What does sustainability look like in the lifting and access industry?



With access to the latest technology and innovation, the lifting and access trade has an opportunity to transform the construction industry’s carbon output and pioneer sustainable solutions. Industry-leading production and hire firms should be taking this challenge on with open arms and we are committed to leading by example.

The lifting and access industry is focused on safety and it is now becoming increasingly clear that the products we use must be safe for the environment as well as for users. Currently, the built environment, of which the construction sector is a crucial component, contributes approximately 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions. After the UK Government set the goal to reduce country-wide emissions by 68% by 2030, we have begun to invest in greener solutions.


In the past five years, we have curated a fleet that consists of over 70% electric machinery and have noticed a concerted shift toward electric and hybrid solutions from our clients. When we visited the Executive Hire Show this year it confirmed our recent observations that financial constraints, contractual obligations and recognition of our industry’s impact is causing a definite increase in demand for more sustainable lifting and access machinery.


The increased demand for greener access machines has led to more advancements in equipment. As battery technology improves, more and more equipment can be run efficiently and effectively on electric power. We are now able to take advantage of recent improvements in AGM and lithium-ion battery technology, with their overarching benefits of reduced noise, lower emissions, and increased battery life. Providing quieter machines that have increased working hours means that the overall completion times for our client’s jobs are decreasing as works can more easily be carried out alongside each other.

On top of this, electric scissor lifts are getting bigger and are now more accessible than ever. The Dingli 2212 for example has a 22m working height on a 1.25m wide chassis, it is also outdoor rated which makes this machine even more versatile. JPS’s lifting and access fleet ranges from 3.5m low level access machines to 22m electric scissor lifts, and up to 21m hybrid boom lifts with lots in between. A recent scissor lift market research analysis found that electric scissor dominates the market and accounts for 68.7% of trade. This is expected to grow at the fastest compound annual growth rate of 7.5% between 2022 and 2029.


John Young, Director of JPS Platforms, says “We have always been passionate about providing our customers with hassle-free, innovative and dependable services, however it is becoming increasingly important to our clients that the machines they hire are compliant with carbon targets and have a positive impact on the environments they operate within.

“We feel we have a responsibility to ensure we have a fleet of equipment that provides our customers with a clean and sustainable solution for working at height. By increasing our electric fleet, ensuring all new batteries are AGM or lithium and that hybrid technology is constantly advancing we hope to transform the industry’s carbon output.

 “Our aim is to keep pushing these types of products out into the market and demonstrate to end users the benefits of electrically-powered machines, not just from a sustainability perspective but also from an operator comfort point of view as well.”

The environmental and cost benefits of electric and hybrid plant are clear, with zero carbon emissions and significantly reduced fuel use, but sustainable solutions also have many other benefits too. With much quieter operation, and significantly less vibration, they are far more comfortable to operate, which in turn increases productivity from the workforce and results in less long term health risk to the operator.

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