Field Services Businesses: Do Your Part for Sustainability, Like the Big Guys

Field Services Sustainability

What steps are you taking to protect the environment? As a field service business owner, maybe you’re using energy-efficient lighting or going paperless at the office, or discouraging your drivers from needlessly engine-revving or idling. All great efforts!

But let’s take a look at what some of the companies with the largest fleets are doing. With bigger footprints and more resources—and way more marketplace influence—they’re leading the way for smaller outfits, like yours, that may be looking for sustainability best practices.

How Large Companies Are “Showing Up” for Sustainability

FedEx, one of the first companies to support commercial vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas legislation and regulation, practices a Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize strategy. Their goal to increase vehicle fuel efficiency by 50% (from a 2005 baseline) by 2025 has already achieved a 35% improvement. Here’s the gist of their program:

  • Reduce: With a focus on efficiency and customer service, optimize vehicle routing to reduce overall mileage and fuel use, thereby reducing vehicle emissions.
  • Replace: Rather than using the same type vehicle for differing applications, upgrade to more efficient vehicles and bring new efficiencies to less-than-truckload (LTL) freight carriers.
  • Revolutionize: Continue to explore new possibilities in the areas of alternative fuels, hybrid-electrics, plug-in hybrid-electrics, fuel cell and all electric vehicles.

PepsiCo, Amazon, HP, IKEA, McDonald’s, UPS, and Walmart—just a few among a growing group of companies in the business of buying and shipping—stand by BSR’s Sustainable Fuel Buyers’ Principles, which support a shared vision of commercial road freight fueled by low-carbon, sustainable technology. Here’s an overview of the principles:

  • Build the Market
    • Support low-carbon, sustainable fuel choices
    • Demonstrate competitiveness with existing solutions
    • Advance investment, pilots, and standardization
  • Manage Sustainable Progress
    • Measurably improve well-to-wheels climate impacts
    • Address other relevant sustainability impacts and benefits
    • Invest in R&D Breakthroughs
  • Partner and Collaborate for systemic solutions

How Field Service Business Can Get Started

Taking a cue from larger organizations, you can start by making a commitment to sustainability. Next, assess your existing practices (and fleet vehicles) so you’ll know where to prioritize your efforts. Visit CarbonFund’s Fleet Calculator or access tools and resources from Carnegie Mellon’s Green Design Institute, The Climate Registry and Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Depending on your goals and financial resources, you might decide on a time to replace or upgrade your business vehicles, or put them on a more regular maintenance schedule. This is where fleet telematics solution comes in handy! You can start monitoring and tracking your employees’ environmentally unfriendly behind-the-wheel behaviors like speeding, hard-braking, and idling—and then start holding them accountable to more mindful driving.

Need more inspiration? Check out these Simple Tips For Going Green In The Office And On The Road


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