If you are a fleet manager, you are likely feeling more and more pressure to reduce your fleet’s carbon footprint by adopting green business practices. While we are all hesitant to embrace change, the fact is, reducing your fleet’s carbon footprint by taking steps to green your fleet is not just good for the planet, it is also good for your business.Going green is not a passing trend or fad. It is here to stay and gaining in popularity. With the challenges associated with rising energy costs and climate change, it is no wonder that savvy fleet managers are making changes and reaping the benefits such as:
- Reduced operating costs
- Reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- Improved corporate image and favorable reputation
- Compliance with government regulations
In 2014 government mandates for reducing CO2 emissions went into effect. This past March, President Obama issued an Executive Order to cut the Federal Government’s GHG emissions by 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels. In August, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations aimed at cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent over the next decade from 2012 levels.
With the threat of climate change clearly a hot topic in D.C, it is a good bet that government mandates and regulations that affect fleet operations will continue to grow in scope and number. What can fleet managers do in a challenging economy and on a limited budget to curb the uncertainties of the whats, whens and ifs of government mandates and regulations? Be proactive and take measures to help green your fleet now before government mandates come into play.
Leveraging Telematics is one easily implemented and cost effective solution to improve fuel efficiency. Telematics is a real-time business intelligence tool that helps fleet managers make better-informed and timelier decisions for their fleet operations. It improves fuel efficiency by improving fleet efficiency which results in reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Let’s look at a few ways that leveraging telematics can help:
- Optimize Driver Routes: Telematics solutions can help fleet managers cut down on miles driven by determining the most efficient routes and can provide real-time vehicle location information to determine what vehicle is best to dispatch for a service call. With telematics in place, fleet managers can examine historical data to see if routes can be consolidated, which could result in fewer vehicles needed and fewer miles driven. Which all means, reduced fuel usage, reduced GHG impact on the environment and reduced costs.
- Reduce Idle Time and Increase Driver Skill: Fuel costs related to excessive idling can quickly add up. The more idle time, the greater the GHG emissions. Telematics can be programmed to pinpoint idle time data based on a specified number of minutes. This data will allow fleet managers to evaluate whether driver-training programs are needed for drivers to learn how to minimize idle time and operate vehicles more efficiently. Telematics also allows fleet managers to monitor driver behavior and to send real-time alerts to drivers regarding travel speed, acceleration and deceleration. With this information, drivers know what driving skills they need to work on.
- Reduce Unauthorized Vehicle Use: The fuel costs related to after-hours or other unauthorized vehicle use can take a big chunk out of a fleet’s bottom line. Plus, the more fuel burn, the greater the environmental impact of GHG emissions. Telematics allows fleet managers to set up real-time alerts so they are aware when incidents occur and can take immediate action to reduce unauthorized use, resulting in less fuel burn and less GHG emissions.
- Extend Vehicle Life: Preventative maintenance is key to improving fuel efficiency, vehicle performance and reducing GHG emissions. Telematics can be configured to send real-time alerts when diagnostic codes are triggered, allowing repairs to be made before further damage to the vehicle and consequently, the environment occurs. Telematics can also minimize disruption to operations by identifying which vehicles are due for oil changes and routine maintenance, allowing fleet managers to better plan service schedules and maximize vehicle life.