Environmental Responsiveness in Australia’s Bus and Coach

Journal of Public Transportation Article in Volume 2, Issue 3 (1999) by Ann M Brewer, Institute of Transport Studies, The University of Sydney          

Abstract

The responsiveness of business enterprises to the natural environment is of great concern to both the government and industrial sectors in Australia. A key question emerges as to which industries are environmentally more responsive than others. This article examines transportation’s contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It identifies and describes environmental responsiveness within Australia’s bus and coach sector, a major operator of passenger transport. This sector is defined in the full context of the supply chain; that is, the integration of business processes from manufacturers and suppliers of vehicles and fuel to the providers of services and information for the benefit and value of customers. The article focuses on the perceptions that bus and coach operators have about environmental opportunities and associated risks. Twenty-six key stakeholders were invited to participate in either a survey or case study designed to ascertain energy and waste management practices. Environmental responsiveness occurs when it has the greatest potential impact on the “bottom line” of both the environment and the business. While operators initiated waste and energy management programs to be socially responsible, the continuation of these practices depended on their cost effectiveness to the business. A number of specific actions are warranted based on the study’s findings.