A guide to reducing your fleet’s eco-footprint
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Whether you supervise a convoy of HGVs or manage a few delivery vans, keeping on top of your drivers’ mileage and fuel usage is key to successful fleet management.
Although saving money will no doubt be your primary concern as a fleet manager, it’s not all about the bottom line, as successful fuel monitoring can also help to cut your eco-footprint - an essential consideration for any forward-thinking business, especially one with corporate social responsibility commitments.
The trouble is, keeping on top of costs can be enough of a hassle without worrying about emissions targets, but simply using one of our Allstar fuel cards as part of your fleet management system means your business will benefit from our revolutionary Business Mileage Monitor – the simple way to keep on top of fuel costs and usage.
Why monitoring your eco-footprint is important
Climate change is a problem that every one of us needs to tackle in any way we can. This might not seem so difficult when it involves turning down the heating at home or not using the printer at work, but the success of your business relies on the regular consumption of fossil fuels it can be problematic.
But it’s a problem every fleet manager must tackle, as the CO2 emissions of your vehicles determines how much you pay in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), and also has an impact on taxable benefits in kind and expenses payments.
Monitoring your fleet’s eco-footprint is not only essential for making sure both tax and environmental commitments are met, it can also provide huge benefits when it comes to managing the efficiency of your fleet and cutting costs.
Measuring the fuel consumption and carbon emissions of each of your fleet vehicles means you’ll quickly be able to identify poorly performing drivers and inefficient vehicles that may need repairing or replacing. Highlighting these issues and putting in place relevant driver training or maintenance measures can help cut fuel usage and save money.
How to calculate your fleet’s eco-footprint
The most accurate way to calculate your fleet’s eco-footprint is to multiply the actual quantity of fuel used by the amount of CO2 emitted (measured in kilogrammes) per litre of fuel combusted, but you may find it easier to use the distance each of your fleet vehicles have travelled and each car’s official CO2 emissions.
Although you’ll have to make a slight adjustment to the emissions figures, because real-world emissions are often higher than official estimates, using our Business Mileage Monitor means you’ll have all the necessary usage figures for a more accurate calculation, whichever method you choose. That’s because it tracks and records your fleet’s journeys, providing you with up-to-date numbers, all collated in one place.
What should a well-run fleet be recording?
In order to effectively calculate the carbon footprint of your fleet, you need to keep track of the following:
- Amount of fuel used– knowing exactly how much fuel is being used by your fleet is essential for keeping on top of expenses and working out your carbon footprint. This can be done using the data gathered by your Allstar fuel card, which can also be used to differentiate personal miles from business miles, if necessary.
- Number of miles driven– A responsible fleet manager should also have a handle on the exact number of miles each vehicle in the fleet has covered. This number can then be used to work out driver efficiency and carbon footprint. Again, all of this information is collected by Allstar’s Business Mileage Monitor.
If you run a fleet of company-owned HGVs, vans or cars you should measure its carbon footprint by using the volume of fuel used and the mileage covered by each vehicle. You should also use this data if you manage a fleet of company cars, pool cars or rental cars.
If you don’t use a fuel card and don’t have these figures to hand, you’ll need to calculate your carbon footprint based upon business mileage and CO2 emissions. If you use diesel vehicles, you’ll also want to factor in NOx emissions. You’ll most likely have to use this method if you manage a grey fleet, whereby employees use their own vehicles for business use.
Using a fuel card is the best way of keeping track of how when and where your fleet is using fuel, as well as how much it’s paying for it.
How Allstar’s Business Mileage Monitor can help track fuel consumption
When you sign up for one of Allstar’s fuel cards, you’ll not only be making fuel payments more convenient and secure for your business and your drivers, you’ll also be getting access to our Business Mileage Monitor – the simplest and most accurate way to keep on top of your fleet’s fuel usage and spending.
Our fully automated system offers the following benefits, all of which can help you simply and accurately calculate your fleet’s carbon footprint:
- Accurate calculation of your driver’s mileage, both private and business
- Full details of ever driver’s journey
- Actual pence per mile calculations
- Breakdown of all drivers’ fuel card transactions, including an itemised VAT invoice
And once you have accurate carbon footprint figures, you can then work on ways to reduce it.
How to reduce your fleet’s eco-footprint
When looking to make your fleet more eco-friendly, you’ll need to implement the following as part of your carbon footprint initiative:
- Accurate journey data capture and measurement
- Accurate logging of fuel management and fuel consumption for individual drivers and vehicles
- Training, technology and engagement to promote efficient driving
- Grey fleet management to control risk and minimise mileage and fuel usage
- Overarching fleet policies to encourage efficient driver behaviour and more eco-friendly vehicle choice.
Putting in place these measures will help to identify where your fleet can cut fuel usage and save money, while the data offered by our Business Mileage Monitor can help your fleet cut its eco-footprint in the following ways:
- Change driver behaviour to cut fuel usage– Knowing how much fuel each of your drivers is using can help highlight inefficient behaviours, such as aggressive acceleration, heavy braking and driving in the wrong gear. If this is the case, you can introduce eco-driver training to help drivers save fuel and money by driving more efficiently.
- Ensure vehicles are properly maintained– It could be that it’s the vehicles, and not the drivers, that are to blame for high fuel consumption figures. Having visibility of the exact amount of fuel each vehicle is using can highlight any issues that might be resolved by repairs or regular maintenance, from making sure tyres are fully inflated to ensuring brake pads are in good working order.
Using an Allstar fuel card means you will also have access to EcoPoint, our carbon offset scheme. It is run in partnership with Forest Carbon, who plants trees to counteract your fleet’s emissions.
Carbon offset schemes are an effective way to help your business hit its emissions targets. Taking part in our scheme means you’ll purchase carbon credits that arise from carbon capture or carbon reduction projects, such as woodland creation, and this then means your business can compensate for its emissions and meet its carbon reduction goals.
And the benefits of carbon offsetting can also work wonders for the reputation of your business – having a more eco-friendly fleet can provide a key marketing differentiator that can help both attract and keep the growing number of customers that have strong beliefs on environmental issues.
Ready to go?
As you can see, a fuel card is an essential tool for any business looking to cut its carbon footprint - it’s time for your fleet to join the 38,000 businesses and 1.1 million drivers who save time, money and hassle by becoming a part of the Allstar fuel card family.
To get your Allstar fuel card, simply fill in this online form, or call our team on 0345 266 5101. Alternatively, click the ‘Request a callback’ link at the top of the page and we’ll get right back to you.