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Scania and Sveaskog join in environmental effort

Scania is now running a training course in fuel-efficient driving for trucking companies that haul timber in parts of central Sweden for the Sveaskog forest product company. Results indicate that after training, the drivers can reduce their fuel consumption by 9 percent. For these truckers alone, this would represent 8,000 tonnes less carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Scania’s driver training course is designed to meet the requirements of a new European Union directive on mandatory periodic training of professional drivers.

“Our timber transports by truck total about 70 million kilometres a year. If their fuel consumption can be lowered by 9 percent, this will save more than 3 million litres of diesel fuel and 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions,” says Olof Johansson, Senior Vice President Environment and Social Responsibility at Sveaskog.

Sveaskog’s investment in driver training is one element of the State-owned company’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its silviculture operations. Sveaskog has signed an agreement with Scania Sweden which covers training in safe, fuel-efficient driving for about one hundred drivers employed by trucking companies responsible for hauling timber for Sveaskog in the Bergslagen and Södermanland regions of central Sweden.

“The hauliers we rely on are deeply involved in the climate change issue. They want to contribute to environmental work, and consequently this driver training course has been very favourably received. We are now starting with drivers in Bergslagen and Södermanland, and obviously we want all the drivers we rely on to be trained,” says Anders Järlesjö, Head of Logistics at Sveaskog.

The training course that Scania Sweden is providing to Sveaskog is part of Scania’s global training platform for professional bus and truck drivers.

“Our agreement with Sveaskog stands on its own commercial merits. The drivers who participate in the course are trained behind the wheel of the trucks they use in their day-to-day work, regardless of make,” explains Niklas Sperle, Head of Market Support at Scania Sweden.

New EU directive

Scania’s driver training course is also designed to meet the requirements of a European Union directive on mandatory periodic training of professional drivers.

This directive applies to bus and coach drivers starting in September 2008 and to truck drivers starting one year later. According to the directive, professional drivers must undergo 35 hours of periodic training within each five-year period. This training includes both theoretical and practical sessions that cover safe driving, fuel-efficient driving and load securing measures.

“In Sweden alone, about 50,000 active professional drivers are covered by the new directive. This represents a need for 350,000 training days per five-year period,” Mr Sperle says.

Profitable investment

“Our experience of driver training in nearly 40 countries is that investments in driver training pay for themselves in a very short period,” says Claes Åkerlund, who is commercially in charge of global driver training at Scania.

“It is not just a matter of reduced climate impact and lower fuel costs. Trained, motivated drivers who actively utilise their knowledge also reduce the risk of accidents, thus contributing to lower repair costs and reduced risk of damage to vehicles and their surroundings. Uptime and profitability are likewise higher. These improvements may lead over time to lower insurance premiums,” Mr Åkerlund adds.

For further information, please contact:

Olof Johansson, Senior VP Environment and Social Responsibility, Sveaskog,

mobile tel. +46 70 586 22 58

Anders Järlesjö, Head of Logistics, Sveaskog, mobile +46 70 588 12 40

Niklas Sperle, Scania Sverige, tel. +46 8 553 834 31

Claes Åkerlund, Scania, tel. +46 8 553 894 97