Ray LaHood highlights need for smart GPS fleet tracking

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dot-ghg-environmental-green-fleetsIn a recent article Ray LaHood of the DOT mentioned that the transportation sector accounts for two-thirds of U.S. oil use and contributes about one-third of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. He then made a telling statement about the transport industry’s special obligation to minimize this sizeable carbon footprint.

His comments come on the heels of a 605-page DOT report on climate change, and if you don’t feel inclined to read it (or don’t have 3 days to study it in detail!) then here’s the basic synopsis:

“This report is focused on studying the impact of America’s transportation system on climate change and strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing GHG emissions from transportation. It examined the potential impact of GHG reduction strategies on air quality, petroleum savings, transportation goals, costs, and other factors, as well as potential tradeoffs in order to develop balanced solutions.”

The study purports to be based on published scientific literature, current policy studies, and best professional estimates.

These latest comments and the stream of reports and studies issuing from the DOT are all trying to tell us something, and it’s something that GPS tracking systems can help us achieve.

What does this mean for fleet professionals?

So what can fleet managers, VPs of transport and other fleet professionals get from these latest comments from the U.S. Secretary of Transportation? It’s not hard to see where all this is heading, as both the international and domestic scene move steadily towards environmental consciousness and heavier legislation against fossil fuel use.

Green fleets, something that has had a lot of press over the years but failed to get a lot of traction, will move from being an optional extra to a legislated requirement for fleets.

If you currently manage a fleet, there is probably a few questions you should be asking yourself:

  • How easy is it for us to report on our GHG emissions?
  • What steps are we taking to minimize GHG emissions?
  • Are we ready to meet new government GHG emissions requirements?
  • Do we proactively take the initiative to reduce emissions where possible?

Reviewing questions like this can help you determine your readiness for increasingly strict environmental policies that will come in future years.

GHG emission minimization – Enjoy the benefits

Fleet owners who are inwardly groaning at the prospect of increased government legislation to limit GHG emissions can take some comfort in the fact that compliance can actually result in increased profitability. How?

In one particular case study, a set of fleet vehicles were analyzed before and after implementing Telogis Route (a GPS tracking solution) and the results were impressive. The fleet had achieved a 56% reduction in the number of miles driven and, in other tests, even previously optimized fleets achieved a 12% reduction. Based on the average number of fleet miles, this would mean a saving of more than 180 gallons of fuel, or 3,800lbs less CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere.

At $3 a gallon, that is a clear saving of $540 per vehicle, not to mention the reduced maintenance and staff operating costs.

Start now to comply with GHG legislation

Beat the rest of the pack by implementing your green fleet initiative – you’ll not only get a jump on your competition but you’ll be ready to comply with any future government GHG legislations that are bound to be just round the corner.

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