SPARKS, MD - PHH Arval recently conducted its annual survey of public and private sector fleet managers on the subject of the environment. The survey was designed to gauge fleet managers' awareness of environmental issues and barriers to implementing solutions that would reduce their fleets' greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The results concluded:

Corporate interest in the environment continues to grow.
Asked to rate how their organizations' interest in the environment has changed over the past year, 80 percent of the surveyed fleet managers reported that interest in their fleets' environmental impact continues to grow at their organizations, up slightly from last year (77 percent). However, there is still work to be done: according to the survey, almost 15 percent of private sector fleet managers said the environmental impact of their fleets is not a priority at their organization.

Few companies use best practices when setting environmental goals for their fleets.

PHH has found that a key best practice for environmental effectiveness is to set greenhouse gas (GHG) goals for fleet performance. A GHG goal allows fleet managers to track improvements in fuel efficiency, account for the impact of business changes on emissions, and assess the impact of driver behavior programs. However, according to the PHH survey, only 25 percent of survey respondents have GHG goals for their fleets.

In addition, the PHH survey found that most companies do not measure greenhouse emissions from their fleets – only 28 percent of the respondents said they were doing so. Again, this is a key best practice for being able to monitor and report on improvement over time.

A significant number of organizations are finding cost-effective ways to reduce fleet emissions.

The most encouraging finding from the survey is that more than a third of fleet managers are finding ways to save money while reducing fleet emissions (37 percent in the private sector and 39 percent in the public sector).  For remaining private sector companies, 50 percent continue to view cost as an obstacle, but this is down from last year's survey. In the public sector, the concern about cost has remained relatively flat. 

Other key findings.

The PHH environmental survey found that lack of data to make good environmental choices is an issue for a number of organizations, particularly in the private sector – 21 percent private sector vs. 17 percent public sector.

Most fleet managers (68 percent) reported they have started to educate drivers about their impact on the environment. While the majority of fleet managers have communicated to drivers about their ability to reduce the environmental impact of their company-provided vehicles, public sector fleet managers are way ahead of their private sector counterparts. Currently 42 percent of all private sector fleet managers are not doing any communications to their drivers around the role they play in fleet emissions.

Karen Healey, PHH Arval director in charge of the company's green initiatives, commented, "We are encouraged that so many companies are finding ways to reduce fleet emissions without increasing costs. But there is still a lot of room for improvement, particularly around goal setting. The PHH GreenFleet program, developed in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund, is designed to help clients set appropriate goals, track results, and identify cost-effective ways to reduce emissions."