According to the World Meteorological Organization, the concentration of harmful greenhouse gas emissions in our global atmosphere surged to a record high in 2020. As greenhouse gas concentrations rise, so does the global surface temperature. Global warming can contribute to extreme weather conditions such as fires, flooding, droughts, heat waves, cold waves and severe storms. Hence, it is important, now more than ever, for businesses to consider how they can lower their emissions before it is too late.
Many companies have already noticed the warnings of climate change. They have worked to become more environmentally conscious, particularly as governments around the world are offering certain subsidies/incentives to go greener. In the UK, the government offers incentives such as Feed-In Tariffs (FITs), Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), Green Deals and the Local Energy Assessment Fund.
What Does This Mean for Businesses with Fleets?
CO2 emissions from vehicles contribute to almost a quarter of the harmful gases that cause detrimental damage to the Earth’s environment, putting businesses in the fleet sector under increasing pressure to reduce their fleet’s emissions. However, when your entire operation relies on vehicles operating on the road, it can seem almost impossible to reduce emissions, whilst still operating a productive and profitable business.
Luckily, there are a rising number of environmentally friendly initiatives that fleet managers can integrate into their operation, without compromising on other aspects such as efficiency. In fact, many of these strategies actually work in a fleet manager’s favour, by improving productivity and lowering fuel costs, which save your business money in the long run – it’s a win-win.
How Can I Lower My Fleet’s Emissions?
Monitor and Improve Driver Behaviour
Driving style/behaviour can have an enormous impact on the amount of petrol or diesel used. Running your engine whilst stationary consumes a great amount of fuel in the long run, and according to Confused.com, for every minute spent idling, the driver could be burning between 1.077 to 2.13 ounces of fuel, which adds up to around half a gallon of fuel every hour.
Similarly, drivers who accelerate and brake harshly use more fuel than those who drive smoothly – vehicle tracking can identify when drivers are heavy on the pedals through accelerometers.
Fleet tracking is an incredibly useful tool that allows you to keep up to date with your vehicles at any given time. Fleetsmart vehicle tracking provides real-time GPS updates, routing, vehicle reports and journey replay which can be used to review driver behaviour, including idle time, speeding, start and stops and much more.
With the information received about your drivers’ behavior and habits, you can take the initiative to give your drivers extra training where needed, reducing instances such as harsh braking, setting off too quickly and speeding, all of which make your vehicles less fuel efficient. According to the Energy Saving Trust, through higher productivity and increased vehicle utilisation, fuel use can fall by 15% and operating costs by 10% every year.
Choose The Right Vehicle for The Job
When assigning vehicles to each job, make sure you’re selecting the most suitable vehicle for the size and/or weight of the goods. For example, it would be unwise to use a small van for transporting large and heavy machinery in high quantities, just as it would to use a lorry for a small delivery.
Replace Inefficient Vehicles
Purchasing the right vehicles for your fleet plays a prominent role in making your service more efficient & environmentally friendly, as inefficient vehicles can cost companies thousands in fuel, repairs and insurance. In an ideal world, all fleets would start to transition to electric or hybrid vehicles. However, we know that for many companies this is simply not possible yet, due to the limitations such as their initial cost, long charging time, limited charging port availability and short distance ranges.
Whilst you may not opt for electric vehicles just yet, purchasing reliable and efficient fleet vehicles, at a fair price, doesn’t have to be stressful and time-consuming. Our experts at Fleetsmart have done all the hard work for you and compiled a list of our top fleet vehicle choices based on size, cost, features and efficiency.
Take The Most Efficient Routes
Before your drivers depart, take the time to plan the most efficient route possible for them, so you are reducing your fleet’s emissions and saving time and money, therefore boosting productivity. With Fleetsmart Vehicle Tracking, you can plan journeys via the map view — making sure drivers are taking the quickest and most efficient routes possible, which becomes extremely helpful when your driver is approaching the site of an accident or traffic jam. You can locate/divert them to a more favourable route — saving on fuel and time they would otherwise spend queuing in traffic.
Invest in High-Quality Sat Nav Systems
If you are unable to plot your drivers’ routes ahead of time, sat nav systems offer your drivers additional help for navigating in unfamiliar areas. This prevents unnecessary emissions from longer journeys or lost drivers trying to find their way.
Eliminate Excess Weight
According to BusinessCar, eliminating just 45kg of excess weight from your vehicle can increase fuel efficiency by up to 2%. Hence, we’d recommend downsizing or leaving unnecessary items at the depot e.g. roof racks and heavy toolboxes.
Carry Out Regular Vehicle Maintenance Checks
Every now and then, your fleet vehicles will require maintenance checks and fixes for safety reasons. However, these checks can also help to lower your emissions. What may seem like minor issues, such as low tyre pressure can significantly impact fuel consumption due to the need for more acceleration when tyres aren’t inflated to the correct pressure. With regular checks, you could avoid much larger problems that increase your MPG by diagnosing them earlier.
For more tips and advice on fleet management and vehicle tracking, why not take a look at the rest of our helpful blog articles or FAQs. If you need more information about our services here at Fleetsmart, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and one of our friendly team members will be more than happy to help answer any questions you may have.