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Why is sustainability important to fleet telematics?

Sustainability is key to futureproofing commercial fleets. Telematics can help you reduce your carbon footprint while simultaneously increasing the efficiency and productivity of your fleet.

Fleet telematics technology can be harnessed to increase the efficiency, productivity, and sustainability of your fleet. Read on to find out more.

Today, the corporate world is more conscious than ever before of its social and environmental responsibilities. This is due to increased pressure on global businesses to publish environmental data alongside financial data as part of their corporate reporting process in annual reports. This is being driven by shareholders, suppliers and customers demanding greater openness and accountability around the environmental impact of daily operations. Companies that develop and invest in sustainable business practices can improve trust and engagement with their customers and stakeholders, attract and retain employees, build credibility, enhance brand awareness, reinforce community relations and partnerships, and encourage advances and innovation in different types of technology.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are the primary driver of global climate change. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the world urgently needs to reduce emissions. The continent of Asia is by far the largest emitter, accounting for 53% of global emissions. Despite it being home to 60% of the world’s population, the emissions in Asia are, surprisingly, slightly lower than the world average. China is both Asia and the world’s largest emitter, releasing 10 billion tonnes of excess CO2 into the air each year, more than a quarter of global emissions. North America is the second largest regional emitter at 18% of global emissions, closely followed by Europe with 17%. A staggering 73.2% of today’s total CO2 emissions comes from the Energy sector, with 16.2% attributed to the transport industry, and 11.9% specifically to road transport. According to the Global Energy Review 2021, global CO2 emissions are projected to grow as the demand for coal, oil, and gas rebounds post-Covid. As it stands, CO2 has reached its highest-ever average annual concentration in the atmosphere – around 50% higher than when the industrial revolution began. These statistics make clear that for us to tackle climate change effectively, we need to massively reduce the carbon emissions caused by vehicles on the road, particularly those utilised by fleets.

Sustainable fleet management is the practice of operating a fleet with the specific focus on long-term viability of profit, the planet, and people – otherwise known as the triple bottom line (TBL). The TBL seeks to gauge a corporation’s level of commitment to corporate social responsibility and its impact on the environment. Keeping tabs on your company’s financial, environmental, and social performance over time allows you to account for the full cost of doing business. It also allows for the balancing of business challenges for the best possible monetary and ethical outcome. Afterall, the goal is to meet current consumer needs, while ensuring that future generations will be able to meet theirs as well.

Developing a sustainable fleet management strategy can help reduce operational costs and create greener fleets. The less fuel and resources your fleet uses to complete routes, the less it costs your business in fuel spend, vehicle downtime, wear and tear, and repairs. Reducing fuel consumption is the most effective way of safeguarding your valuable resources and of protecting the environment. Reducing CO2 and NOx emissions decreases your company’s carbon footprint and helps it achieve its green goals.

In the race to profitability, fleet operators have tended to put sustainability on the back burner, but not anymore. As part of governmentally driven sustainability policies, the transport and logistics sector has come under pressure to meet imposed sustainability targets or face the consequences. The UK have set an ambitious target of zero emissions by 2050. In the USA, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed that vehicle manufacturers adhere to more stringent standards to reduce pollution from heavy-duty vehicles and engines starting in model year 2027. In 2021, the EU Commission set out its blueprint for reaching a 55% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and said that at least 30% of the EU’s €1.8tn (£1.64tn; $2.2tn) long-term budget will be spent on climate-related measures. Governments around the world are following suit and implementing new laws governing corporate social and environmental responsibility.

So, how do fleet operators begin the process of establishing a sustainable fleet management strategy?

Stage One: Assess current performance

Fleet sustainability can only be achieved once you have gained a thorough understanding of current fleet operations and costs, and of existing business policies and processes. Fitting your fleet vehicles with an onboard computer like MiX Fleet Manager™, offers fleet operators unlimited access to information about their vehicles and drivers, with a host of features, tools, and reports to help maximise ROI. Using that data to work through a checklist can help identify those actions that already being taken and potential opportunities for further investment and improvement.

  • What existing fleet policies do you have?
  • What fleet monitoring do you do?
  • What measures do you take to minimise vehicle mileage?
  • What do you do to encourage fuel efficiency?
  • What do you do to ensure you use the cleanest and most efficient vehicles and fuels?

