HomeResourcesBlogThree Ways Telematics Makes It Easy to Be “Green”
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Three Ways Telematics Makes It Easy to Be “Green”

By Mark Wallin August 2, 2021

As state and federal regulations continue to expand, sustainable fleet management and carbon emissions are under an industry microscope. Owners and managers in many field services industries (e.g., HVAC, plumbing, electrical, landscaping) may be feeling the pressure to modernize their fleets and embrace green fleet management, particularly because, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2021, “the transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” totaling 29% of all 2019 GHG in the U.S.1

For field service fleets, shrinking their carbon footprint reducing the likelihood of regulatory penalties can be achieved without a complete fleet overhaul. Investing in a telematics solution is a simple, more affordable alternative to changing out fleet vehicles. Telematics technology supports revamped operating procedures that can markedly improve sustainable fleet management.

Here are three ways telematics technology can help pave the way for green fleet management:

1. Increased fuel efficiency

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. EPA will increase the stringency of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and carbon dioxide emissions standards by 1.5% each year through 2026.2

Reducing your fuel consumption is one of the easiest ways to achieve fleet sustainability goals and help meet evolving regulations. It’s also an easy way to cut fuel costs and positively impact your bottom line. Given that fuel is often a significant operating expense for fleet-dependent organizations, using telematics technology to increase fuel efficiency can help make a real impact.

Telematics technology can monitor each vehicle’s fuel usage and identify fraudulence by comparing fuel card use to the actual location of the vehicle. In addition, it can help detect any abnormalities when compared against vehicle averages and provide fuel card integration to help with cost reconciliation. It can also help identify any fuel spillage, helping to reduce fuel waste.

2. Optimized routing

Another key area that fleet management technology helps companies realize sustainable fleet management is with the ability to optimize driving routes for workers. Mangers can determine fast, cost-effective routes between job sites based on traffic patterns and other available data, so fuel use is reduced and workers spend less downtime between job locations.

In the event of a new or unexpected job popping up, you can route the nearest worker to that location to conserve fuel use. You can also enable drivers to take advantage of GPS navigation tools to help keep them from getting lost and streamline delivery scheduling, so that less time is spent consuming fuel and giving off greenhouse gas emissions while on the road. 

3. Reduced idle time

“Each year, U.S. passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles consume more than six billion gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline — without even moving.”3 Much of this is due to idling, as idling a truck can use up to a half gallon of fuel per hour.4

Time spent idling not only means workers aren’t contributing to the profitability of operations; it means fleet vehicles are consuming fuel unnecessarily, which certainly falls short of many green fleet management initiatives.

With telematics technology, you can set alerts for any unnecessary idling beyond a specific time threshold you define as appropriate. This helps reduce idling among fleet vehicles, other fuel costs previously mentioned and, in some states, the associated penalties.

The right technology to support green fleet management

To support real change in the environmental sustainability of your organization, it’s important to get all technicians, drivers and employees on board with green fleet strategies. This ensures everyone is held accountable to the same standards and establishes trust among your team. It also helps accelerate the ability to achieve positive results from sustainable fleet management efforts.

In addition, remember that not all telematics solutions are created equal. To get more from your technology investment, look for one that offers:

  • Access from anywhere: so you can view data and maps on any device at any time
  • Detailed maps: letting you view near real-time activity and the current status of all vehicles, workers and equipment
  • Easy-to-use dashboards: showing you up-to-the-minute fuel usage and other analytics
  • Coaching modules: to help fleet managers underscore safe driving behaviors 365 days a year

Sustainable fleet management in action

Companies that rely on mobile workers to be productive can see significant gains by implementing fleet management technology. For example, Tree Tech reported seeing savings of approximately $2,000 a month in fuel by monitoring speed, idling time and routes. Optimizing driving routes was especially key for Tree Tech President Andy Felix. “The solution shows us where traffic is heavy in the morning, so we can avoid certain routes that look really bogged down,” he said.

Likewise, United Subcontractors Inc. (USI) realized savings. They implemented telematics to increase efficiencies and estimate they reduced fuel costs by approximately 10%, as well as maintenance fees by 10%–15%. Integrating the fuel card system was also an important part of helping USI make informed and impactful decisions using fleet data. “I now know exactly how many miles each vehicle has on it,” said Jim Liverseed, Director of Facilities and Fleet Operations at USI. “If a vehicle has low miles, I can take that from one branch and reallocate it to another branch. Something as simple as accurate odometer readings every day on a fleet of nearly 1,000 vehicles saves a company like USI thousands of dollars.”

For more details on how fleet management technology helps organizations achieve greener operations and less environmental impact, take a look at our Fleet Technology Trends Report 2021.

Sources:

1https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

2https://www.government-fleet.com/354852/u-s-dot-and-epa-lower-gas-mileage-targets

3https://afdc.energy.gov/conserve/idle_reduction_basics.html

4https://scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/CR-010109.pdf


Mark Wallin

Mark Wallin joined Verizon Telematics in 2012 and serves as the Vice President of Product Management.


Tags: Field management, Fleet utilization, Fuel cost management, Performance & Coaching, Productivity & Efficiency, Vehicle Maintenance, Team Management

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