GRITIT winter gritting bosses winter, whilst going out of our way to do our bit for the environment as well.
Gritting and the environment
Gritting simply doesn't always have the best reputation when it comes to environmental effects.
Excessive use of winter salt runoffs can pollute waterways, and obviously there's the impact of a fleet of gritting vehicles out on the road.
That said, we're proud of our environmental record at GRITIT, and we constantly look for new and more environmentally efficient ways to deliver our winter gritting service.
ISO 14001 environmental management system
GRITIT is accredited to ISO 14001 standards for our environmental management system.
GRITIT environmental aspects are managed across our service provision using a number of methods.
The key environmental factors and how we reduce the environmental impact of our service are detailed below:
Environmentally sustainable salt
GRITIT uses white marine salt as our de-icing agent, which is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly compared to traditional rock salt, which is mined from the ground.
White marine salt is essentially evaporated sea water and is therefore a more sustainable and cleaner product.
As well as being less harmful to the environment, marine salt is cleaner, and does not leave the same amount of residue on sites.
Telematics and route optimization software
All GRITIT site visits jobs are planned using route optimization software, taking into account traffic information and distance between sites.
This ensures our winter gritting operators are completing their service route whilst travelling the lowest number of miles possible, reducing emissions and fuel usage.
As part of our telematics system, driving data for each vehicle is recorded and monitored in real-time including the speed the vehicle is driving.
Each vehicle is requested to stay below 65mph at all times.
When this speed is reached or breached, an alert is sent to the Operations desk, who will contact the driver immediately to advise them to reduce their speed
Locally based operators and depots
Supporting our centralized yards, we operate from smaller satellite salt depots strategically placed across the country.
Our national fleet is very much locally based, requiring less mileage for local jobs.
Each year all staff who operate our vehicles participate in an advanced driver training course.
As well as learning the skills required to drive in the hazardous conditions they will experience (due to the nature of our business), they are also taught how to drive in a more efficient manner.
This includes using the brake more effectively, smoother acceleration, and lower speed control to reduce fuel usage and in-turn improve miles-per-gallon fuel economy.
Euro 5 and 6 vehicles
We continually refresh our vehicle network, using a stock of fuel-efficient vehicles which emit low CO2 and NO2 emissions.
Our current fleet consists of Euro 5-standard 4x4s and flatbed vans.
We are currently taking receipt of new vehicles which meet the latest Euro 6 standards, including the Peugeot Boxer flatbed van which operates a 2 litre diesel engine to achieve 47mpg with CO2 emissions of 158g/km.
GRITIT has pioneered the use of electric winter gritting vehicles in Scotland, an ongoing trial that's due to be rolled out across the country.
GRITIT's grounds maintenance division uses sustainable wildlife gardening to promote nectar habitats in favour of lawns, barking to reduce water consumption of sustainably wildlife-friendly garden projects such as bee hotels to promote biodiversity.
If your organisation or public body is looking for a leader in making winter gritting more environmentally friendly, contact GRITIT for more information.