How Eco-Friendly Fleet Management Boosts Brand Equity
Environmentalism isn’t a fad. It’s ingrained in the minds of modern consumers and very much here to stay. One study even found that eco-friendliness now ranks alongside price and product features as a critical factor when consumers who to buy. Like with most other industries, having a genuine commitment to protecting the environment is essentail to building substantial brand equity for today’s fleets.
And that’s where eco-friendly fleet management comes in. In this post, we’ll unpack how it boosts brand equity, along with other benefits, and provide concrete tips for becoming more eco-friendly.
A Shift in Consumer Thinking
Environmental concerns are by no means new. Ever since the widespread use of coal during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, pollution has had a noticeable impact on the environment. But those concerns have accelerated in the 21st century, and there’s been a palpable shift in consumer thinking.
According to a 2019 survey by multinational professional services company Accenture, 72% of respondents said they bought more environmentally friendly products that year than they did five years prior. Further, 81% said they expected to buy even more environmentally friendly products over the next five years. So within a decade, there’s been a huge push to support eco-friendly brands. This is a trend nearly all industries should be aware of, and fleet management is no exception.
“A significant shift in customer buying behaviors, combined with a willingness to pay more for products from eco-friendly companies, has reinforced the need for today’s brands to make a difference in their branding initiatives,” explains marketing director/brand master Stewart Hodgson. “From day one, organizations need to think carefully about how they embed a commitment to caring for the environment into their brand identity.”
The Correlation Between Eco-Friendliness and Brand Equity for Fleets
A quick look at current consumer sentiment shows that people prefer brands that take environmental protection seriously. So it only makes sense there’s a correlation between being eco-friendly and having substantial brand equity. Today’s consumers will naturally gravitate toward companies that take initiatives to minimize pollution and reduce emissions, which is precisely why this should be such a high priority for fleet managers.
The bottom line is this — the more effective you are at lowering emissions and the cleaner your overall fleet infrastructure, the more your brand equity will grow.
We’re seeing such a massive push from fleets to do this, with many even striving to reach “net-zero” in upcoming decades. In fact, nearly 1,400 companies have already promised to cut their emissions to zero using various carbon-reduction technologies. While that’s a lofty ambition, and it remains to be seen if net-zero is genuinely attainable, it shows how many severe companies are about eco-friendly fleet management.
To stay competitive, this is something you’ll want to get on board with as well. Again, you don’t necessarily need to hit net-zero, but it’s crucial to clean up your fleet infrastructure as much as possible.Nearly 1,400 companies have already promised to cut their emissions to zero using various carbon-reduction technologies Click To Tweet
At this point, we’ve established that eco-friendly fleet management is important from a branding standpoint and that it can positively impact the longevity and long-term profitability of your business. But it offers some other, more immediate benefits that can add to your overall profitability.
For example, by implementing cutting-edge vehicle calibration technology, you can significantly lower your idle rate and increase fuel efficiency. In turn, this can result in spending 6 – 10% less on fuel per month, profitability dramatically. Even for smaller fleets with 15 or so vehicles, the savings can add up in a hurry. But for much larger ones with hundreds or even thousands of vehicles, the savings can be astronomical.
Take, for instance, a case study involving the nation’s 5th largest commercial fleet that makes thousands of daily service calls to homes and businesses in more than 40 states. After implementing vehicle calibration across a control group of 150 cargo vans and 300 similar vehicles, they their fuel spending by 9%, resulting in 2.7 million gallons of fuel saved. As a result, they could save a staggering $7.5 million. In terms of environmental impact, that’s the equivalent of saving 620,000 trees over years.
Being eco-friendly like this is the ultimate win-win because you spend far less money on fuel while at the same time drastically reducing emissions. That way, you’re increasing profitability while also helping the environment and boosting your brand equity.
Tools for Eco-Friendly Fleet Management
This begs the question: What specific tools can you use for more eco-friendly fleet management? One of the industry leaders is VQ Efficiency, a fully customizable fleet management software solution that can be installed in just 30 minutes.
There are three key features of this platform that contribute to eco-friendliness:
- Idle reduction
- Eco adjustments
- Speed governor
With idle reduction, you can significantly reduce the idle rate of each vehicle without affecting the ventilation or heating performance. As a result, less fuel is consumed, and fewer emissions are released into the atmosphere. Given that excessive idling is one of the most significant sources of emissions and profit loss for many companies, this alone can go a long way toward creating a more eco-friendly fleet while also increasing profitability.
VQ Efficiency also gives you a simple way to track the idle performance of your fleet, allowing you to rank drivers from highest to lowest and see how many minutes each vehicle spends idling. That way, you can find educational opportunities to get everyone’s idle time to an acceptable level.
Eco adjustment allows you to “green” your operation, where a vehicle’s automatic transmission parameters are adjusted to reduce fuel consumption throughout their routes. On top of that, drivers have a smoother driving experience for an added plus.
Finally, a speed governor reduces emissions by limiting how fast a driver can go based on what’s mandated in your fleet’s policy. Rather than simply relying on “best practices” and suggesting a driver doesn’t surpass a restricted speed, this feature ensures they’re never in a position where they can exceed it.
While this has its obvious safety advantages, helping keep fleet drivers and others on the road safer, it also makes vehicles more eco-friendly. A study from the US Department of Energy, for example, found driving at 60 mph is up to 25% more fuel-efficient than driving at 75 mph because of less wind resistance. So when you look at speed governor usage at scale across an entire fleet, it can lead to a substantial drop in emissions.
Helping the Environment While Boosting Your Brand Equity
Not only is being eco-friendly important from an ethical perspective but it’s also become a significant contributor to brand equity in recent years. With modern consumers showing a clear preference for companies that do their part to help the environment, it’s easy to see why making a shift toward being more eco-friendly can aid in brand building. While this applies to companies in numerous industries, it’s essential for fleets because of the amount of emissions they produce.
And as we discussed earlier, a growing number of fleets are taking serious measures in this department, working diligently to lower their emissions in upcoming decades. So there’s no better time to make eco-friendly fleet management a core objective for your fleet.