Wholesaler Ahlsell is committing to converting its Swedish fleet to more sustainable modes of transport, and ABB is enabling this transition with the supply of its Terra high power charging solution for an electric vehicle pilot in Hallsberg.
One heavy truck will drive between the central warehouse in Hallsberg and the hub in Mariestad, estimated to travel 50,000 kilometers per year and enable a CO2 emission reduction of 40 tons per year. By 2045 the entire Ahlsell business will be fossil-free.
"Electrified transportation is essential to reach our goal of becoming fossil-free. It is important for us to do real life testing and the trial in Hallsberg is working really well," says Gunilla Sandström, Sustainability Manager at Ahlsell.
Freight transport accounts for almost half of Ahlsell's carbon footprint, and efforts to reduce emissions are ongoing in several areas: in some cases, electric distribution trucks are being used, others have switched to HVO fuel and in some cities, delivery is done by bicycle messengers. Of particular importance are efforts to change purchasing patterns that would reduce the number of delivery days, as well as evaluating new technologies.
"Large-scale electrification requires a lot of work on power grids. In this area, we have a strong cooperation and several joint deals with ABB, especially with their unit that manufactures cable distribution cabinets," says Peter Schulte, segment manager for electrical networks and telecom at Ahlsell.
A broad commitment linking the companies together
Electrification is important in the climate transition, but the sustainability efforts at Ahlsell are bigger than that. As with ABB, Ahlsell has a broad commitment to reducing its environmental impact. This includesresponsible sourcing, health and safety andinnovation.Collaboration with other companies is a prerequisite for success, and together ABB and Ahlsell are discussing everything from packaging sizes to how customers can be influenced to make more conscious sustainable choices.
"We can't create the solutions on our own; we have to collaborate and do it together. At ABB, we call this the power of together because when collaboration and innovation meet, anything is possible. In our meetings, we look at materials, packaging, packing and optimized logistics, among other things. And on the software side, a lot is happening with smart digital solutions that will be important in our future work," says Joakim Vilhelmsson, head of the wholesale channel at ABB Electrification. “Our focus is on bringing everything together to help our customers and partners achieve their goals without compromising performance.”
"Right now, we're just scratching the surface with sustainability – it will take a larger effort to impact future legislation, business models and financial metrics. I believe that we as companies have a bigger role to play than we realize, and to really contribute to the transition we need to form a team with a common vision. Ahlsell, ABB and other companies need to be best in class and we need to do this together," says Gunilla Sandström.
Ahlsell is a member of IMELCO, the largest international group of independent electrical wholesalers.