Mark Albiston, Garic CEO, discusses his vision to position Garic as the sustainability solution provider to the rail industry.
Network Rail has challenged its contractors and suppliers to help deliver more ambitious targets to strictly limit carbon emissions. It comes as it was the first railway company in the world to set a science-based target aligned with limited warming to 1.5°C.
It has also set the deadline of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – 2045 in Scotland – looking to the whole rail industry to join it on a journey to a cleaner, greener future.
Ahead of the game is Garic – one of the most trusted plant and site equipment providers in the country. Its Solar Loo is soon to be celebrating its 20th birthday so it’s clear that developing eco products is in the company’s nature and something it’s been working on from the beginning. Not one to shy away from its commitment for change, the organisation and the Bibby Line group of companies are aiming to reach carbon zero by 2040
“We are passionate about our eco credentials and reducing emissions to create a better environment for ourselves, our clients and future generations,” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Albiston. “However, eco is not enough, we need to support our customers’ zero carbon journey and also lead our own.
“We’ve been producing products that are sustainable now for 20 years and probably have one of the biggest installed fleet of eco products. What we are doing now is looking at how we can make even more of a difference – every new product we bring out is significantly more sustainable than its predecessor.”
One of the most recent additions to its kit is the Combi Cabin Eco 1.5 – a self-contained and fully CDM-compliant unit with male and female toilets that will also reduce customers’ carbon footprint.
Whilst the unit itself is designed for 10 operatives, it can actually be expanded to support up to 25 people when linked with other units – all of which would be powered by the single Combi Cabin Eco 1.5 unit.
The circular economy product – made from a recycled shell – is a fully insulated, solar solution that is supported by a hybrid generator to ensure 100% reliability for the customer. The added bonus of the hybrid generator being that it can also be powered by HVO. Having undergone thorough testing on a number of sites, it appears the generator is only needing to kick in for a maximum of 5% of the time. Over a 22-day period, this not only meant a saving of over £1,000 in fuel costs, but also enabled a carbon reduction of 3,000kg.
Garic offers a range of site solutions for any rail job – most notably its range of towable welfare units ideal for trackside working, which can be towed on or off-site and easily along the track. It also provides mobile welfare vans and eco or hybrid tower lights to ensure rail projects can be undertaken safely.
Mark – who has been at Garic for more than five years and became CEO in July – has seen the company grow from a £15 million business to one where turnover has reached a record high of £34.6 million.
“There has been a real transformation and it’s all down to the hard work of everyone involved in the business,” he said. “This growth is set to continue and we have recently been working on a new strategy to take the business forward into its next chapter to give a focus on how we channel our efforts to further improve.
“There are three specific areas that I want to focus on and those are the culture, the customer and sustainability – all of which have to be achieved with the safety of our staff and customers as a priority.”
On the sustainability front, just some of the initiatives include:
- Signing a new forklift truck agreement for HVO-enabled EURO 6 compliant engines to replace more than 50 per cent of the fleet in 2022.
- Moving the company car fleet to 100 per cent PHEV/EV – with only six left that are petrol or diesel.
- Switching to 100 percent green energy use across its depot network.
- Purchasing stage five engines for generator hire and sales fleet.
Garic also appreciates that this route to carbon zero isn’t going to be an easy task, but everyone in the company is keen to achieve it and help their customers as much as possible. As a result, the organisation is also looking for a full-time sustainability lead to accelerate efforts.
“It is all part of the aim to position Garic as the sustainability solution provider in the rail market. I think we’ve got a strong position in the marketplace, experience in creating sustainable solutions, and a passion and hunger to continue to deliver strong solutions on the green journey not just for us as a business, but our customers.”