Going green: How to reduce your business fleet’s carbon footprint

exhaust fumes

Business owners that do not take sustainability seriously are putting their entire enterprise at risk. Consumers, and millennials in particular, prefer to do business with brands that have ethical and sustainable manufacturing methods.

A report by consumer goods giant Unilever found that their sustainable brands grow 50 per cent faster than their other products.

But when your company relies on a large fleet of vehicles, it can be difficult to reduce your carbon footprint. Earlier this year, delivery and logistics group UPS announced its entire central London fleet would soon be made up of electric vehicles. This is certainly the direction fleets are moving in, but not all businesses can afford to make this switch.

A more affordable alternative could be to invest in fleet management software. The tracking technology works by gathering real time data on all drivers and vehicles, identifying behaviours that waste fuel and providing alerts to help drivers find efficient routes. Here are three ways in which fleet management software can help to reduce your brand’s carbon footprint:

Live traffic alerts can help drivers find optimum routes

Using live GPS tracking, fleet management systems can provide drivers with directions along a chosen route in a similar fashion to satellite navigation systems. However, the software also takes real-time traffic updates into account to find optimum routes for drivers, ensuring the minimum amount of fuel is used to reach the destination.

The software will also reroute drivers to avoid traffic jams, which can reduce idle time for drivers who are stuck in congestion. Idling vehicles increases the amount of exhaust fumes in the air, which in turn contributes to air pollution. Idling engines also leave fuel residue in car components such as piston rings, cylinders, and spark plugs, which can then increase fuel consumption by up to 5 per cent.

Environmental impact aside, rerouting drivers can also benefit your business. For instance, you can maximise the number of pickups and dropoffs your drivers can fit into a day. By providing a speedy service, customer satisfaction levels are likely to increase giving you an invaluable edge over competitors.

Monitoring driver behaviour can reduce fuel usage

Most fleet management systems monitor the whereabouts of your vehicles, but some offer even more data to help you better understand your vehicle’s emissions. For example, Movolytics’ patented fleet management software pulls information directly from the engine, providing a real-time view of how much fuel each vehicle is using and which behaviours are contributing to excess fuel usage.

A few examples of inefficient driver behaviours include staying in the wrong gear, harsh braking and aggressive acceleration. All of these actions use more fuel than is necessary, which increases the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by your vehicles.

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Telematics systems can give drivers real-time prompts on how to correct these behaviours, while data can be used to reward those that do eradicate bad driving habits. According to the AA, your drivers can save up to 33 per cent of weekly fuel bills by adopting more efficient driving habits.

Automatic maintenance checks can limit a vehicle’s carbon emissions

Keeping your vehicle properly maintained can improve its fuel efficiency, minimising wastage, cutting bills and reducing the amount of harmful gases released into the atmosphere. However, it can be difficult to keep on top of when your vehicles need maintenance checks, particularly if you have a large fleet. Fleet management software can keep on track of this for you, sending automatic reminders when maintenance checks are due or required.

Things like tyre pressure, fluid levels, and battery levels should be maintained in order to keep the vehicle running smoothly. Tyres generally lose air naturally at a rate of around 2 PSI every month. Having tyre pressure which is too low means your vehicle needs more fuel to turn wheels; ensuring that the pressure is just right means that you can save on fuel consumption.

Fleet management systems tell you more about your vehicles than simply where they are. With data about driver behaviour, maintenance reminders, and even live traffic updates, having the right system in place for your business can help to minimise fuel waste. This in turn helps you to improve the sustainability of your business, while also saving you money on fuel.