Going green is good right? Reducing your dependence on finite fossil fuels, minimizing the impact of ongoing price hikes at the pump and limiting the emission of climate-changing gases? Why would anyone put up the red light for a fleet wanting to turn green?

It could simply come down to a lack of measurement.

And what you can’t measure you can’t compare, which means you have no idea if that shiny new fleet of hybrids really was the best decision for your business.

Before you buy greener fleet vehicles answer one question

Joining the green fleet revolution is a noble goal yet it pays to plan well to make sure it achieves the key objectives — a fleet that is kinder to the environment and, at the same time, uses resources within the company more economically.

One important question to ask right at the early planning stages is: How can we measure the actual benefits of any green initiatives undertaken? Why is this important? For several reasons:

  1. It keeps staff motivated — When green goals are achieved and the reports prove that progress is being made, staff are more likely to work hard to maintain and improve any green initiatives, realizing they are indeed making a difference.
  2. It assists with future capital purchases — Measuring specific costs and gains of individual vehicles means future purchases are data-driven — based on actual usage — the most reliable cost indicator a business can use.
  3. It keeps the CFO happy — While just as enthusiastic about saving the planet as the rest of us, CFOs also require actual data to confirm the benefits of any earth-friendly initiatives. Armed with specific figures, CFOS can then give green fleet financing the green light. Objective reporting on the accrued benefits of a green initiative may also be necessary to get approval from the board of directors or shareholder investors.
  4. Identify implementation problems — It might be easy for management to dismiss a green initiative as a failure if it appears the project is on the wrong side of the ledger. It may be due to poor implementation, however, rather than the initiative itself. Are the drivers following manufacturer instructions? Have all tax credits or rebates been applied for? Is there an optimum ROI period, where savings peak? Have all benefits been accounted for, such as carbon credits or government allowances? Measuring all aspects of the green fleet initiative can help put the spotlight on what’s letting the project down.

Accurate measurements are not just an excuse for creating a paper war; they are critical to the success of your green fleet initiative. But how can you effectively measure your green fleet?

How to measure your green fleet

For a measurement system to be useful it needs to meet certain criteria, including:

  • Accurate — Not just accurate, but able to accurately measure the key metrics related to your green fleet initiative. How does the system cope with the rigors of the work day, devices going offline, vehicles losing line-of-sight to GPS satellites? The more robust the system, the more accurate the measurements will be.
  • Reliable — Choose a premium telematics provider with a strong track record and carrier-grade systems to make sure your report data is safe and secure. Anything less could put your entire project in jeopardy and make the results meaningless.
  • Easy-to-use — Too many good initiatives have been sunk due to awkward or unusable systems. Make sure the measurement system doesn’t add too much overhead to staff workloads and data retrieval and reporting is simple to use. Telogis Fleet offers managers a web-based dashboard that can report on green fleet metrics in real-time, accessible from anywhere at any time.
  • Allow benchmarking (or some system of comparison) — The principle idea of reporting on new green fleet initiatives is to compare with existing fleet performance. Telogis Fleet provides an easy way to compartmentalize your vehicles, separating EVs (Electric Vehicles) and hybrid trucks and cars from standard models. Web-based charts can display side-by-side comparisons for entire divisions or individual vehicles and drivers.

One final point to keep in mind is future-proofing: Is the system flexible enough to monitor new types of equipment or new metrics, such as EV charge efficiency.

Plan to measure

The key to a successful implementation of a measurement recording system centers on timing. Plan to include it right from the very start and keep it consistent to the very end of the evaluation period.

Telogis is eager to assist fleets around the world reduce their carbon footprint and would happily assist you with your green fleet project.