Urgent action required

1 September 2022

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Yesterday was the hottest day on record ever here in the UK. Wildfires currently rage in Greece, Spain and Italy as the heatwave moves across Europe.

As well as a climate crisis, there's a cost of living crisis. Inflation in the UK has risen at the fastest rate in 40 years driven by higher petrol and food costs.

The war in Ukraine continues with the European Commission urging countries across the bloc to cut their gas use amid fears that Russia could halt supplies. The ongoing war means supply chains continue to be disrupted.

How do all these all events relate to the lifting and special transportation industry? They all play a part in putting construction profit margins under pressure – making it challenging for businesses to protect their profitability in the face of market uncertainty and rising costs.

One approach adopted by some companies to navigate these challenging times is to invest in technology that can create efficiencies and reduce costs.

One such investment can be seen in our mining feature (page 28) where mining equipment giant ABB has created its Ability Performance Optimization system for hoists. The system is intended to meet the need for increased digitalisation in the mining industry and to facilitate better operational analysis. This is because effective monitoring of hoist performance increases their efficiency and decreases their energy use and carbon footprint.

Also in the mining feature it was an eye-opener to learn that a typical electric car requires six times the mineral input of a conventional car. And an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas-fired plant. It seems the route to achieving an electric future where we all use renewable, zero-carbon energy will not be straightforward...

Despite the importance of the rapid adoption of hybrid and electric cranes (and construction machinery) as part of a successful transition to a carbon-zero future, it was interesting to learn in our all terrain crane analysis feature (page 18) that out of 30 buyers of new all terrains only two specifically mentioned sustainability as a key reason behind their purchase.

The reasons behind this might vary but the bottom line is that end users need to start demanding clean, green equipment options sooner rather than later, before it's too late...

Christian Shelton, Editor
[email protected]