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5 ways that Fleet Hero Award winners have cut CO2

With just a week to go until entries close for this year’s Energy Saving Trust Fleet Hero awards, we look at the landmark achievements made by the 2016 winners to green their fleet and the extensive benefits they’ve seen.

Fleet Hero Awards

Fleet Hero Awards

1. Integrating ULEVs into fleet

Organisation: Farmdrop

Award won: Ultra Low Emission Fleet

As a London-based online farmers market on a self-confessed “mission to fix the food chain”, Farmdrop also had to rethink its supply chain to ensure its bid to offer customers much fresher, more local food was also backed up behind the scenes.

Mindful of local air pollution issues, the company sought an alternative to the ubiquitous refrigerated diesel delivery vans in the industry and took the decision to deploy a 100% electric delivery vehicle fleet. As a result, Farmdrop now run more than 10 Nissan e-NV200 vans in London, and earlier this month launched in Bristol and Bath.

The switch to the electric vans necessitated a number of issues to be overcome, including the need for rapid charging to balance out delivery requirements against the vehicles’ real-world ranges. As a result, the firm implemented a ‘non-delivery’ window between its morning and afternoon deliveries to allow for rapid charging while also deploying route planning software.

The results:

Farmdrop estimates that since introducing EVs, it has saved roughly 45% running costs while saving around 14.2 tonnes of tailpipe carbon emissions.

The company has also been awarded ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status and advises other organisations on the pros and cons of going electric.

2. Reducing grey fleet usage

Organisation: Gateshead Council

Award won: Grey Fleet Management

Cutting grey fleet mileage has been a priority for the council for many years and for over 10 years it’s deployed a Travel Plan that promotes alternative modes of travel, backed up since 2015 by a linked website that provides up-to-date info as well as discounted public transport and easy-to-access cycle facilities.

The council has also implemented a pool car fleet of 18 vehicles – including hybrids and EVs – with the added benefit of out-of-hours use as a car club by employees and the public. This has been further backed up by the implementation of solar panels and charging points.

The results:

The council’s initiatives have brought about a reduction in grey fleet mileage of over 33%, equating to over 800,000 less grey fleet miles per year. The amount of electric grey fleet miles travelled per year has increased by over 600% from 2014/15 to 2015/16.

3. Deploying telematics

Organisation: West Yorkshire Police

Award won: Best Public Sector Fleet

A regular Fleet Hero Award winner, West Yorkshire Police scooped the Best Public Sector Fleet title last year in recognition of its latest efforts in sustainable fleet management.

Its many eco-orientated initiatives include implementing telematics into 600 vehicles across the fleet to review fleet usage, identify where efficiencies can be made and to ensure maximum vehicle utilisation – as a result, the police force has been able to reduce its fleet size without impacting on service delivery.

Telematics is also fitted to the force’s low-emission pool vehicles to monitor usage and driver behaviour.

The results:

Between 2011/12 and 2015/16, overall mileage was cut more than 3 million miles, attributed in the main to the implementation of telematics, along with a small reduction in fleet size, which has cut many unnecessary journeys.

4. Eco driver training

Organisation: Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare

Award won: Fuel Efficient Driving

Formerly known as Park House Healthcare, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has had a keen focus on fuel-efficient driving for many years, as recognised by its Eco Driving title in the 2014 EST Fleet Hero Awards, and the organisation’s ongoing efforts led it to scoop the award for fuel-efficient driving again in 2016.

Despite having doubled its fleet in recent years, the company has also deployed fuel-saving initiatives including widespread driver training, delivered both in house and externally. Service centres are located to maximise efficiency, vehicles are economically loaded and delivery routes are similarly planned. Tracking software collects data to allow driver performance to be measured and managed. Vehicles are also replaced by more efficient models where possible. Fuel usage has reduced from 3,960 litres/vehicle in 2012 to 3,145 litres/vehicle in 2015.

The results:

Between the end of 2012 and the end of 2015, the organisation increased its average fleet mpg by 44%, from 23.43mpg to 33.88mpg. By the end of August 2016 this had risen again to 34.07mpg.

5. Downsizing vehicles

Organisation: Z-Tech Control Systems

Award won: Best Business Sector Fleet

Z-Tech Control Systems, which provides intelligent engineering solutions, has actually taken the Fleet Heroes Best Business Sector Fleet twice in recognition of how it’s integrated a low-emission ethos into its operations and business culture.

The company, which has greening its fleet since its first EST Fleet Review in 2009, has deployed a number of actions including ongoing reviews and profiles of its fleet to ensure it’s running the greenest vehicles and downsizing where possible. This included the key action of deploying a new vehicle size for its fleet categories to reduce dependence on Transit vans. As such the Ford Courier, Connect and Fiesta now make up the vast majority of its fleet – the firm has calculated that changing from a Transit to a Fiesta saved around 22% in fuel consumption.

Z-Tech also deployed its first BMW electric motorbike in 2016, replacing a diesel van, and added a second in 2017. And it’s also running two Nissan eNV200s for a Transport for London contract and evaluating a further two Nissan eNV200 electric vans under a Highways England trial.

Other actions include implementing a flexible ULEV-focused policy that has increased the proportion of plug-ins and hybrids on the fleet and eliminated grey fleet usage. The firm has also adopted a technology-led focus, installing speed limiters and cameras in all company vehicles, and deployed an in-house scheduling tool for verification teams.

The results:

Since its first EST review, the company has continually worked to reduce CO2 emissions, implementing all recommendations within the report and meeting its 15% CO2 reduction target in 2013 – earlier than planned – leading it to further tighten the target.

  • This year’s Fleet Hero Awards cover nine different categories including the new title of ‘Ultra-low Emission Infrastructure’. Applications are open until 20 September. For more details, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.


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