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And the winner is…

And the winner is...
And the winner is...

Written by Talcasoft General Manager & Locate2u M&A, Mark Power. 

There is an award on my desk, slightly off to the corner, not exactly in pride of place, behind a family ornament from my grandfather and next to a desktop speaker. Its positioning probably symbolizes the complicated mixture of feelings I have about it – a mixture of pride in winning and shame for not fully following through on the initiative. The award reads “Best Green Initiative 2009 – Powerfreight.”

As my wife said the other day (tongue in cheek), “Are you still keeping your award from 14 years ago?” And yes, like a hoarder who may or may not still have a folder with a gold star from their year 3 short story, there is an emotional hold that anchors that award to my desk, which only recently became clear – unfinished business.

Night of nights

The awards dinner sticks out in my mind fondly. We sat at a large round table with higher-ups from bigger companies, as well as the Powerfreight crew, with Sean Flannery from operations, Pete Smyth-King from Talcasoft (our current head mobile dev), and my friend and emissions consultant Cameron Eron.

Looking at the other finalists, such as a large office supply wholesaler building a 120-million energy-efficient office building, and a national carrier implementing a driver training program to encourage vehicle safety efficiency, Cameron assured me that we were easily going to win. I was equally surprised and astonished when we were announced as the winners, and I made a rambling emotional speech like at the Golden Globes – cringe.

What gets measured, gets managed

Our winning initiative was simple: what gets measured, gets managed. We were capturing data on all our vehicles’ km traveled and their declared emissions, and then offsetting them into renewable energy products. Powerfreight was the first carbon-neutral transport company in Australia.

However, hoping to capitalize on this new-found glory and turn it into commercial success, we encountered a small issue – no one cared. Neither the law firm spruiking its 100% commitment to the environment and carbon neutrality nor the international freight forwarder saw the value in our carbon neutrality and emissions offsets.

Were we too early? Too small? Would the offset model even work as we scaled up in size and capacity? Were the most efficient vehicles even being used correctly in our daily runs? These were all valid questions that we grappled with as we persevered and continued to offset all emissions until the business was acquired in 2016.

Energy policy since 2009 has been a mess, with little to no clarity for industry and business. Despite the lack of federal leadership on energy policy, Australians have still made positive decisions around climate change, none more effective than the uptake of solar. Over 32% of Australian households have solar, up 14% from 2018.

It’s just there 

We had solar installed a couple of years ago with a battery system, and my favorite aspect of this process is that “it just works.” A quick check on the app shows that since installation, 59% of our energy has been self-generated.


After making the jump to software with Talcasoft in 2018, and then negotiating for the business to be acquired last year by Zoom2u, a moment stands out that solidified my desire to be part of this larger business. During a demonstration of the technology in Locate2u, I asked if we could throw in a vehicle emissions factor to have the algorithm calculate the work and minimize the total fleet’s emissions. I left the office that day with visions of thousands of transport companies and last-mile providers worldwide managing their fleets with the lowest emissions footprint effortlessly.

As for the award, it remains on my desk as a reminder of the journey that Powerfreight and I have been through. The award symbolizes the mixture of emotions I feel about our journey – pride for the achievement, and shame for not fully following through on our green initiative. However, the award is also a reminder of the impact that Powerfreight had in the industry as the first carbon-neutral transport company in Australia.

The award dinner is still a fond memory, with a large round table and the Powerfreight crew surrounded by key players in the industry. The initiative that won us the award was simple – capturing data on our vehicles’ emissions and offsetting them into renewable energy products. Although the idea was ahead of its time, and we faced challenges in terms of market reception, we persevered and continued to offset emissions until the business was acquired in 2016.

Despite the energy policy in Australia being a mess,the public has still made positive decisions regarding climate change, particularly in the uptake of solar energy. I had solar installed at my home a couple of years ago and it’s been a great experience – it just works without me having to do anything.

Powerfreight’s journey has continued with the acquisition by Zoom2u and the development of the Locate2u product. The optimisation routing engine in Locate2u takes into account various factors to minimize the fleet’s emissions, and I envision thousands of transport companies managing their fleets with the lowest emissions footprint effortlessly. The award remains a symbol of our journey, and the continued work towards a more sustainable future in the transport industry.

About the author

Mark Power

Mark Power

M&A for Locate2u (ASX:Z2U) and GM Talcasoft. With over 20 years in transport and logistics, Mark has shaped the industry by spearheading innovative ideas and facilitating strategic mergers. He's successfully grown and sold two businesses.

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