Guidelines for Reducing a Fleet’s Carbon Footprint


Two main areas where fleet man­agers can imple­ment straight­for­ward, sus­tain­able prac­tices in their fleet are dri­ver behav­ior and vehi­cle main­te­nance.

Dri­ver Behav­ior

A fleet’s dri­vers can have the great­est influ­ence on a fleet’s over­all sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Dai­ly deci­sions that dri­vers make in regard to their behav­ior while behind the wheel direct­ly impact a fleet’s fuel spend which, in turn, impacts the amount of CO2 emis­sions dri­ven into the atmos­phere.

These are five sim­ple mes­sages that fleet man­agers can quick­ly and eas­i­ly con­vey to dri­vers in order to steer their behav­ior in the right direc­tion:

  1. Slow down — Fuel econ­o­my decreas­es by about 1.4 per­cent for each mile per hour over 50. Dri­ving at 65 miles per hour rather than 55, for exam­ple, decreas­es fuel econ­o­my by approx­i­mate­ly 14 per­cent.
  2. Avoid idling — Unnec­es­sary idling wastes fuel. In fact, idling for as lit­tle as five min­utes can waste up to 20 cents of fuel. Dri­vers should turn off their vehi­cles’ engines if stop­ping for more than 30 sec­onds, since restart­ing the engine will use less fuel than idling.
  3. Keep a log — Track fuel econ­o­my for future com­par­i­son. By mon­i­tor­ing gas mileage, along with stops and starts, urban vs. rur­al dri­ving, and oth­er fac­tors along their route, dri­vers can see for them­selves how their behav­ior and envi­ron­ment is impact­ing fuel effi­cien­cy.
  4. Light­en the load — It takes more fuel to move heav­ier objects, so remove all unnec­es­sary items from the vehi­cle. On aver­age, for each 100 pounds of need­less weight, fuel effi­cien­cy is reduced by as much as two per­cent.
  5. Avoid rapid accel­er­a­tions and brak­ing — Half of the ener­gy need­ed to pow­er a car is con­sumed dur­ing accel­er­a­tion. Dri­vers can improve fuel econ­o­my by as much as 10 per­cent by avoid­ing unnec­es­sary brak­ing. Using cruise con­trol is one effec­tive way to achieve fuel-effi­cient dri­ving.

Fleet man­agers can help ensure these sus­tain­able poli­cies remain top-of-mind by reg­u­lar­ly remind­ing dri­vers via newslet­ters, email announce­ments, cor­po­rate intranet mes­sages or by imple­ment­ing a recog­ni­tion pro­gram that rewards green dri­ving habits.

Vehi­cle Main­te­nance

Keep­ing vehi­cles in good mechan­i­cal shape will also help fleets oper­ate at opti­mal effi­cien­cy.
Here are four sim­ple strate­gies to help fleets get the most out of their vehi­cles:

  1. Prop­er­ly inflate tires — The increased sur­face area of the rub­ber in soft tires meet­ing the road cre­ates ongo­ing drag, which results in greater demand on the engine.
  2. Prop­er­ly align tires — Improp­er­ly aligned tires cause fric­tion and uneven wear. Inspect sus­pen­sion and chas­sis parts for mis­align­ment such as bent wheels, axles, bad shocks, or bro­ken springs.
  3. Keep the engine tuned — Reg­u­lar­ly check and refresh flu­id lev­els, espe­cial­ly in cold­er regions where win­ter puts addi­tion­al stress on engine parts. While high-qual­i­ty syn­thet­ic motor oil blends may pro­tect the engine bet­ter than con­ven­tion­al oil, they don’t elim­i­nate the need for reg­u­lar oil changes.
  4. Keep the engine air fil­ter clean — A clogged fil­ter strains per­for­mance. In some cars, the fil­ter can be eas­i­ly checked by the own­er; or dri­vers may ask a tech­ni­cian to check it dur­ing reg­u­lar tune-ups.

Togeth­er, these small steps will help ensure your vehi­cles remain at peak per­for­mance lev­els and will inevitably help to increase fuel effi­cien­cy and reduce a fleet’s car­bon foot­print.





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