The United States is the highest consumer of energy in the world. In the U.S. each year the average home generates over 12 tons of carbon dioxide from home operations and nearly as much for the use of their automobiles. Of course, corporations and companies can leave an even bigger carbon footprint, especially those who maintain fleets of vehicles. A single small corporate fleet can leak hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide into the air annually. This is bad for the environment, of course, but what some companies do not know is that greening a fleet of cars and trucks can actually translate to more green profits as well.
The Benefits of a Greener Fleet Fleet vehicles are generally driven at least twice as many miles annually as personal passenger vehicles. That means more fuel consumption and thus more emissions sent into our atmosphere. A single fleet of 500 vehicles can release up to 6,000 tons of greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide, into the air each year. Making your fleet green can go a long way towards helping the environment.
Making a fleet of corporate vehicles green is mostly about reducing fuel consumption, mileage driven and exhaust emissions. It also includes a focus on driving efficiently and safely. Without proper fleet management and a green plan, your company’s fleet is probably producing unnecessary emissions and wasting money; these things damage our planet and your bottom line. According to some sources, making a fleet green can equate to a decrease of emissions by as much as 14% and operating costs savings of up to 7% – that is like getting paid to be eco-friendly!
It is Easy Being Green – or at Least Greener One of the ways to green a fleet is to work on the challenge of fuel consumption. While fuel use varies from vehicle to vehicle, it is safe to say that fuel is probably the biggest cost in your fleet operations. Managing fuel use is an invaluable part of managing a fleet. There are a variety of ways that you can improve your fuel use, reducing the carbon footprint of your fleet and saving money. These options can vary from purchasing new equipment to monitoring fuel usage.
Of course, one way to go green as relates to fuel is to buy vehicles that are fuel efficient. There are many fleet appropriate options today that can burn clean ethanol or biodiesel, both of which emit far fewer emissions than traditional petroleum based products. Another way to green without replacing or update your fleet is by installing onboard guidance systems into all your vehicles, particularly the tankers and other large trucks.
Today there are a variety of guidance systems available that can optimize the routes used by your drivers to ensure the least miles driven and even help avoid sitting in traffic, where fuel just burns away for no purpose. Some devices can also monitor the vehicle’s driving conditions. These units can be used to monitor the time a vehicle sits idling, driving patterns that can be dangerous or use energy unnecessarily, and identify vehicle maintenance issues that, if left unchecked, may lead to performance decreases and higher fuel consumption.
Something as simple as driver education can work with these monitoring devices to improve performance and fuel economy. Many commercial fleet drivers are not aware of how their habits impact the fuel consumption of their vehicle. Educating them about fuel use during idol and other driving habits can make them more efficient drivers as well as safer drivers.
Making the Move to Green Making the move to green does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. Each small step towards green is a step in the right direction. It is easy to start small, ensuring that vehicles are properly maintained and burning fuel at their best economy level. Also, training drivers to use good habits which are safe and fuel saving can make a difference. Installing guidance and monitoring systems represents some investment, but the return can quickly make up for the costs. Finally, as fleet vehicles need to be replaced look for environmentally friendly, green replacements.