by   |    |  Estimated reading time: 5 minutes  |  in Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability

This year IFS launched its first annual Change for Good Sustainability Awards which highlights the great progress and innovation IFS customers have made to help combat climate change and drive for increased sustainability. And even better, many of this year’s winners not only aimed for this internally but also promoted social and environmental endeavors to their own customers.  

Two of this year’s winners come from the hotly debated transportation sector, and both companies have bold visions of the future of both commuter and intercontinental travel. They aim to transition away from traditional carbon-based fuels and allow a future with a significantly reduced carbon footprint—for themselves and their customers. 

Each candidate for the five awards categories this year were judged by a distinguished panel of experts including IFS Sustainability Ambassador and UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh, Jacqueline de Rojas, President at TechUK and Michelle Lancaster, Director, Sustainability at Microsoft. 

IFS was present at this year’s COP26 summit and the five winners were invited to Glasgow and enjoyed an evening dining and talking with Lewis Pugh. They also have free licenses to use the IFS Sustainability Module when it launches and will become founder members of the IFS Sustainability Council—a new advisory group designed to be a voice to future sustainability initiatives across many industries. 

Rolls-Royce: Going green at 35,000 feet

The winner in the “Best use of IFS Technology in a Sustainability Initiative” category is aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce. For the last two decades, the company has been at the core of innovation within aviation since pioneering Totalcare – a servitization model that included providing maintenance support for every engine sold. Since then, the company has innovated further with its Blue Data Thread and InteligentEngine technology, which utilizes IFS Maintenix software allow two-way data exchange between Rolls-Royce and its customers on engine health. “The IntelligentEngine combines the physical and digital worlds, by using digital twins to inform data-driven decisions to increase availability and minimize unexpected maintenance disruption,” explains Nick Ward, VP of Digital Systems. 

“Where we would have needed to air-lift engines to and from overhaul bases, we can avoid the carbon emissions by eliminating up to 200 shop visits a year, equating to between 10 and 30 million kgs of CO2. Through the Blue Data Thread, we are able to avoid these overhauls and emissions by demonstrating the engine is safe to remain on wing for up to 45% longer,” continues Ward. 

Rolls-Royce is also in the process of futureproofing its engines to be able to transition to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) mixes that will cut the carbon intensity of aircraft substantially. In the longer term these fuels will be carbon neutral as all carbon emitted will first be absorbed in its production. Rolls-Royce is also researching electric and hydrogen propulsion in future engines and still has a technological advancement as a key fundamental of future success. “Looking ahead, I think Big Data and elastic computing will allow us to make fundamentally better decisions. With initiatives like IntelligentEngine we have already moved from considering just one answer,” explains Stuart Hughes, CIO and Chief Digital Officer. “It means as a society we can make the best decisions taking sustainability into account, and so drive positive change.” 

The judge’s plaudits to this entry were sky high: “I liked the real, factual and tangible outcomes. I think it’s one thing to have the intention, which is very positive to do great things, but it’s another thing to measure it. I believe what gets measured, gets managed, and I think Rolls-Royce are doing a great job in that in that sense.” 

Read the Rolls-Royce winner’s profile and find out their IntelligentEngine vision is safely extending the time between engine overhauls by up to 45%. 

Wrightbus: Getting from A to B carbon free

This year’s winner in our “Individual Contribution” category is Wrightbus. Hailing from Antrum, Northern Ireland, the company has risen like a phoenix, from administration in 2019 to introducing the world’s first hydrogen-powered bus into service this year. The Streetdeck Hydroliner fleet has since clocked up over 620,000 miles, saving over a million kilograms of CO2 in the process.  

“We decided that the bus market, and the global zero emissions transport cause, needed a disruptor,” says Ian Gillott, Group Director Parts & Service “There are no harmful emissions whatsoever, the only by product released into the atmosphere is clean water.” 

Wrightbus is on course to sell over 200 Hydroliners, and has future models in development, which it aims to sell globally while also increasing the sustainability of its operations and supply chain in the next 5 years. Alongside the Hydroliner, the company manufactures an electric double-decker, the Electroliner, midibuses, full size single deckers, two and three axle double deckers and articulated vehicles. The business is also in the early stages of rolling out IFS to increase efficiency and hopes to maximize the value and insight available from the advanced telemetry data the vehicles gather. 

The awards judges saw a lot in this entry: “This is a pretty incredible story of transformation. I love the narrative about it’s not just about getting people from A to B, but it’s about a mission to change transportation with zero emission buses, that’s great.” 

Read the complete winner’s profile for Wrightbus and discover why their ambition was never just to save their company – it was to help save the planet. 


Two companies transforming transport

Rolls-Royce and Wrightbus show how transportation can be reimagined whether you’re a global manufacturing giant or a smaller niche player, and how emissions can be cut to create a sustainable route forward for transport operators and travelers. They, in partnership with IFS, have shown the importance of using forward-thinking technology and ingenuity to stay ahead of their competition and deliver a cleaner future for a carbon-heavy sector. 

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