According to the 2010 Green Fleet Survey by PHH Arval, improving driver behavior is one of the most important ways that fleets are reducing emissions. Seventy-four percent of fleet managers reported they are depending on drivers to help meet their fleet’s environmental goals. The most common type of communication has been to educate drivers on how their driving behavior can impact fuel economy.
It would be virtually impossible to measure and improve driver behavior without the use of a telematics enabled GPS Fleet Management System. Using vehicle telematics systems, fleets are able to monitor and analyze valuable information about driver behavior, vehicle routing and fuel efficiency. All of this information is critical business insight to help fleet managers minimize risk, expenses and emissions.
Telematics enabled GPS Fleet Management Systems give fleet managers the feedback necessary to engage drivers about their driving performance and provide coaching on how to improve safety, efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. Smart fleet managers are combining on-board safety monitoring with behavioral coaching to help reduce the amount of risky and wasteful driving behavior.
Green Fleet Survey 2010 by PHH Arval shows the number of fleets measuring emissions has significantly increased over the past two years. The 2010 Green Survey by PHH Arval revealed that 49 percent of participants are reporting that they are measuring emissions. In 2008, the first year the questions was included in the PHH Arval Survey, only 28 percent responded that they measure emissions. Despite the challenging economy, fleets are clearly making progress towards “greening” their business operations. Additionally, according the Survey, 68 percent of responders said they have an environmental goal for their fleets, which is up slightly from last year’s results.
Nearly 65 percent of the fleets who reported that they are actively measuring emissions are doing so with actual fuel use data . This is an increase of more than 10-percentage points over 2009. Using actual fuel data provides fleets the most accurate data and accounts for variations in driver behavior (and hence fuel economy) and mileage.
“We have generated more than $1 million in fuel savings since 2008, and our reduction in GHG emissions since 2006 is equivalent to removing more than 3,000 cars from the road,” says Erv Lauterbach, president, Carrier Building Systems and Services. With over 3,000 fleet trucks and cars in North America, Carrier reduced emissions by more than 30 percent since 2006 by deploying a diverse set of strategies, including right-sizing fleet vehicles and monitoring driving patterns using global positioning system (GPS) data to removing unnecessary weight from fleet vehicles.
Carrier Corporation is reducing its fuel use and green house gas emissions following an analysis of the company’s entire fleet of vehicles. Carrier changed its sales fleet by removing gas guzzling trucks in favor of hybrids and smaller engine vehicles. Carrier’s GPS system generates data that has provided visibility to other savings opportunities, for instance, carrying unnecessary equipment in trucks increased both weight and gasoline usage. Fleet vehicles now carry only the tools and parts that are required. The GPS technology provides data for fuel economy performance across the country and has led to an average mile per gallon increase of nearly 7 percent, according to the Carrier Corp.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), there are easy, cost-effective ways for fleets to reduce their environmental impacts and operating costs at the same time.
Step 1: Measure Emissions and Set Goals
Understand your fleet’s current greenhouse gas emissions. Simple calculations allow you to track greenhouse gas emissions based on how much fuel is consumed.
Create a baseline by collecting fuel consumption data.
• Calculate your greenhouse gas emissions using the EDF’s online tool.
• Develop a goal to reduce emissions over time.
• Report your progress over time.
Step 2: Improve Vehicle Selection
One of the most important environmental decisions a fleet manager makes is which vehicles to have in the fleet. Consider the following strategies:
• Select the right size. Analyze your operational needs and eliminate excess vehicles. Four-wheel drive and 6- or 8-cyclinder engines can increase costs and emissions.
• Choose “best in class.” Select vehicles with the highest fuel economy that meet’s your firm’s price and performance needs. • Evaluate total lifecycle costs, including acquisition, fuel consumption, depreciation and resale.
• Offer employees incentives to choose more cost-effective, efficient vehicles, for example, sunroofs and satellite radio.
• Incorporate hybrid trucks. Truck fleets should consider incorporating hybrid trucks into their fleets. Trucks are responsible for 6 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Hybrids reduce GHG emissions by 30-50 percent, decrease particulate matter (PM) 96 percent, and improve fuel economy 30-50 percent, saving money at the pump! There are many incentives available to help fleets bring down the initial costs of a hybrid.