How does “ESG” play a role in fleet, beyond EVs?
In recent years, the acronym “ESG” has become a popular buzzword in the business world. Regardless of the industry, Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance is having an increasingly greater impact on how corporations shape their values and business strategies.
The idea of ESG is to take a more holistic approach to business where profits are not necessarily the center of focus. With ESG in mind, corporate strategies should represent the interest of a multitude of stakeholders, such as the global environment, your local communities and those within the organization. This approach promotes the use of ethical practices across the board with the goal of creating a business that is both profitable and socially responsible.
ESG for fleets
When it comes to fleet management, the E in ESG can carry a bit more weight. With transportation being one of the greatest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, environmental preservation is becoming increasingly important across the industry. The practice of ESG at a higher level helps fleets to stay accountable for their negative impact and enact positive change.
We recently had the pleasure of participating on a panel at Fleet Forward Conference in Santa Clara, California discussing ESG as it relates to fleet. We discussed the common concerns among fleet professionals as the world continues to demand sustainable change and an overhaul of the industry’s dependency on fossil fuels.
One of the biggest concerns typically comes from managers who consider electrification as the only solution, but do not see it as feasible for their own fleet. Consider utility, commercial or construction fleets. A majority of these heavy-duty vehicles are not readily available in EV versions, so what options do these fleets have for going green?
Sustainability beyond EVs
The idea that EVs are a fleet’s only option for implementing sustainable changes is an understandable, but incorrect, assumption. Green technology is progressing more each year, with more options available for fleets than ever.
Alternative fuels, for one, open a world of possibilities for fleets. Beyond the traditional and heavy-polluting diesel and gasoline options, fleets today can choose between natural gas, hydrogen, biodiesel and renewable diesel. Each green fuel has its own set of pros and cons when it comes to performance, price and accessibility, but each also outperforms gas and diesel when it comes to reduced emissions.
Fleet managers can weigh their options, with new developments in biofuel emerging each year, and decide if any of these alternative fuels could be a sustainable solution for their fleet.
Where fleet data comes in
Another powerful tool that many fleet managers don’t consider when it comes to implementing greener strategies is their own fleet data. A fleet’s data offers insights into missed opportunities to reduce fuel consumption, reduce waste and emissions, EV or alternative fuel candidacy and so much more.
When it comes to phasing out ICEVs, fleet data can give you an excellent starting point in assessing which vehicles are better candidates for electrification or alternative fuels. Even if electrification is not feasible for you today, knowing the possibilities for your fleet can help in shaping your ESG strategy.
Using their data, managers can also assess their fleet’s fuel consumption and identify ways to cut back. This could happen by optimizing fleet routes and monitoring for excessive vehicle idle times in order to reduce waste. Similarly, data can be used to monitor how your fleet trends in GHG emissions overtime and keep you accountable to your sustainability goals.
Ultimately, the main takeaway when it comes to ESG for fleets is the electric vehicles are not the only option. Sustainability can be approached from numerous different angles and by taking advantage of their fleet data, fleets can find the unique approach that works best for them.