Stage Two: Define business needs and priorities

By identifying where manageable inefficiencies are slowing operations down and costing your business money, you are empowered to take control of areas where critical improvements need to be made. MiX Fleet Manager Essential™ is specifically designed for businesses wanting to boost efficiency. This telematics solution allows fleet managers to run a full diagnostic investigation into their fleet’s operational requirements, focusing on:

  • Current vehicle location
  • Scheduling of vehicle dispatch
  • Types of vehicles that are needed most often and their availability
  • Most efficient vehicle allocation
  • Spare capacity needed
  • Scheduling of EV charging or petrol vehicle refuelling for optimal advantage
  • Route optimisation
  • Fuel cost reducing to increase the triple bottom line (TBL)
  • The effect of driver engagement, training and performance on fleet safety and efficiency
  • The net result of improved fuel cost, driver performance, fleet safety and operational efficiency in terms of sustainability
  • Additional ways to make a safe and efficient fleet even more sustainable with minimal expenditure
  • Accurate reporting on total carbon emissions and other environmental considerations
  • Compliance with environmental regulations
  • The metrics needed to reach green goals to then turn them into increased customer loyalty, staff retention, community recognition and greater profitability

Stage Three: Identify opportunities for improvement

Identifying which fleet systems or operations could be streamlined and optimised is key to making the sorts of improvements that will increase your bottom line. Fleet telematics hardware such as MiX Rovi II™ can help you monitor whether KPIs are being met to a sufficient standard. This tough, Android-powered, 7” programmable in-cab display, gives fleet managers actionable insights into the minutiae of fleet processes and helps you:

  • Set targets and provide targeted driver training.
  • Introduce cleaner vehicles and technologies suited to your operational needs.
  • Improve vehicle specification processes.
  • Ensure that all vehicles and assets are being appropriately utilised.
  • Ensure that business policies and procedures align to assist you in meeting your safety, efficiency, and sustainability objectives.

Stage Four: Gain business buy-in

To ensure that sustainability is a top priority for everyone within your organisation, it’s essential to develop a business case to present to personnel, stakeholders, shareholders, and partners that explains how an operational review can help the fleet and company achieve green goals and boost profits overall. Reducing your fleet’s fuel consumption should be your number one priority as it cuts down company costs as well as helping you to achieve your sustainability objectives. Your business case should touch on the following KPIs:

  • Improving fleet safety and efficiency to reduce fuel spend, fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Alleviating the reliance on fossil fuels to reduce environmental impact.
  • Enhancing the organisation’s image and environmental management credentials by prioritising corporate social responsibility which can result in increased sales and improved contract retention.
  • Improving financial and environmental reporting processes to demonstrate the drop in CO2 emissions.

Stage Five: Implement

Implementing all the suggested measures for making your fleet more sustainable can be greatly aided by fleet telematics technology such as MyMiX™ and its value-added extension, MyMiX Tracking. Providing drivers with incentives to engage more on the road, gamifying any supplementary training needed, and holding drivers accountable when inefficient or unsafe driving events are detected, will greatly impact on your fleet’s overall productivity, profitability, and sustainability. MyMiX and MyMiX Tracking features include:

  • Driver scoring and ranking: Daily and weekly score analysis allows drivers to see how they rank compared to their site and the organisation.
  • Driving events: Details on driving events such as over speeding or harsh braking can be displayed on a map for a fleet manager’s reference and driver debriefing.
  • Communication with mobile workers: Broadcast messages and real-time alerts to single drivers or all mobile workers at the same time.
  • Multiple vehicle visibility and comparisons: Safety scores and details are available for multiple vehicles driven by a particular driver. Vehicle data such as engine performance and fuel consumption can be viewed historically, in real-time and comparatively.
  • Supervisor reporting: Driver login activity reports are available to supervisors to monitor levels of driver engagement, a KPI that directly affects driver behaviour and performance.
  • Task management platform: Create, schedule, and assign jobs or tasks to all your mobile workers on-the-go.

Stage Six: Ongoing monitoring and review

Ongoing monitoring and regular reviews will ensure that your company is consistently meeting sustainability targets. Fleet managers can use telematics technology to keep abreast of productivity, utilisation, fuel use and expenditure. A successful and sustainable fleet is only as good as its worst driver. Using AI-driven dash cams like MiX Vision AI and GPS Tracking to gather data and send drivers real-time alerts, enables fleet managers to get a bird’s eye view of fleet operations, and intervene to correct poor or dangerous driver behaviour which directly impacts fleet sustainability. Fleet operators and managers can partner with MiX Telematics to customise a solution that will help them achieve all their green goals. MiX Telematics has helped customers such as SAV, a Spanish-based environmental services specialist, win a Public-Private Sector Cooperation Award in 2019. SAV’s winning submission was judged on its use of MiX Telematics’ Fleet Manager™ Premium solution.

Contact us today to find out which of our innovative fleet telematics solutions can best bolster the sustainability of your fleet. To read more on MiX’s commitment to sustainability, please download our Playbook here:

“Telematics technology from MiX Telematics has proven to be effective in assisting businesses to reduce their carbon emissions. It achieves this, by encouraging safer, more efficient driving practices and optimising fuel utilisation, our customers can significantly reduce their carbon footprint.” – Catherine Lewis, MD CSO and EVP Technology, MiX Telematics

A fully-implemented and supported MiX Telematics solution is guaranteed to improve driver safety and reduce accident rates while also lowering risk, liability and cost.