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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Transport & Construction | JCB Dig for victory (and save the earth)

Dig for victory (and save the Earth)


JCB digger

Many businesses think reducing environmental impact always costs money. In fact the opposite can be true. JCB, the world’s third largest manufacturer of construction equipment, reveals how its developments in efficient design have cut costs and emissions.

The company’s Sustainable Innovation strategy concentrates on three areas of CSR – manufacturing operations (Think Eco), product responsibility (Efficient Design) and social engagement (programmes which engage local communities, promote education in developing countries and provide aid in disaster zones).

Think Eco has focused on the reduction of waste and energy usage, initially in the company’s 11 UK factories, and now rolling out across other manufacturing and parts facilities in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, Singapore, Spain, UAE and the US. Energy usage reductions of 20% have resulted in reduced emissions, reduced cost and the industry’s first award of the Carbon Trust Standard for year-on-year carbon savings. JCB is also working closely with its suppliers and logistics providers to further reduce its carbon impact.

Something old, something new

JCB engine

JCB’s backhoe loader, pioneered by founder Joseph Cyril Bamford in 1953, is the world’s most famous digger. JCB has a world market share of 41% in this category – the result of almost 60 years of innovations, world firsts and continuous improvement of this product.

In 2010, JCB’s Efficient Design philosophy has resulted in three new launches which put the company right at the forefront of efficient performance. The company’s biggest launch for eight years, and the result of years of research and engineering development, was of the new 2010 3CX Eco and 4CX Eco backhoe loaders at Bauma, the world’s largest construction exhibition in Munich, Germany. The new models enable owners to reduce fuel usage and carbon emissions by up to 16% and save over US$5,000 in fuel costs over three years – making them the most efficient backhoe loaders. Customers can calculate potential savings with the online calculator at or the industry’s first iPod and iPad app.

At the same time, the company launched the 8085 Eco – a compact excavator which improves productivity by 10% while, at the same time, reducing emissions and fuel costs by 21%. This allows customers to work faster while saving more than US$5,000 over three years and reducing impacts on climate change.

The driving force at the heart of many JCB machines is the DieselMax engine. In 2006, it powered the JCB DieselMax streamliner to the world land speed record for diesel cars at the Bonneville Salt Flats, US. Of course 563.418kph (350.092mph) is much faster than any digger will ever go! But the record is proof of the strength and integrity of the company’s advanced engineering capability.

The current DieselMax engine can run on 100% B20 biofuel, helping to minimise reliance on fossil fuels. And by 2012, the new JCB EcoMax T4 engine will also be a world first. As engine emissions legislation forges ahead, many manufacturers have found the only way to meet new targets is by adding Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) which add considerable cost and bulk to their engines.

But through Efficient Design principles, JCB engineers have developed a ‘clean burn’ engine which will not only meet all emissions targets without the financial and packaging penalties resulting from a DPF, but also improve engine reliability and efficiency by 10%.

So while many businesses think that reducing their environmental impact is a costly undertaking, if they work with JCB, they can not only reduce carbon emissions, but also increase productivity and improve profitability.

JCB logo


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