Laura-Lee - Trent and Robin
SEP 15, 2021

EcoConnexions: EcoChampions start purchasing gear oil in bulk in Edmonton Garage and save $34k annually

EcoConnexions: EcoChampions start purchasing gear oil in bulk in Edmonton Garage and save $34k annually.

The small changes can make the biggest difference. In November 2020, the Edmonton Garage, moved to bulk purchasing of gear oil for large equipment, replacing one-gallon (4 litre) jars with five-gallon (18.9 litre) buckets. “Clerk Laura-Lee Blackmore approached me with the idea and it made perfect sense,” says Trent Hiscock, Garage Supervisor.

“The smaller containers were easy to leave out in the open with the lids off and the oil would become contaminated. This resulted in waste. They would also litter the garage floor and sometimes not be recycled. The buckets force us to use only what we need and we tend to cover them up again quickly. Plus, we don’t have to go back and forth to get the smaller jars for a job, improving efficiency.”

The smaller containers were also shipped in groups of four in cardboard boxes, which required an employee to flatten them before recycling. Laura-Lee made a storage plan for the bigger containers, and then arranged for the supplier to deliver the buckets. After the containers are emptied, they can be stacked for recycling or reused in the garage for other purposes, avoiding landfill disposal costs.

Recently, Lead Hand Mechanic Robin Pawlowich made a good idea even better by suggesting the team get a tank to store more gear oil in bulk. That has brought the cost down per litre from $14 to $7. Even after spending $7,500 to purchase the tank, the team expects to make their money back in two or three months thanks to the annual savings of $34,000 from the bulk purchasing of oil.

CN’s EcoConnexions Employee Engagement program – a partnership with Earth Rangers – drives sustainability across CN's network by empowering employees and their families to conserve energy, reduce waste, and improve housekeeping.

Visit our "Delivering Responsibly" section to learn more about sustainability at CN.