How To Reduce A Car Fleet’s Footprint
The Tasmanian Climate Change Office has just engaged Ndevr Environmental to facilitate the Smarter Fleets pilot program. The program aims to reduce vehicle fleet greenhouse gas emissions and costs by providing guidance and support to Tasmanian fleets. Reducing fuel consumption saves money and reduces GHG. Win Win.
The pilot is based on similar New South Wales and Victorian pilot programs which built industry capability by providing support and resources to enable:
- A clear understanding of their fleet profile and energy use.
- Identification of practical fleet efficiency improvement strategies.
- Successful implementation of improvement plans for their organisation.
The Victorian FleetWise pilot concluded in 2014. It achieved a reduction of 149 tonnes CO2-e emissions in absolute terms, and improved their combined average fleet greenhouse gas intensity by 11 grams CO2-e/km. A number of participating fleets have publicly shared case studies on their experience with the program, which can be accessed from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources website:
Participants of the NSW FleetWise program, which has now been absorbed into the Sustainability Advantage program, were reporting on average 10% annual improvements in their fleet GHG intensity. The Cleaner NSW Government Fleet Program (2005) which was the instigator for the FleetWise initiative (originally named FleetSmart) resulted in a $3 million fuel cost reduction for the government fleet, and a new GHG reduction of approximately 16%.
The secrets of success
Some improvement strategies implemented by participants included:
- Incentivising more fuel-efficient packaged vehicles.
- Taking future fuel use into consideration when selecting suitable vehicles.
- Introducing diesel, hybrid and electric vehicles into the fleet.
Reviewing operational practices and driver behaviour. For example, participants who operated out of multiple buildings updated meeting invites to recommend car sharing, some provided a public transport card for employees to use instead of fleet vehicles, other utilised nearby car share vehicles to remove the need for as many fleet vehicles, and some CEOs chose to lead by example and motivate staff to follow suit.
Providing public transport tickets is one way to reduce vehicle fleet emissions | Image: Steve Petric via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
The good results demonstrate the scale of savings that can be realised – and sometimes the simplest improvements are the most effective.
The Tasmanian government is currently in the process of reviewing expressions of interest from potential pilot participants. Resources developed will be publicly shared to ensure all organisations can benefit.
Hannah Meade is Principal (Melbourne) at Ndever Environmental Consulting
Title image: Ken Douglas via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)