What could running an environmentally-friendly fleet mean for your business’ bottom line? A lot more than you may think.
“Looking after the environment is something everyone needs to do,” says Lynn Maggott, managing director of Green Cab. “We are destroying our planet and we all have a responsibility to do something. We owe it to future generations.”
Businesses looking to green their operations, eco-conscious individuals and the local tourism sector have taken notice of the Cape Town-based business, but the idea of green fleet management can be off-putting for a fleet manager because you know that to replacing your entire fleet isn’t feasible. If you’re not completely put off by the idea, consider a few good starting points to completely change your mind about greening your fleet.
Related: Green fleets are cost-effective
The phrase “green fleet” is used to describe vehicle fleets that are actively managed to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Becoming a more environmentally friendly fleet operation involves changes to an organisation’s policies, planning, purchasing habits, worker education, driver behaviour and management, as well as recycling initiatives.
1. Keep your fleet well-maintained
If upgrading your current fleet with newer, more economical and cleaner burning vehicles to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas your vehicles emits, look after what you already have for a lessened impact.
“The true cost of not maintaining your vehicle can include hefty repair bills for bad brakes, failed emissions tests and maybe even a failed engine,” says Bankrate’s Margarette Burnette. “A well-maintained engine is usually a clean engine.”
Performing regular, scheduled maintenance can ensure that your vehicles are as efficient and environmentally-friendly as possible, advises fleet management software company Telogis. Keeping vehicles properly serviced allows you to monitor and minimise harmful vehicle emissions.
2. Purge poor driving habits
Your drivers could be negating your greening efforts, despite your best practices. Harsh acceleration, stop-start driving, poor route planning and driving in traffic all add up to excess fuel consumption, increased mileage and carbon emissions.
Consider installing telematics for optimum route optimisation. “Ensuring that your drivers have the best system for mapping and planning routes to decrease mileage can tighten up your fuel spend, decrease your carbon emissions and lighten the load on the environment, making your fleet leaner and greener,” says Mohammed Moosa, national feet manager at Eqstra Fleet Management.
For sustainable efforts, it’s vital your staff understand the importance of good driving to the company’s operations. You can strengthen your stance with company policies, driver education and reward schemes.
Related: How green is your fleet?
3. Implement managed maintenance solutions
When the time does comes to upgrade your fleet, purchasing decisions on new vehicles should be based on emissions profiles and fuel consumption. When hybrid or electric models will become a feasible option in South Africa.
“It can be time-consuming to keep track of when each vehicle in your fleet needs to be serviced to keep it in optimal condition, but a fleet management service with managed maintenance solutions can save you the hassle,” says Moosa. Simply ensuring the correct tyre pressure can save you on 25% deflation in tyre pressure, which increases your fuel spend by 2% for each tyre.
Telogis recommends the following maintenance areas to remember with regard to fuel economy:
- Maintain proper tire inflation pressure; check tire wear.
- Replace fuel filters at the proper intervals.
- Keep all axles aligned to minimise rolling resistance.
- Repair vehicle body damage.
- Use recommended grades of motor oil.