Implementing an awareness program is a pretty simple step to take and should occur early on in your fleet GHG reduction strategy. Determine the costs and benefits of developing an awareness program.
The Township of Langley organized a coordinated effort between their fleet operations and environmentally focused employees to enhance their approach to communicating the new GHG reduction program and its importance.
Identify any awareness needs based on your green fleet action plan strategies and communicate accordingly. Once understood, simply deliver an awareness program as you see fit.
Coordinate your training program with a driver awareness program and green fleet action plan in order to reinforce the same habits over and over. Training should include drivers on how to operate their vehicles; managers on how to manage for GHG reductions; and mechanics / technicians on how to ensure the fleet will run at optimal engine efficiency moving forward.
Start by determining the costs and benefits of redeveloping your current training to include energy efficient techniques. Analyze the raw operating and usage data and identify opportunities for immediate action and activities that result in higher than average fuel consumption. This is one place a fuel data management system comes in handy.
It is important to seek commitment to the program. Identify the job types requiring training and existing programs. Make sure you have an understanding of job responsibilities, training needs, and key organizational players.
There are numerous resources that provide guidance on fuel efficient training and even consultants that will help you do the job using tested and true techniques. Natural Resources Canada’s FleetSmart Program has SmartDriver Training and E3 Fleet provides consulting support on exactly how to effectively implement a program.
Once developed, implement training as you see fit, ensuring that new employees have access to the same opportunities. Develop a driver incentive program to reinforce the changes if needed.
Incentive programs are developed to encourage employees to take the actions that will reduce fuel consumption. As such, use your green fleet action plan to understand your incentive needs and try to determine leverage points. Leverage points will allow you to achieve the greatest amount of reductions with the least amount of investment.
Be sure to involve drivers and mechanics / technicians in designing the program to ensure that the incentives will effectively result in behavioural change. Make decisions regarding timing and the reward system and implement your program. Ensure that you continuously review and revise the incentive program to keep it effective and up to date. This likely means removing some incentives and replacing them for others.
Incentive programs should not be the main driver behind GHG reductions. If relied on too much, behavioural change is unlikely to be permanent. It is important to frame the incentives in terms of the objectives of the program and clearly communicate to drivers that they are being put in place to form new habits that will have huge benefits on both the environment and for each employee.
Always be careful with incentive programs. Remember that the goal is to change behaviour permanently, not just during the duration of the incentive program. Make sure that your program is designed so that behavioural changes are not lost if the program is removed. Be careful when removing incentive programs to avoid employee frustration and response.