26 July 2022
2 min read

Can we measure fleet sustainability outcomes?

Car is driving in nature and profile picture of Jim Noble

Striving for a more sustainable fleet

The extreme rise in fuel costs across the world has caused a giant knee-jerk reaction. Most fleet operators are focused on all things “fuel cost reduction” related, due to the tremendous effect on the operating budget. This has generated a great deal of noise in the industry. Each day there are new articles, blogs, white papers, and webinars published on the topic of “How to Save Fuel Costs”.

While this situation needs close management, let’s not miss the opportunity to look at how containing fuel costs fits into the bigger picture of ensuring more sustainable fleet operations. Simply coaching drivers to use less fuel is only part of the story and is often not fair to the driver.

What does it mean to be a sustainable fleet?

In short, a sustainable fleet is one that operates without negatively affecting the environment. But the big question is “How can a fleet reduce its impact on the environment?” A sustainable fleet management strategy covers factors such as efficient travel and routing. It requires vehicles to be more eco-friendly, clean running, and made from recyclable materials. Eco-friendly, fuel-efficient driving is also important.

Any vehicle on the road today started to impact the environment as soon as the raw materials were produced. So, purchasing matters when trying to build a sustainable fleet. The amount of maintenance required plays a part in the sustainability equation. Tires, oil, and metal parts all have environmental impacts. End of life, or how the vehicle is disposed of, has a huge influence on overall sustainability. How efficiently the vehicle burns fuel based on the work it does is another factor.

As you can see, measuring fuel use is only one piece of the sustainability puzzle. In addition, incentivizing drivers on miles/ kilometers per gallon/ liter can be counter-productive and unfair. Instead, measuring driver influence on CO2 impact can be a true indicator of how they affect your bottom line.

Can technology measure eco-driving?

Influencing more eco-friendly driving techniques takes thought and planning. But that’s the easy part. Measuring it is trickier, and that is where technology comes into its own. Some fleets already use technology such as telematics to measure activities like mileage and idling time. But telematics alone might not provide the full picture.

Factors like the type of vehicle, weather conditions, and load capacity, can affect fuel consumption. Yet these factors are not always considered by traditional telematics solutions. This means fleets using such solutions might only have estimated CO2 impact available to them. In these cases, they will struggle to compare drivers’ eco performance on a like-for-like basis.

Using pattern AI for accurate CO2 comparisons

Pattern AI differs from traditional telematics in that it measures every second of driving many times. In fact, it makes millions of micro-analyzes ever hour. It does this to identify patterns in driving behavior to determine crash probability and climate impact.

Using pattern AI, fleets, mobility providers, and insurers can see accurate CO2 emission savings per driver or vehicle. This makes it easy to see side-by-side comparisons.

The benefits of accurately measuring environmental impact

It is becoming more important – in some places mandatory – for companies to report on their carbon footprint. Therefore, a driver risk management program that includes CO2 reporting is now favorable for fleets. Not only does this assist with reporting, but it enables prompt identification of drivers in need of eco-driving education.

The ability to see CO2 impact per driver in grams gives fleets a simple, easy to understand measure of carbon impact. This helps with both identification and communication.

Evaluation measures success

Every effort to improve fleet safety and sustainability should be applauded. Encouraging eco-friendly driving is a big step in the right direction for fleets. However, no program can be deemed a success without evaluation.

Pattern AI is an enabler for a driver risk management program that prioritizes both safety and sustainability. It also enables the success of a program to be easily measured. At Greater Than, our pattern AI can be connected to many end-user solutions. This includes loyalty programs, usage-based insurance solutions and driver safety apps to incentivize and measure safer, cleaner driving.

It’s also easy to get going. Our pattern AI collects data through GPS and starts measuring CO2 impact after just 1km of driving.

Contact Greater Than or book a meeting with me to learn more about what pattern AI can do to support your fleet’s safety and sustainability efforts.