Sustainability

How to Efficiently Transition Your Fleet Towards a More Sustainable Future

By August 10, 2022 No Comments

How to ensure your fleet transitions towards a more sustainable future in the most efficient manner

The dos and don’ts of a sustainable transition for your organisation.

The quick read – what you need to know

  • Optimising and improving fleet efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce a company’s carbon footprint and reach sustainability targets
  • Electronic Vehicles (EVs) are a great option, but transitioning your entire fleet right here and now may not be the answer
  • Reducing the size of your fleet should be the first step towards sustainability
  • LBM Fleet’s technology harnesses data to enable the most affordable, sustainable, and efficient fleet strategy

We know business and government organisations rely on their fleets for the day-to-day transportation needs and general operational requirements of their team. We also know that every vehicle on the road contributes carbon emissions. In ten or so years’ time, Electronic Vehicles (EVs) will undoubtedly reign supreme on our roads. But how do we get from point A to point B in a smooth, orderly, cost effective and sustainable manner? Amidst the excitement and support for an EV powered future, we must acknowledge that EVs are only a part of the solution, rather than a fix-all for a larger sustainability problem.  

When it comes to fleet management, ‘sustainability’ has been the buzzword for some time. A variety of factors, including a move away from public transport (a lasting effect of the pandemic) has resulted in more cars on the roads and has negatively impacted emission targets.  

The latest Climate Council Annual Report highlighted a fundamental change is needed in the way decision-makers communicate with the public, and shape the public narrative. This is imperative to combating climate change. We are seeing action through how companies are increasingly embedding ESG objectives in order to implement a far more sustainable approach across all aspects of business, with strategies that create actual, tangible change. 

By optimising your fleet management strategy using the correct technology, you can work to minimise the impact your organisation has on the environment, reach your sustainability targets, minimise financial loss and collectively be a part of solution to a lower carbon future.  

So, then, how can you be sure that your enterprise is making the most sustainable choices when it comes to fleet management? 

There is no doubt a majority of fleets will need to adopt EVs in some way, shape or form. However, rather than jumping the gun and making a pre-emptive switch, reduction of your fleet size is without a doubt, the first step towards a more sustainable fleet.  

Just like other areas of life, the phrase ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ applies to fleet management. By refining and reducing the size of a fleet, fleet consumption and emissions will automatically decrease.  

Many government organisations and enterprises have already seen significant emission reductions since reducing and optimising the size of their fleets. The City of Sydney led the way towards a greener, cleaner future, when they implemented their own sustainable fleet management program in 2010.  

By reducing the size of their fleet by 25% (from 600 to 450 vehicles) as a first step, the local government was able to make targeted decisions, backed by data, to optimise the composition of their smaller fleet. This reduction, combined with a new mixed composition of fleet vehicles, including hybrid models, EVs and retrofitted trucks, allowed for a large reduction in emissions.  

Four years on from the program implementation, the local government reduced its annual carbon dioxide equivalents emissions by 26% from 3,155 tonnes to 2,350 tonnes – without compromising on service delivery and fleet efficiency. Insightful data highlighting real change.  

This case study is a viable example of a smooth and efficient transition for fleets, that allows for minimum wastage, optimal usage and appropriate choice of vehicle for the job at hand. Not to mention a sizeable cost saving.  Like the City of Sydney, organisations need to rethink their fleet strategy with sustainability at its core. LBM knows technology, intelligence, and data is key to increasing the efficiency and sustainability of an organisations’ fleet and helps organisations build a strategy that will create positive change, as well as provide the data to prove it.   

Speaking with our LBM Fleet CEO Gerard McLennan, he offers a deeper look into why it’s so easy as a fleet manager, to ‘see green,’ without a concrete transition strategy, backed by transparent data. 

If making a full transition to EV is not the immediate next step towards sustainability, what is?  

EVs emit less emissions, and therefore, EV is ‘green’. However, swapping all fleet vehicles out for new, shiny EV models, without first reducing and optimising the composition of a fleet, would not only result in financial losses, but will ultimately harm the environment. Businesses are at a crucial point. The transition towards more sustainable fleet management options, in order to reduce emissions, needs to be in motion. But change can’t happen overnight. 

A transition strategy needs to consider multiple factors. Although EVs are a large part of the solution, they aren’t the only change that needs to occur, nor can or should they necessarily be the first change to be made. When you reduce the size of a fleet, you automatically reduce emissions, as less vehicles are being made, driven, and then traded in for newer models.

How can a fleet be reduced and optimised further to be more sustainable and efficient? 

At LBM, we are all about data. We look at the cars’ usage, inefficiencies, asset composition, company fleet policies and operational footprint to determine the correct, and most efficient size an organisation’s fleet should be. We ensure that the assets an organisation chooses to build its fleet with, are fit for purpose. Buying 1,000 EV models for a company that does a lot of off-road driving, for example, is not efficient or appropriate. We delete the cars that are unnecessary in the first place and optimise the cars you do need. 

Reduction is in LBM’s DNA, having worked with a variety of different organisations and enterprises to reduce some fleets by up to 50%, we’ve seen year on year emissions reductions as a result. This, accompanied with optimal fleet compositions (mix of EV and hybrid), is the way forward.   

If not EV now, then when? 

Fleet managers should be starting the process of moving towards EVs in a strategic manner. Thankfully, if fleet managers act now, there is still time to transition in an effective, sustainable manner.  

There’s no doubt the proportion of EVs will increase eventually, but effectively, you need to look at the data to determine when Australia will be ready for this, and to make the right decision. With the right data, you can decide, scientifically, which assets should be EV, and which shouldn’t, which assets should be hybrid, which assets should or shouldn’t be renewed and so on. 

In short, data is the answer, and the answers are in the data. Efficiency is at the core of sustainability – not strategies and marketing campaigns that promote a greener future without considering what a greener future will look like in practice and without creating real change. 

Get in touch with our Customer Solutions team to discuss how we can help optimise your fleet today.