Automotive industry: 10 ways to run sustainable fleets

Sustainable fleet management guide

The automotive industry and especially businesses of large size vehicles fleets have a huge impact in the environment due to greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s how we can run sustainable fleet vehicles.

In today’s world with cars being the first method of transportation, the carbon footprint left behind is massive. Whereas more people are considering electric cars as an option, the reality is that there is still a high volume of a fleet of cars that need to be managed. 

In the United States, the transportation sector is one of the two largest contributors to greenhouse gases. Also, the largest contributors to emissions are light-duty vehicles at 60% and medium- and heavy-duty trucks at 23%. 

But the concept of fleet sustainability is not just a matter of being altruistic towards the environment, as it can have a tremendous amount of benefits for the company: 

  • It reduces the organization’s carbon footprint through better route management.
  • Lower long-term costs, such as spending less on fuel, oil, and even maintenance.
  • Comply with any applicable emissions regulations.

So, the question is: could there be a way at all to get the automotive industry to become more sustainable?

There definitely have been a lot of discussions, and we can agree that while we keep on drilling Earth to extract gas, we won’t be sustainable. Now, understanding that the problem is there, and driving implies fuel consumption and the production of CO² emissions, what can fleets do in order to become greener? How can companies switch to sustainable fleet management?

Here’s are 10 ideas to run sustainable fleets:

  1. Make changes in your business policy and set goals for reducing fuel and use of emissions.
  2. Goals are important but setting KPIs makes goal setting more effective. If you wish to reduce emission track CO² emissions and set limits on fleet idling. 
  3. Use vehicle tracking devices, like the Netstar electronic work diary, to measure and manage your progress towards fleet targets with the use of telematics, ensuring efficient and data-driven operations.
  4. Choose suitable vehicles, looking at the scope of routes for the operation so that you can reduce fuel consumption and CO² emissions.
  5. Regular maintenance is key as if vehicles are correctly serviced and tires properly checked you will not waste fuel.
  6. Recycle oil, batteries, and reduce waste in every area of your business. Everything adds up to make an impact on your sustainable goals.
  7. Avoid aggressive driving patterns, which includes speeding as harsh braking or sharp acceleration makes you spend more on fuel.
  8. Plan your trips and routes with more accuracy in advance, as this will have a high impact on your fuel economy. 
  9. Look for opportunities to share fleet vehicles whenever possible. Only accurate planning can enable a more effective way of using your vehicle fleet.
  10. Slowly replace fuel cars with electric vehicles. Do your research to discover where electric vehicles are the best fit within your fleet.

Overall, if you are managing a vehicle fleet and are working towards making it more sustainable, it is key to invest in training the fleet drivers on fuel efficiency driving. We understand training can be daunting, and sometimes ineffective if not implemented properly or put into practice by the staff. Yet there are options such as rewards and work perks such as fuel cards (for ideas see iCompario’s guide on Shell fuel cards).

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