Just as it has been since 1970, April 22 will mark Earth Day—the annual celebration to honor the achievements of the environmental movement and to raise awareness of the need to protect the Earth’s resources for future generations.
More than 1 billion people in over 192 countries are expected to join together this year to help preserve and protect our home through various green initiatives, including cleaning up communities, talking to local leaders about specific environmental concerns and celebrating the people who make the environment a better place to live, work and play.
For fleet managers and stakeholders, Earth Day is a great day to not only help and participate in their local community’s environmental efforts, but it’s also an ideal time to evaluate the environmental impact of their fleet and explore what green initiatives are best to help reduce it. By putting these initiatives in place, they can help lower operating costs, provide a competitive edge and boost the bottom line.
Green is Good: For Business and The Environment
According to a recent study from Nielson, 40 percent of consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that tout their sustainability efforts. Becoming more socially and environmentally responsible through green initiatives is not only positive from a PR standpoint but from a financial one as well.
Greening is easier than you may think. However, keep in mind that to successfully implement green initiatives, getting the full support of both drivers and key stakeholders from the get-go is a must. To that end, when presenting your case, don’t over promise. Be realistic, know your audience, keep it simple, and drive home the main advantages of greening, which include:
- Tackling environmental concerns and considerations,
- Ensuring compliance with government regulations
- Saving money and reducing overall costs
- Creating positive public relations
- Satisfying investor and shareholder demands
So what are some of the key areas to explore? One of the most important is cutting fuel consumption. Below are two initiatives to take a look at which, if implemented carefully and correctly, can result in reaping the benefits mentioned above.
Choose Vehicles Wisely
You don’t need to replace your entire fleet overnight, but when selecting new vehicles or replacing older ones, choose vehicles with the technology and manufacturer enhancements that help reduce emissions and fuel consumption. Consider hybrids, alternative fuel or electric vehicles, smaller and lighter vehicles or vehicles with smaller engines. What you may find is that a mix of vehicle types is the most cost-effective solution for your needs.
What is important is that, whatever vehicles are in your fleet, you use them for the right purpose. You would not want to use an electric vehicle in place of a vehicle that is typically used for longer routes, as recharging and any service or repair needs could prove problematic, and problematic in this situation can be costly.
GPS Fleet Tracking
Fuel is not only one of the largest expenses for fleets, but it is also one of the largest culprits for emissions. Going green by implementing GPS fleet tracking systems can cut emissions and cut your fuel costs in many ways.
Through GPS tracking, you can monitor driver behavior and learn if your drivers are allowing their vehicle to idle excessively, which is a major fuel burner, harmful to the environment and harmful to the vehicle, as it shortens engine life. You can also monitor speed and determine if drivers are exceeding the speed limit, which of course burns more fuel, which creates more harmful emissions.
Having this knowledge gives you the opportunity to better train your drivers on how to more efficiently operate their vehicles through eco-driving techniques. It is a win-win for you and for the environment, as fuel consumption is reduced by 15 to 20 percent.
Just as GPS tracking can monitor your drivers, it can also monitor your vehicle maintenance. Keeping your vehicles running efficiently means keeping them properly maintained, and GPS tracking can provide alerts based on time, mileage and engine hours. The better maintained your vehicles, the better the fuel efficiency.
Additionally, GPS can help you optimize routing and scheduling, which in turn helps boost efficiency, customer service, and the bottom line. You can plan the most efficient routes, send the closest vehicle via the most direct route, which reduces total miles and fuel consumption.
Going green is not a passing fad or trend. It is an integral part of doing business today and in the future, as government regulations increase. Staying ahead of the curve by implementing green initiatives now is not only smart business, but it is also one way to help you stay “in the black” and thrive for the long term.
Interested in implementing a GPS tracking system for your fleet?
Learn more about etrac™ PS Energy's automated vehicle tracking system.