Government Incentives for Going Green Government incentives and SBA loans can be used to finance “green” business improvements. The government has several programs in place to help small businesses be just as competitive as corporate giants in the race to adopt green, energy-efficient business practices. These incentives can reap many rewards, from financial benefits that will impact your bottom line to social benefits, such as making your “green” business a much more attractive place for skilled, younger workers to seek employment. Whether you are looking to enter the business of greening our planet or just want to make employees and customers happy, going green is smart for small business.
Small businesses that invest strategically can cut utility costs 10 to 30 percent without sacrificing service, quality, style or comfort – while making significant contributions to a cleaner environment. Many projects will require little expense. Savings small businesses make from adopting energy improvements, also include federal energy tax savings for the tax year of 2010.
For projects that do require capital, SBA loan-guaranty programs can help reduce some of the financial costs of the “going green” process. All of SBA’s 7(a) loan programs can be used by small businesses to fund green improvements. With a 50 percent SBA-backed guaranty, and an average loan of $35,000 with its maximum loan size of $350,000— the SBA Express Loan is an excellent loan program to help small businesses go green
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.
GPS vehicle tracking systems are a worthwhile investment for many fleets. Here’s a few reasons why fleets like using fleet GPS tracking systems:
1. Fleet tracking systems reduce business operating costs and increase fleet safety by targeting poor drivers that speed excessively, resulting in wasted fuel, excessive engine wear, drive up insurance rates and cause accidents.
2. Many fleet managers like using the system’s automatic mileage reminder to reduce downtime and enhances vehicle resale values by encouraging scheduled, preventative maintenance. Vehicle tracking systems can remind you when it’s time to rotate tires, change oil or perform other scheduled maintenance. Conversely, fleet management systems also can tell you if a vehicle is not in need of scheduled service which helps keep maintenance costs under control.
GPS vehicle tracking devices are a popular tool for thousands of business owners. Fleets with only one vehicle all the way to original equipment manufacturers like Ford, GM or John Deere are including GPS tracking devices in their vehicles. GPS tracking software is most frequently used by businesses in the service, transportation and manufacturing industries. Companies with fleets of one to to fleets of 10,000, such as FedEx, rely upon their tracking systems to improve their profitability.
Fleet management and trucking company owners should consider investing in eco-friendly driver training for their fleet truck drivers. Running a green fleet will decrease your fuel costs, vehicle emissions, reduce fleet vehicle wear and tear, and improve your company’s image. Eco-safe truck driver education courses teach drivers how to eliminate identify and eliminate poor driving habits that waste gas and produce harmful CO2 emissions.
Typically drivers who complete eco-friendly training usually see an improvement in MPG of between 10% and 25%. In addition , green driver training courses can dramatically improve fleet safety with the effect of reducing fleet accident rates and the associated costs. Intelligent route planning and speed control techniques learned in the course can generate substantial fuel economy savings for your entire fleet.