Injecting more sustainability into construction fleets
Climate change is among today’s hottest debates and social causes, prompting global corporations to rewrite their business strategies to reduce and eventually achieve a zero carbon footprint. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are at the heart of climate change discussions, with global economic activity producing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels estimated at 50% of pre-industrialization levels.
Companies in the building and construction sectors face enormous pressure from key stakeholders, environmental groups, customers and shareholders to find ways to reduce GHG emissions from their manufacturing facilities and of their building partners.
These challenges are further exacerbated by shortages of materials such as siding, windows, framing and roofing, resulting in construction delays for customers. This is important to note, as 87% of construction companies say customer retention is a driver of their sustainability orientation today.
Climate change affects builders on many levels
In recent years, more builders and their construction partners have taken steps to launch these ESG plans and targets. To complicate matters further, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released a proposed rule that would improve and standardize climate-related information provided by public companies.
Under the proposal, a registrant will be required to comply with GHG emissions disclosures in qualitative governance disclosures in its annual reports (eg, Form 10-K). In addition to adhering to GHG improvements, companies must document their emissions certifications for SEC filings.
This is essential because equipment that serves the construction industry, such as medium and heavy vehicles, including semi-trailers, large pickups and vans, delivery trucks and garbage trucks, produce approximately 24% of transport emissions.
How can construction transport fleets progress?
A significant industry challenge is to answer the question of how to effectively move the construction industry towards a zero-carbon future in a sustainable way. This is a significant challenge and many manufacturers today are looking for the right solution.
Companies that operate heavy truck fleets in construction continue to deliberate on the best strategy and approach. They want to do what is right for their key stakeholders; customers, employees, the environmentally conscious public and shareholders. However, the economics of battery electric, hydrogen, and other alternative energy technology are not yet viable today for long-haul transportation in the United States, and perhaps not for a few decades. for these operations.
Identify a realistic bridge to power alternative technologies
The best approach to realistically connect the clean diesel technology of today with the alternative fuel options of tomorrow is to lead with the appropriate ESG roadmap supported by strategic asset management partners to determine the strategies for supply of trucks with optimal life cycle management. This will maximize environmental considerations and organically progress towards alternative fuel technology. In doing so, fleets will achieve critical ESG goals and consistently use the most appropriate equipment for their operations.
It is critical for these companies and their fleets to appropriately manage their total cost of ownership (TCO) through accurate truck lifecycle cost management (LCCM). With advances in asset management and business intelligence, the transportation industry is paying greater attention to the life cycles of their trucks to understand where they can drive sustainability and cost metrics by optimizing life cycles. replacement.
Rather than extending the truck’s use for several years, companies are relying on fleet modernization studies and innovative emissions dashboards that look at each truck’s performance data and economic factors to determine a optimal supply and disposal strategy.
Emissions Dashboard reviews the entire fleet by year, make, model and compares fuel and mileage data and provides detailed CO information2 nitrogen oxides (NOX) and the reduction in particulate matter (PM) in metric tons and gallons of fuel saved, each time the truck was replaced, along with the expected savings.
By shortening asset lifecycles, optimizing vehicle specifications to be more fuel efficient, and aligning with duty cycle as well as geographic parameters, technology-based business intelligence The analysis leads to better asset management decisions to execute environmental criteria through continuous reduction of emissions, fuel consumption and waste oils.
In addition to reducing emissions, an appropriate LCCM improves safety records and driver retention goals while reducing maintenance expenses and the company’s total cost of ownership.
Real, Real Data Proves the Difference
A data-driven LCCM plan helps fleets make real changes to benefit their bottom line, as well as environmental results. The average driving mpg for a fleet of 500 units operating over a five-year life cycle is 8.41. The average mpg for an eight-year life cycle is 7.90. Organizations went from an 8-year life cycle to a 5-year life cycle, resulting in a total net reduction of 2.49 million gallons of fuel. This has a significant impact over five to 10 years, producing a powerful reduction in CO2 25,122 metric tons and 6.1%.
Additionally, emissions dashboard data shows that upgrading to a 2024 model year truck from a 2018 model would result in a 16% increase in fuel economy and reduction in emissions. of CO2 emissions. These metrics are backed by data, allowing a supply chain organization that typically operates a truck for seven to 10 years to transition to a four-year lifecycle, which has a more meaningful impact toward a more planetary green and more sustainable.
Industry-wide change does not happen overnight. This industry has operated according to inherited thinking and philosophies for many decades. We started this campaign and instituted changes in 2014 and the industry did not react instantly to the changes. However, as the focus on the importance and stewardship of the environment grew in importance and ESG strategies became more of a priority, fleets began to receive, accept and adapt this message. This was further underscored when these organizations saw real impact through real data.
Today, we’ve gone a step further by implementing real world conversions to electric vehicles and alternative fuels where it makes the most practical and applicable sense, but we’re doing it where the data tells us it does. makes sense, not just because headlines continually offer pressure to change for the sake of popularity. And to help companies disclose with the SEC, we recently introduced a new certification program to help corporate truck fleets certify their greenhouse gas emissions output to help them be as transparent as possible to key stakeholders.
We believe building and construction fleets that position themselves as true industry leaders will remain patient and make decisions based on real data and metrics without basing their decisions on external pressures solely focused on popularity.