Green fleets and sustainability go hand in hand, and can hold great benefits to organisations of all profiles and sizes. Not only could the business demonstrate their green fleet credentials, they are also potentially able to reduce fuel costs and reduce vehicle downtime.
To get there though, a company must invest time and resources to ensure that a well-thought-out strategy is taken up by all members of the team. In this article, we explore some of the ways that a business could encourage green fleet driving habits.
Benchmark fleet performance and identify goals
Even before the drafting stage, a fleet manager and their team should take the time to establish what they want to achieve by introducing a green fleet strategy.
Whether that is reducing their carbon emission output or cutting the overall cost of their fuel reimbursement, they need to make sure that the steps they take are actionable and realistic.
With this sustainable plan and specific goals in mind, fleet managers are then able to determine which goals they are able to achieve in the short-term, and which will need development over the coming months and years.
Incentivise green driving habits
One key step in encouraging green fleet driving habits is to incentivise employees to make greener travel decisions throughout their working weeks. Whether that is remote working or adjusting their working hours to cut the time spent idling in traffic, it should be a decision that is considered at the very start of the process.
It is important that employee opinion is taken into consideration at this point, since they are the ones that are spending the time on the road. However, if a fleet manager wants to meet the goals they have already set out, it would be a good idea to encourage friendly competition between drivers.
One real-life example would be Stagecoach, who are investing in hi-tech eco-driving systems, which will measure 120 different aspects of their driving. This data is collected and reports are created, providing real-time assessments and suggestions on how driving habits could be improved.
The key element of this is that each driver is awarded “green points”, which give them a proportional share of an annual bonus pot.
Install charging points
Whilst you may not currently have electric vehicles (EV) or plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) in a fleet, they are fast becoming the vehicle of choice for many, especially those that regularly commute into urban areas.
To encourage green fleet driving habits, a business should consider installing charging points around the workplace. The benefits of this are two-fold. Not only will the employees see that they have a place to charge their vehicle, but the business can save a substantial sum on the initial installation costs.
These savings could be reinvested in other areas of the business, or for introducing a fleet of pool EV/PHEVs. As it currently stands, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based scheme, which reduces the cost of installing the charging point by up to 75%. Businesses could use to save £500 per charging point socket, up to 20 sockets per applicant. If the business went for the full 20 points, this is a saving of £10,000.
Reward employees for improved fuel economy
One of the key motivators for employees when it comes to improving driving habits is specific rewards, which could include extra time off, additional cash rewards, vouchers of their choice or eligibility for a vehicle upgrade if they are driving a company car.
Sometimes the act of recognition is enough to motivate others who might not have taken up the initiative to begin with.
Replace existing fleet vehicles with green alternatives
One of the best ways to encourage green fleet driving habits and reduce overall expenditure is to replace existing fleet vehicles with green alternatives. This may seem like a daunting prospect for a business, especially with the initial investment needed to purchase an EV or PHEV.
However, for a fixed monthly cost and on-going maintenance included in some contracts, vehicle leasing could be the answer. Not only will the business be able to maintain full control over their monthly cashflow, their employees will also be able to access a wider range of EV and PHEVs, without having to worry about vehicle depreciation or running costs.
Tie that in with the Government grants that are available, and leasing an electric vehicle for a business fleet could revolutionise the way a business operates.
- Google Maps showing EV charging stations
- How to implement a green fleet strategy
- How you could benefit from leasing an electric vehicle
In summary, the road to sustainability is not a lonely one. Fleet managers and their teams will be able to take actionable steps from the very beginning, as long as they have identified specific goals and gain feedback from the rest of the business.
To find out more about GKL Electric can help your business increase sustainability and reduce overall fleet operational costs, get in touch with our team on 01844 852252 or email us here.