Every year, fleet operators set their sights on new business goals. One of the top 2024 initiatives is fleet sustainability. In recent years, fleets have become more aware of their environmental impact. A big part of that includes their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. That knowledge has inspired a response.
What Are Green Fleets?
Green fleets are commercial fleets of any size that focus on sustainability goals. This focus includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s also a matter of minimizing fuel consumption and reducing waste sent to landfills. With the 2024 fleet sustainability shift, green fleets will continue to rise.
The Current State of Fleet Sustainability in 2024
In late 2022, the EPA finalized new national clean air standards. The goal is to cut heavy-duty truck pollution and move toward a zero-emissions future. These standards won’t take effect until 2027. Yet, the advancement makes now an excellent time to review future sustainability plans.
The updates to these standards are a product of concerns to protect public health. Consider this: Heavy-duty vehicles account for 10% of vehicles on the road. Yet, the transportation sector produces more than 25% of global warming emissions.
75% of the 200 largest fleet operators are committed to decarbonization as of 2022. At the same time, 50% of fleet owners purchased an electric vehicle or planned to do so that year.
Setting Green Fleet New Year Goals
The start of the year is the ideal time to set realistic and measurable sustainability goals. It establishes a clear roadmap for moving toward more sustainable fleet operations.
Some examples of common goals include:
- Reducing the carbon footprint of vehicles to support environmental conservation
- Improving fuel efficiency to promote more eco-friendly operations and reduce costs
- Increasing use of alternative fuel/energy sources to lower emissions and support resilience
- Increasing the adoption of telematics and fleet management systems to enhance fleet efficiency
Eco-Friendly Fleet Strategies
Once you’ve mapped out green fleet new year goals, it’s time to strategize. While we’ve alluded to some measures above, here’s a more expansive list.
Transition to Electric or Hybrid Vehicles
Diesel fuel is the most significant operating expense for fleets. It also has a considerable environmental impact. Investing in more fuel-efficient or electric vehicles reduces a fleet's effects on air quality. Moving away from fossil fuels also reduces the impact of collecting these fuels.
Implement Fleet Telematics
Tracking real-time vehicle location allows fleet operators to identify the most fuel-efficient routes. You can use historical data to map routes that reduce travel time and fuel consumption. You can also make on-the-fly adjustments to navigate road closures and other surprises.
Prioritize Regular Maintenance
Beyond being a safety hazard, a lack of maintenance affects fleet vehicle efficiency. Underinflated tires, for instance, lead to more roll resistance. This resistance makes vehicles work harder and consume more fuel. Regular tire checks and maintenance are one measure to support fleet sustainability goals.
Train Drivers on Eco-Friendly Practices
Vehicles need to operate at their best. But folks behind the wheel should also be knowledgeable on sustainable driving practices. Educate drivers on the need for smooth acceleration and braking. This habit avoids wear and tear and unnecessary fuel waste. Instruct drivers to report any maintenance issues to optimize fuel performance.
Challenges & Considerations in a Green Fleet Transition
Making the move to a green fleet has clear advantages. But there are some potential obstacles you can't overlook.
On the one hand, you’ve got costs. While saving long-term costs, hybrid and electric vehicles can have a higher price tag. Meanwhile, electric vehicles can require charging station stops to complete long travel distances. These charging stations are not as available to drivers as gas stations.
From a cost standpoint, fleet operators can consider leasing versus buying electric vehicles. You can also explore available tax credits or rebates that may be available.
From an infrastructure standpoint, consider a phased implementation. You'll curb upfront costs and can scale up as there's more of a supportive infrastructure in place.
Monitoring Sustainability Progress & Adjusting Strategies
Keep tabs on your progress toward 2024 fleet sustainability goals as the year progresses. Monitoring performance is easier with the right tools and technologies at your disposal.
Take Azuga’s fleet sustainability solution, for instance. With this solution, fleet operators can calculate, track, and neutralize carbon emissions. While reducing your impact, you’ll have access to marketing tools highlighting your dedication to green initiatives.
This same sentiment applies across your performance data. Use data as a benchmark to adapt and refine your eco-friendly fleet strategies for the future. That way, you can continually improve and preserve your competitive edge.
Take Proactive Steps Toward Greener Operations in 2024
2024 can — and should — be the year fleet operators prioritize sustainability. From telematics to maintenance investments, you’ll make notable strides in reaching your green fleet goals.
To learn how Azuga can support you on this green journey, request a demo.