power source, it allows customers to operate the cranes with the engine turned off. It offers the possibility for them to work at night and indoors, and in virtual silence and at zero emissions.

Our tail lifts can be installed on electric trucks and are currently in operation in Norway and Denmark. Our US tail lift brand WALTCO offers a solar charger for an environmentally friendly, low-impact solution.

MULTILIFT demountables can also run on alternative power sources and has recently launched an electric hooklift based on ePTO technology. The new MULTILIFT models made are more energy efficient and can include features such as the new PerformanceOptions™ that reduce fuel consumption and emissions and are constructed from lighter materials that reduce energy consumption further. 

Hiab’s award-winning electric truck.

The only product Hiab makes that can drive itself is the MOFFETT truck mounted forklift that is available in two electric eSeries models, MOFFETT eSeries E2 and E4 NX models. 

Recently, our latest addition, MOFFETT E4-25.3 NX  won an IFOY AWARD in the category Special Vehicle. According to the jury, the MOFFETT E4-25.3NX offers an excellent alternative to diesel-powered truck mounted forklifts from an ecological as well as an economic point of view. 

The MOFFETT eSeries has zero CO2 emissions when operated, but it is also much more comfortable and safer for the operator as it is virtually silent with fewer vibrations. The total cost of ownership is lower than the equivalent diesel model as it can be electrically charged and engineered to reduce service costs.

Automation and energy efficiency is key

Electrification itself is just an enabler and not enough to reach our targets. Automation and energy efficiency is a must and the very key to success. We invest in both research projects and product development resources to focus on reducing the energy consumption, either it is diesel or electricity. Our next generations of ePTO cranes will have both lighter and longer-lasting batteries, flexible power supply and optimised movements.

Since 2019, most of our equipment has been delivered with connectivity. Our connected service HiConnect™ reduces downtime and insight data to prolong the products’ lifetime, but it also helps to understand how the products are being used. This insight can be used to optimise the use and thus reduce power consumption. 

We have already been doing heavy research in this area for years and are currently applying new solutions to improve the energy efficiency like SAM, CTC and SAF. We are now looking into how using artificial intelligence can help to predict maintenance needs and help prolong the lifetime of the equipment. 

Lighter products, greater power

Lighter equipment means better power efficiency. One example is the new EFFER 1000 heavy range crane. It delivers the performance of a super heavy crane in a smaller body. This means it can be installed on smaller trucks that use less fuel. New products with better climate performance often create “win-win” solutions. As an example, the EFFER 1000 is not only better for the environment but also allows the customers to work in tighter urban spaces and save money.

Together, mission possible

No person, company, or government can solve the climate crisis, but everyone can do something. As an integral part of the automotive and construction industries, we have a great responsibility on our shoulders. But to tackle the climate crisis head-on and grab the business opportunities it presents us, is also our best path to financial sustainability and hopefully contributes to limiting the average temperature rise to less than 1.5°C degrees celsius.  

The biggest challenge of having equipment compatible with vehicles powered by alternative power sources is fortunately solved. We expect that in the future our equipment will be even more power-efficient supported by intelligent solutions and digital services, to meet customer demand throughout the customer lifecycle. 

Together, mission climate is mission possible.