Businesses large and small are becoming more environmentally aware. They realize the public at large are looking to support organizations that are going green or have ‘go green’ policies. Fleet managers are also part of this movement, recognizing their involvement in reducing their company’s carbon footprint and minimizing the impact of their fleet vehicles on the environment. Green fleets can also be referred to as eco-trucking or eco-fleets.

Isn’t this green fleet stuff just hippie nonsense?

In some cases, fleet owners and drivers see the move toward greener fleets as a fad, or something that’s been driven by a few ‘noisy hippies’ using scare tactics to push their point of view. It is true that both sides of the debate have been tarnished by misleading ‘evidence’ and hidden agendas, but it’s generally agreed that we can’t go on using fossil fuels indefinitely and pumping more and more carbon into the atmosphere. We need to change, and those changes need to be real, measurable and beneficial to the planet, not just a superficial marketing exercise.

When you consider that a typical fleet of 500 vehicles can put over 6,000 tons of GHG emissions into the air each year, and that GHG is a primary driver of global warming, you quickly start to see that fleet managers have the unique opportunity of making a very real difference in helping us all breathe easier.

Is running a green fleet profitable?

Another reason why some fleets have resisted the change to become more environmentally friendly is because they say the budget is just too tight, and they can’t afford to make any changes.

While there is definitely an initial cost when a fleet turns green, often those costs are quickly recovered by driving fewer miles and running more efficient vehicles. In fact, most fleets who switch to using Telogis® Fleet™, a fleet management software program used to optimize and ‘greenify’ their fleet, report recovering the cost of the changeover within 120 days!

More difficult to measure but definitely a potential revenue booster is the increased customer interest you can generate when you advertise your new, environmentally-friendly approach to doing business. An example is found in New Zealand, a country well-known for its clean, green image, where an organization has been setup to certify businesses as being ‘carbon zero’, a status that helps distinguish them from their competitors as forward-thinking and environmentally aware organizations.

Government legislation — Another reason to change

Governments will continue to require more accountability from businesses on their contribution to reducing the emission of GHG. There are globally-recognized accounting standards to determine how much GHG a business is responsible for, and how to tax them accordingly.

While it may not currently be a legislative requirement for your fleet to account for its GHG emissions, it’s highly likely that in the near future many governments will change from using the ‘carrot’ to encourage reductions to using a ‘stick’ to force businesses to pay for their GHG emissions. Telogis Fleet allows you to measure progress on green metrics in real-time, around the clock, to help you easily report on and account for your fleet’s carbon footprint.

Green fleets are not a passing trend; they’re here to stay. And smart fleet managers will make changes sooner rather than later, reaping the benefits of cost savings from going green and reducing their GHG emissions.