Corporate and Social Responsibility is at the heart of Custom operations with three key commitments:
- Producing environmental sustainable buses
- Promoting and maintaining manufacturing in Australia
- Community participation
The Custom design team have been actively developing a lighter more fuel efficient bus with reduced weight, resulting in reduced fuel consumption combined with a stronger longer lasting bus with reduced need for replacement parts makes Custom an environmentally sound option. The new fleet of Custom buses offer a stylish and comfortable bus making it more attractive option for commuters towards public transport, reducing the number of cars on the road.
Custom buses have been designed to use the maximum amount of recycled materials. The composite plastics used in the bus are fully recyclable at the end of the buses life, and where practicable, the plastic used in the construction of the bus contains recycled plastics. Approximately 30% of plastic used is made from recycled materials. All steels used in the construction of the bus body are 100% recyclable. Where possible products have a high recyclable content or have been produced from recycled products is used in construction, such as flooring made from recycled cork.
Currently Custom is moving towards using Low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paints on all bus exteriors. The VOC paints, stains and varnishes use water as a carrier instead of petroleum-based solvents. As such, the levels of harmful emissions are lower than solvent-borne surface coatings. These certified coatings also contain no, or very low levels, of heavy metals and formaldehyde.
In addition Custom is very excited to be working with Transport NSW in developing a Hybrid bus using the latest BAe technology, the CB80 e-bus. Hybrid technology has the potential to reduce our carbon footprint and improve air quality. The bus will run on a small diesel generator, which either charges the buses’ electric battery or provides power directly to the electric motor if the battery is full. Hybrid buses are already being used in many parts of Europe and the USA.
Manufacturing in Australia
Custom is proud of maintaining its manufacturing base in Australia. Custom has been able to maintain manufacturing in Australia by constantly adapting and investing in technology and training.
In 2009 Custom invested $20 million into the new site in Villawood. This includes state of the art laser manufacturing equipment, engineering software, CAD/CAM Equipment, training, new industry leading bus designs.
The new site represents a major capital investment by Custom and reflects the company’s long term commitment, to maintaining manufacturing in Australia. In addition, Custom supports a ‘buy local’ policy with the last survey on build materials showing 85% of products to build the bus sourced locally.
In 2010 Custom participated in Manufacturing NSW Week. NSW Manufacturing Week is an annual celebration highlighting the strength of manufacturing in NSW with forums, seminars and site visits in key regions and locations.
Retaining manufacturing in Australia, maintains a long tradition of skilled trades which are lost if manufacturing moves off shore. At Custom apprenticeships are offered for metal fabricators, welders, spray painters, automotive electricians and bus body builders. Custom offers long term employment opportunities for such skilled and semi-skilled labour with 31% of staff employed for over ten years.