European leader in the equipment rental industry, Loxam launched its LOXGREEN range back in 2019. Part of this brand-new product line, there are innovative electric, hybrid, gas and hydrogen equipment, but new services that available throughout Loxam’s network of agencies. Cédric Conrad, CSR Director, explains how Loxam’s approach to reducing its carbon emissions has made a huge difference.
Why did you launch a range dedicated to low-emission equipment?
This range is a response to the urgent need to address climate change. As a rental company, more than half of our carbon footprint is linked to our clients’ equipment usage. Therefore, our ambition is to be innovative and to offer new low-emission equipment to replace machines that have traditionally been powered by gasoline or diesel. LOXGREEN is part of a wider project. We aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to support our customers throughout their own transition. This equipment also responds to the evolution of construction sites, which are moving towards stealth, with less impact in terms of environmental and noise pollution.
LOXGREEN is not only a solid and innovative alternative. It is also a global approach for our employees and customers. From a user point of view, adjusting to new technologies requires training and support to be fully operational. In terms of service, we must also provide solutions to the energy supply issues of our customers’ sites (battery recharging, hydrogen, etc.).
How do you decide which pieces of equipment will be added to the LOXGREEN range?
Today, the LOXGREEN range includes an increasingly wide range of equipment: articulated loaders, telescopic handlers, dumpers, mini-excavators, aerial work platforms, … It is a range that evolves very quickly. As soon as a supplier releases a prototype, we test it in real conditions with our customers. If it is a success and in line with our approach, but also if it matches our performance criteria, we integrate it into our network’s fleet.
What percentage of MEWP does this involve?
When it comes to aerial work platforms, more than half of our investments are already devoted to low-emission equipment. Our MEWPs are currently the most autonomous and their performance is comparable to what we would get with regular equipment.
More generally, the LOXGREEN range is gradually developing itself: 28% of our investments currently get to low-emission motorized equipment. This is expected to rapidly increase over the upcoming years.
What are the concerns that professionals are having when using this type of equipment?
Our customers’ top priority remains performance. They obviously want our LOXGREEN machines to be as performant and robust as our thermal equipment. We usually get questions on autonomy, battery, energy supply or the cost of the equipment. Our role as a rental company is to reassure them and to accompany them into this transition so they could feel comfortable using our new equipment. Once they tried it, they do notice the benefits. Our clients generally mention the noise and vibration reduction, which was key to us from a health point of view.
Now, the real issue that we are facing is the lack of awareness and support for professionals. To fully transition to this new range, we will need training so everybody will feel comfortable using these new materials and embracing new ways of working.
How do you support your employees so that they can feel comfortable with this new equipment?
We have always trained our employees to use our new products. Usually, these trainings will be organized in close partnerships with our direct suppliers. Low-emission equipment relies on new technologies that require us to go further and to be present at all stages to provide feedback. Digital technology also plays a massive role, particularly when using IoT, which allows us to identify regular needs and usages. Everyone’s involvement is key to getting on board and making this transition a success.
Beyond this transition to « greener » equipment, what are LOXAM's actions in terms of environmental, social, economic and ethical issues?
With more than 1,000 agencies worldwide (including 500 in France), we are a service company and people are at the heart of our business. Our agencies are necessary for the country’s development. The safety of all, clients and employees, always and everywhere, is our top priority. As far as our employees are concerned, our actions aim to promote skills development and diversity. In terms of ethics, we are working on trust and transparency with our customers and suppliers to control our value chain. Finally, our commitment to reducing our carbon emissions is part of a more global approach to reducing our environmental impact. This includes, for example, extending the lifespan of our equipment through maintenance, reusing spare parts, recycling, and improving the design of our agencies (washing areas, etc.).