Cutting Emissions, Cutting Costs, Cultivating Morale, Creating Knowledge

Williams Lake has achieved fuel savings of approximately 20% with the use of this hybrid vehicle despite -10ºC winters. / E3 Fleet, 2007.

Decisions made regarding every aspect of fleets have an influence on fuel consumption and GHG emissions, making fleets a central focus of government operations climate action. Since fleet opertions typically make up anywhere between 20% and 40% of their emissions, local governments have direct control over a significant amount of corporate GHG emissions and opportunities for GHG reductions year after year. [1,2]

Targeting GHG emissions has proven to lead to greater lifetime utilization of vehicles and equipment; increased employee morale, health, and safety; reductions in annual fleet spending; and management improvements transcending fleets and resulting in broad environmental and efficiency improvements.

The Benefits of Fuel Efficient Fleets

Annual Savings

Reduced Vehicle Emissions = Reduced Fuel Consumption = Reduced Fuel Costs:

  • Rising fuel prices make running corporate fleets increasingly expensive and driving less attractive. Increasing worldwide demand for oil and other fossil fuels suggests high fuel prices are here to stay. [3]
  • The direct connection between GHG reduction and fuel spending is a key driver behind all fleet climate action strategies.
  • Most spending is focused on investments already being made in vehicle and equipment replacement. Developing and carrying out plans and policies to ensure equipment being replaced is done so with more fuel efficient alternatives has long-term positive effects on fleet budgets and net savings.
  • Management strategies provide greater reliability of vehicles and reduced maintenance costs. Preventative maintenance and proven driving methods reduce wear and tear on vehicles and associated spending. The result is a more reliable, cost-effective fleet with smoother operations. [4,5]

Improved Employee Morale, Health, and Safety

Fuel efficient strategies have proven to increase job satisfaction:

  • Lower GHG emissions reduce the negative health impacts from vehicle emissions and smog on drivers and community members (i.e., respiratory problems such as asthma). Health research is ongoing and continues to link GHG emissions to major health problems throughout North America. Reduced health problems also mean lower public health costs. [6]
  • Fuel efficient fleets increase employee morale due to increased personal attention and an investment in training. More health conscious and environmentally friendly vehicle alternatives create a more upbeat and satisfying work environment and a positive focus for all involved. [7]
  • Driver training focuses on techniques to lower fuel consumption. Drivers report feeling more relaxed and satisfied and as a result accidents are reduced. [7]

Management Improvements

Fuel efficient fleet management results in a greater understanding of how other corporate improvements related to fleet can be implemented:

  • Greater attention to detail with a strategic focus helps managers better understand how operations can be improved through fleet management. This helps managers identify and learn how to more precisely manage leverage points that exist in their operations.
  • More rigorous asset management improves lifetime value of vehicles and equipment. Approaching vehicles and equipment from a long-term point of view improves the utilization of those assets and gives local governments more bang for their buck. [4]

Leadership in the Community

Local government learning and action programs can extend into the community:

  • Corporate actions provide a foundation for community action and help citizens account for climate change. Both education (i.e., awareness and training) and action programs (i.e., car share) can be developed within local government and extended into the community.
  • Government leadership is critical to reducing emissions from the Province’s transportation sector, which account for 40% of all provincial GHG emissions. Policies and bylaws are two ways to provide the government mandates necessary to accomplish Province-wide reductions, however both should be pre-empted by awareness programs. [8]
[Use the tabs above to learn HOW you can reduce emissions with your fleets.]

[1] City of Vancouver, (2004). The Climate-Friendly City - A Corporate Climate Change Action Plan for the City of Vancouver.

[2] City of North Vancouver, (2005). City of North Vancouver Greenhouse Gas Local Action Plan.

[3] Ministry of Small Business and Revenue, (July 2008). British Columbia Carbon Tax Update.

[4] Fraser Basin Council, (2006). Greening Canada's Fleets - E3 Fleet Rating System.

[5] Roger Smith, (April 2008). Greening the Fleet; Why it Makes Good Business Sense.

[6] Åke Blomqvist, Philippe Crabbé, George Dranitsaris, and Paul Lanoie, (January 2000). Climate Change and Health Economic Advisory Panel - Final Report on Health Impacts of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Mitigation Measures.

[7] Deutsche Post AG, (2008). Energy-saving driving techniques.

[8] Sierra Club of BC, 2008, Threats to Reducing BC's Carbon Emissions.