Kieran Dowling, a Technical Logistics Senior Manager based in the United Kingdom, believes in running a no-fail operation. The cargo he’s responsible for – vaccines – must get from point A to point B.
Working with the Global Logistics team, Dowling takes pride in ensuring trade routes are ironclad and having a contingency plan at all times. He’s also a self-starter looking for ways to lessen his department’s impact on the environment.
“Logistics will never be net zero no matter what you do, unless we can run on thin air,” Dowling said. “Even if you move to electric vehicles or another form, there is still an impact on the environment.”
In 2022, CSL announced plans to reduce its carbon emissions, both direct and indirect. Dowling is involved in one innovative approach: testing alternative fuels like Hydro Vegetable Oil (HVO), even though the infrastructure isn’t there yet to make a wholesale switch.
“We know globally that 16.2% of the total emissions come from transportation, so we need to be engaged and looking into fuel alternatives like biofuels and start a buzz about going green,” Dowling said.
Made from vegetable oil waste, HVO was used in a trial run in Spain that powered 40-foot-long arctic trucks used to transport vaccines at climate-controlled temperatures. In the test project, HVO reduced CO2 emissions by up to 90% per journey.
The impressive result makes him optimistic about the future. Until fuel alternatives are more readily available – especially along key trade routes – there are other sustainability strategies to consider, including an approach called book and claim, Dowling said. Another favorite strategy involves boots, shovels and a reforestation initiative to plant 4,000 trees a year.
With funding from CSL Seqirus, in partnership with Carbon Footprint Ltd., Dowling led an initiative to plant native broad leaf trees around the United Kingdom. In 2023, Dowling and 11 others from CSL Seqirus Liverpool came together to plant 160 of the 4,000 trees at Wepre Park in Connah’s Quay, Wales.
“Getting your hands dirty, getting down in the dirt and planting trees is one way of doing that. It’s a great team-building activity and the impact on the environment is huge,” Dowling said. “You're doing a thing that you could walk past for the rest of your life and can actually see the impact that you are having. Seeing those trees get bigger and bigger, you're leaving a little bit of a legacy behind.”
To make the environment a personal priority, Dowling recommends a mind shift when it comes to everyday behaviors like choosing which products to buy or how to dispose of rubbish and recyclables. Don’t think of environmentally responsible choices as optional, he said. Think of them as musts.