Green Operations

Measuring Emissions a Growing Priority for Fleets

October 2010, Green Fleet Magazine - Cover Story

by Staff

Ongoing economic uncertainty has not seemed to impact the focus on fleet environmental issues. With organizations becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, fleets are measuring emissions to "green" operations as much as possible.

This assessment is based on an annual survey of fleet managers on the subject of environmental issues, which was conducted by PHH Arval. The survey, distributed via the web, included responses from a wide variety of fleet managers.

Nearly Half of Fleets Now Measure Emissions

In the last year, 75 percent of respondents reported they had been asked about the environmental impact of their fleets. This compares to 74 percent in 2009 and has largely remained flat since 2007, the first year of the survey.

Compared to last year, the economy has had more of an impact on fleet environmental goals. But interestingly, it has accelerated progress for some and slowed it for others (Chart 3). Twenty-eight percent of fleets said the economy accelerated their programs (compared to 21 percent last year), and 20 percent said it slowed their plans (compared to 9 percent last year).

Almost half of all fleets are measuring emissions - up significantly from  2008 (Chart 1). In 2008, the first year the question was included in the survey, slightly more than a quarter of all fleets (28 percent) were measuring their emissions. Significant gains in this area have been made in the past two years. Now, almost half of all fleets (49 percent) are measuring emissions.

Of those measuring emissions, nearly 65 percent are using actual fuel use data - an increase of more than 10-percentage points over 2009 (Chart 2). Using actual fuel data provides fleets the most accurate data and accounts for variations in driver behavior (and hence fuel economy) and mileage.

In response to a separate question, 68 percent of respondents said they have an environmental goal for their fleets, up slightly from last year. Fuel-efficiency goals were most common at 34 percent, with greenhouse gas (GHG) goals right behind at 31 percent. While an mpg goal does not account for changes in fleet size or mileage, it does allow a company to track the overall efficiency of its fleet. GHG reduction goals are the most useful in driving appropriate behavior, as this type of goal allows a company to accurately track its fleet's impact on the environment, according to PHH Arval.

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