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Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), the global RoRo shipping and factory-to-dealer logistics specialist, has launched a new company policy which prescribes that all vessels are to operate with fuel of <0.1% sulphur or equivalent at berth, in all ports across the globe.

Reducing sulphur emissions has been at the centre of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics environmental approach ever since the company’s foundation. For the past 11 years, WWL has operated with a voluntary policy limiting the average sulphur content in fuel to 1.5%, avoiding the release of ca 220.000 tonnes of sulphur to the atmosphere compared to the industry average. To put the figure in perspective, that is very close to the total amount of sulphur emitted in France in 2012.

But if the focus a decade ago was sulphur’s contribution to acidification, recent research has shown ever more clearly its human health impact, causing respiratory and cardiac deceases. The 0.1% sulphur legislation in ECA zones covering North America and the EU are a response to this. However, most ports around the world are not covered by such strict sulphur legislation. In WWL’s case, 49 of the company’s 79 main trading ports lie outside the designated ECAs, and looking at ports called occasionally the number is 23 of 24.

With knowledge comes responsibility. As a consequence, WWL has chosen to introduce a new sulphur policy that takes into account human health as well as the environment, limiting sulphur content at berth to <0.1% across all ports globally. Technically, this is achieved by shifting to Marine Gas Oil or through scrubbers.

Anna Larsson, WWL’s Global Head of Sustainability explains: “Human life is worth the same everywhere. If WWL can follow a <0.1% sulphur limit at berth in one part of the world, we can adhere to the same in all ports. This way, we can significantly reduce WWL’s impact on human health and environment where it matters the most.”

As an established EU-OSHA partner, Toyota Material Handling will collaborate again this year with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). The 2016-2017 campaign ‘Healthy Workplace for All Ages’ will promote a sustainable working life for every generation.

With safety as the number-one priority, Toyota Material Handling Europe has been a campaign partner fully supporting the EU-OSHA campaigns for more than 6 years now. Previous collaborations include the 2010-2011 campaign on ’Safe Maintenance’, the 2012-2013 operation, ’Working Together for Risk Prevention’, and the 2014-2015 campaign ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress’.

With the 2016-2017 ‘Healthy Workplaces for All Ages’ campaign, Toyota Material Handling and EU-OSHA strive for a working environment that is healthy and productive for employees of all ages. Stimulating active ageing and keeping workers engaged until the end of their career brings numerous benefits. Firstly, employees are healthier and more motivated, while staff turnover and absenteeism are significantly lower, which leads to higher productivity. Secondly, valuable skills and work experience can be shared within the organisation and used to create a greater pool of talent and skills.

The campaign will therefore share policies or programmes that enable employees to work up to or past their retirement age, as well as emphasize the benefits of different generations working together.

“Our own diverse workforce of different ages and types of jobs make this a very relevant campaign for us. With a large portion of our employees being over 50 and a majority of them working as a service technician in a physically demanding job, their health remains a top priority,” comments Peter Damberg, Senior Vice President HR and Sustainability. “By encouraging these employees to stay with Toyota Material Handling until their retirement and making sure their knowledge is transferred internally, a workforce for the future can be built. We therefore look forward to continuing our cooperation with EU-OSHA and the campaign partners to ensure a healthy working environment for all ages.”