Most fleet-based companies would find it hard to describe their operation as “green”. The nature of the business often necessitates both carbon emissions and paper waste, though this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to build and manage an eco-friendly fleet. While some degree of environmental impact is inevitable for most fleet operations, that impact can be minimized with a few smart, sustainable choices.
Track Your Fuel Expenses
Simply keeping track of your monthly fuel expenses and checking out your drivers’ fuel purchase histories can reveal a lot about how much fuel you’re really using. If you aren’t doing this already, start immediately—your findings could show where you could potentially reduce fuel usage.
Adopting the use of fuel cards can make fleet fuel management much easier. Fuel cards let you determine where and when fuel purchases can be made (and who is allowed to make them), helping you keep your fuel usage (and emissions) under control.
Choose Efficient Vehicles
You can be as careful as possible with your fuel usage, but doing so won’t make much of an impact if your fleet is made up of inefficient gas-guzzlers. If your drivers don’t travel far, integrating fully electric vehicles into your fleet could drastically cut your CO2 emissions.
Of course, going electric isn’t a viable option for many fleets. Fortunately, most major automobile manufacturers now offer a sizable selection of affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles. Consider looking into these to determine if there’s a model that could be a good fit for your fleet. For most fleets, these efficient vehicles can make a huge difference in terms of their environmental impact.
Rethink Your Routes
Do you know if your drivers are using the most efficient routes? Are they only using your vehicles to get to and from assignments, or are they driving emissions up by idling in parking lots? Making sure your drivers have the directions and support they need while on assignment goes a long way towards minimizing idle time and keeping fuel usage down.
Use a GPS-based vehicle tracking and navigation system to help your drivers reach their destinations on time via the safest and most efficient routes. Make sure the system provides a customer scheduling tool, to keep your drivers’ schedules organized and reduce idle time accumulated during waiting periods.
If they’re not careful, fleet managers can easily find themselves drowning in a veritable sea of paperwork. With all the inspection reports, reference manuals, legally-mandated logs, and vehicle histories they have to keep track of, a fleet manager’s paperwork load can seem unending.
While going paperless might not reduce the amount of paperwork, it can reduce the actual volume of paper fleets go through. Switching to electronic HOS logs and device-based reporting will save both time and trees.
While plenty of businesses are starting to go green, many fleets still operate under the assumption that the nature of their industry does not leave much room for eco-friendliness. This couldn’t be further from the truth. With a few simple changes, fleets can reduce both their emissions and their paper waste—all while saving money and staying productive.