Fleet Management

Energy Maintenance: Tips for Decreasing Your Fleet’s Carbon Footprint

January 17, 2018

Twenty-seven percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. today come from the transportation sector. Vehicle fleets with a high environmental impact should consider their carbon footprint and institute strategies to reduce emissions. For transportation sectors large and small, evaluating business from an environmental perspective can translate into cost-savings.

Here’s a look into how you can achieve these dual goals – environmental stewardship and cost savings.

Fuel Management

To prepare a comprehensive fuel management plan, you must first evaluate if your company’s fuel costs are higher than anticipated and what inefficiencies are increasing fuel costs.

A fleet manager’s goal is to supervise, strategize, and enforce fleet fuel usage and decisions. By implementing data-driven changes, actionable steps are taken toward reducing carbon emissions while improving cost savings.

Ways to reduce fuel costs and reduce emissions include:

  • Mandate the fuel card your drivers must use to purchase fuel. The best cards allow a wide variety of fuel providers.
  • Consider fueling stations that offer the best pricing
  • Encourage drivers to pay at the pump to get them back on the road faster
  • Reduce the number of fuel purchases allowed per day
  • Restrict non-fuel purchases such as merchandise. Fuel only!

If your drivers are repeatedly, or unknowingly, committing infractions, such as excess idling, going off-route, or continually leaving their vehicles running, educate them on the financial and environmental repercussions. Communicate and reiterate any new policies to each of your drivers. Whether you enforce limits on the time, frequency, or location of fuel purchases, open communication of plan changes is crucial for adherence.

Curb spending among your team members by aligning your drivers with a fuel management plan. After addressing areas where you can save on fuel costs and maximize driver efficiencies, outline the new, standard procedures as well as the repercussions for violating the plan and benefits to the company (the greater good) for following the plan. Incentivize employees performance by encouraging the long-term adoption of the rules and rewarding drivers who adhere to the policies.

EV Power Management

Are you considering instituting electric vehicles into your fleet? If you decide to make the jump and adopt EVs in your fleet, it is crucial to track and report your greenhouse gas reduction, fuel efficiency, and other coinciding data to ultimately calculate not only your carbon footprint but your ROI. Electric vehicles are more efficient and less costly to operate.

Utilize a charging station to track and monitor electronic vehicle usage data. If you’re concerned about offsite charging station availability, consider a hybrid vehicle that can run on both electric power and gasoline.

Carbon Footprint Calculations

In order to reduce your carbon footprint, you must start by measuring it. Many vehicle fleets opt for telematics technology to track and record their fleet’s exact performance. By evaluating the miles per gallon of individual vehicles, you can understand and compare MPG across alternate routes, various drivers, and different vehicle models.

After investing in telematics to measure your carbon footprint, review the reports generated over time. Doing so can highlight service areas needing improvement and illustrate your company’s environmental impact. The data that telematics provides helps fleet managers reduce fleet carbon footprint and realize actual cost savings.

Reducing Your Energy Consumption

Fuel is typically the third largest operating cost for fleets behind labor and vehicle investments.

The change needed to reduce your energy consumption is cultural to each company. Drivers must choose to adopt a greener lifestyle, minimize idling, and maximize everyday efficiency. Fleet managers who promote environmental stewardship by selecting vehicles with low pollution and CO2 emissions, and messaging the corporate values of environmental stewardship, should have lower gas emissions and realize cost reductions.

Analyzing travel patterns can help track fleet mileage, organize batch deliveries, and manage drivers’ routes. To truly embrace environmental change, incorporating fleet technologies such as telematics can drastically reduce the carbon footprint and fuel expenditures.