Did you know that May is National Clean Air Month? While we should work together all year to ensure our environment is as clean as possible, now is as good a time as ever to learn how fleets can make this goal possible.
Fleets are a much more significant contributor to pollution than you might think. In 2021, the trucking industry produced about 417 million metric tons of MtCO₂e. Unfortunately, this number has gone up from previous years. If fleets can reduce their CO₂ emissions, it would considerably benefit the environment. Let’s explore some tips on how to do so.
No. 1: Determine Your Current Carbon Footprint
Before you can make any improvements, you’ll need to know where you are. This gives you a benchmark to start with. How can you measure your CO₂ emissions? It’s easier than you might think.
First, find out how many gallons of fuel you use each month. Azuga can help with this by drawing up a handy report with a click of a button. If you don't have access to fleet management software, you can estimate the number by comparing your fleet’s average miles per gallon to the miles your vehicles have driven.
Second, calculate how many pounds of CO₂ you’re creating. Divide the number of gallons of fuel you’re using by how many pounds of CO₂ are generated by each gallon of fuel. Here are the numbers you’ll need.
- 1 gallon of diesel produces about 22.38 pounds of CO₂
- 1 gallon of gasoline produces about 20 pounds of CO₂
Here’s a handy graphic that simplifies the equation.
[number of gallons of fuel used each month] x [how many pounds of CO₂ is generated per gallon]
These numbers are a rough estimate, as many factors contribute to your fleet’s output of CO₂. We’ll get into some of these factors next.
No. 2: Maintain Your Fleet Vehicles
There’s a reason for regular emissions tests when you register your vehicles. That’s because if a vehicle is left unmaintained, even for a short time, it can significantly raise its emissions levels. Why is this?
CO₂ is the product of burning gasoline and diesel. Therefore, when a vehicle burns more gasoline and diesel, it puts more CO₂ into the atmosphere. We’ve discussed on this blog before that poorly-maintained vehicles have lower fuel efficiency. This is why well-maintained vehicles have lower emissions. What should you focus on when creating your maintenance checklist if lowering emissions is your goal?
- Air Filters: If your air filters are clogged, you may experience a fuel-rich mixture that doesn’t burn as efficiently. Ensure your engine has the correct fuel-to-air ratio with a clean air filter.
- Oil Grade: You could lower your vehicle’s fuel economy by up to 2% just by using the wrong grade of oil. Maybe that doesn’t seem significant for one vehicle, but it adds up when you consider the entire fleet.
- Tires: Always make sure your tires are properly inflated and aligned. This can improve your vehicle’s fuel use by over 3%.
- Engine: Lots of engine issues can affect fuel efficiency. Eliminate all of them by regularly having your engine tuned up.
No. 3: Use Route Optimization Software
The most significant contributor toward lowering your emissions is making your fleet more efficient overall. Using route optimization software like Azuga Routes is the biggest step you can take towards doing so. Azuga Routes automatically creates routes that get your drivers where they need to go as quickly as possible, using the least fuel. It’s obvious to see how this can promptly lower CO₂ emissions.
No. 4: Track Idling
Telematics is another technology you must take advantage of when lowering emissions. The most important habit to track for sustainability is idling. Idling is a considerable fuel waster– and it’s a more common habit than you think. The first step is to set up an idling policy. Create firm rules regarding eating lunch, filling out paperwork, sleeping, or other non-driving activities in an idling vehicle. Then track your vehicles’ idling with fleet management software to enforce these policies.
Azuga Can Help Lower Your Emissions
Azuga’s fleet management software can help you lower your emissions through telematics and route optimization software. Our reports can help you set benchmarks and measure your progress. Our Fleet Sustainability program has been set up to offset carbon emissions entirely– that’s 100% –across all your fleet vehicles. Learn more about how you can achieve your sustainability goals by speaking with an Azuga expert today.