EDF Video Targets Fleet Reductions in CO2
08 February 2010
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has introduced a new video, titled The Power of Scale, that outlines a few simple steps—such as rightsizing vehicles, reducing idling, planning an efficient route, and removing excess cargo—to guide companies with vehicle fleets in cutting costs and CO2 emissions.
The video visually depicts how small actions done by many can result in big changes for the corporate bottom line and the health of the planet.
Fleet efficiency has become an increasingly important issue for corporations as they look for opportunities to reduce their environmental impact. Currently, there are more than 3 million corporate fleet vehicles in the United States emitting 45 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The Power of Scale demonstrates that companies can reduce their corporate fleet emissions by 6 million metric tons per year and collectively save more than US$2 billion.
The video is accessible at EDF’s website: http://edf.org/greenfleet, and is part of a larger EDF effort to contribute to managing greenhouse gases in passenger, delivery and freight fleets. More broadly, EDF proposes a five-step “Green Fleet Framework” including:
- Measure emissions and set goals
- Improve vehicle selection
- Improve vehicle use
- Consider carbon offsets
- Report progress
I am always skeptical when an environmental lobby group provides guidelines for any aspect of transportation. They usually have a single 'ideal lifestyle' set out that everyone should aspire to - therein is the flaw. When you promote a single goal to anything, you always polarize people, companies, and the public sector. If we subscribe to the idea that technology, individual aspirations, and social cohesion are important to a society trying to develop itself and overcome problems, then following a single path to glory (environmental glory in this case) is often counter-productive. Choice, alternatives, and objective step-goals allow many different approaches that empower more people - though it may seem a chaos at first (witness carbon-reduction schemes, transport technology, and political goals). It can never be 'environment first' it must always be economy, environment, and people together.
Though, i do agree that new approaches can often come from groups with narrow fields of vision - just don't give them too much influence.
Posted by: Jer | 08 February 2010 at 07:24 AM
I would add staff training and fuel saving bonuses to this - as follows:
1: You benchmark the routes.
2: You train the staff in economical driving.
3: You gather stats on the fuel usage and give back (say) 20% of the savings to the staff.
4: This would include the drivers and the maintenance staff if you had any.
5: If you have unions, you being them in on this once you have the routes benchmarked.
a: What do you do when you get a new set of vehicles - presumably these will be more efficient than the first lot - how do you "re-benchmark" these without the guys gaming the system.
b: You have to be careful that the guys don't go too slowly and hold up traffic (or if you had buses, the guys might "forget" to stop every now and then).
There are a lot of human factors here, and if you can work out a fair way of recompensing the drivers for economical driving, the problem will largely solve itself.
Posted by: mahonj | 08 February 2010 at 07:25 AM
Agree with Jer generally that "one-mind" approach dismisses the value in diversity of ideas. Mono-logic is little different than a monopoly. And let's remember that the human experience does not necessarily value peak efficiency as a desirable lifestyle. Efficiency is a concept applicable to electro-mechanical/chemical systems doing some kind of work. If you look at the plant kingdom, say photosynthesis, it is not terribly efficient - however it is very successful.
The difference between organic, natural and mechanical lifestyles defines human experience and desires. Sometime we choose to turn off the GPS and take the long back country road home. Why? Because it provides a positive emotional experience that adds to quality of life. Well worth the extra energy used and elongated time to home base.
The spirit in us might say it's more time to commune with the creation.
Posted by: sulleny | 08 February 2010 at 03:54 PM