ICYMI: Sustainability Trends in Corporate Fleets

At a recent conference hosted by the National Association for Environmental, Health, Safety, and Sustainability (EHS&S) Management (NAEM), ARI’s own EV Consulting Manager Adam Seifert took to the stage as a panelist. During the session, “Sustainable Mobility Trends & Innovation in Corporate Fleets” Seifert covered the topic of sustainability within the fleet industry.

Seifert noted that 30% of US greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to transportation. The fleet industry falls under all three scopes of emissions, contributing both directly and indirectly, which supports the present sense of urgency to bring about change. Organizations are increasingly questioning what actions can be taken today in order to make a positive impact tomorrow.

Common barriers to fleet sustainability

While there is a need for action, Seifert discussed a few of the common barriers that prevent change from occurring more rapidly:

  1. Supply Chain – Various material shortages delay the ability to achieve fleet sustainability goals such as obtaining lower carbon or electric vehicles.
  2. Infrastructure Barriers – Accessing public charging locations can be difficult, which means installing private charging solutions may be necessary; however, upgrading facilities to support these changes takes time and resources.
  3. Evolution – Planning for industry and operational changes 7-10 years out based on what your organization has experienced over the past few years is challenging.

Thankfully, fleet organizations are now able to engage more deeply in efforts to set and achieve sustainability goals. Operational data can be leveraged to support those targets.

Click to watch a clip from the webinar addressing these common barriers.

common barriers to fleet sustainability video

Identifying exactly where change needs to occur is a key part of the mobility process, which is why telematics is such a useful tool. Collecting data around vehicle performance, driver behavior and etcetera will provide crucial insight into the decision-making that affects your organization’s output. The idea is to search for where analytics can be applied to uncover opportunities for change. Then, that data is refined into an actionable strategy that’s ultimately in support of your goals.

As time progresses, Seifert disclosed, the industry should be able to take a more sophisticated look at data in order to understand the depth of its impact. It’s likely that you will be able to see factors such as how much carbon dioxide a vehicle produces before purchasing it. Insight like this will lead to more informed decision-making, allowing for greater impact overall.

Click to watch Seifert discussing the importance of data when it comes to fleet sustainability.

What can be done right now?

  1. Build Your Sustainability Squad: Rally stakeholders and data sources to ensure that the right vehicles are being selected for operational uptime. Also consider evaluating how often you’re replacing and/or retiring vehicles. Rotate out those that generate high cost.
  2. Use Data to Set Goals: Take advantage of all the ways that telematics can help your organization become more efficient.
  3. Build a Resilient Process – Develop a process within your organization to be able to roll with the punches as trends shift over time. If your fleet is moving towards electric, don’t feel pressured to clean house all at once. Consistent replacement over time is the most effective strategy.

There’s Life Beyond Electric Vehicles

Seifert noted that the future of fleet mobility is Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared (ACES). He also stressed that while electrification strategies can help you reach your emission reduction goals, they are not the only option. Alternative fuel sources are also possible. There are cost-effective ways to use propane and natural gas in order to see emission reduction over the next 5-10 years, especially for organizations that require heavy-duty vehicles to serve their customers.

Overall, Seifert’s panel session offered great direction for navigating sustainability and overall fleet mobility. To watch all of the clips, visit our Videos section. To keep up with the latest auto industry news, subscribe to our twice weekly newsletter, The Morning Brake, or our monthly podcast, Motive.