Improving Emissions with Data Transparency

High-quality data is essential for devising effective strategies to set realistic goals and more importantly, deliver on them.

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Sustainability goals continue to be a priority in today’s corporate landscape. According to Deloitte’s global State of the Consumer survey, 69% of respondents indicated that they want their companies to invest in sustainability efforts, including reducing carbon, using renewable energy, and reducing waste. They are not alone in that desire. The office of the White House has set a series of goals including: reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030, reaching 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, as well as achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. It’s clear that lowering carbon output is quickly becoming a top priority for individuals and the government alike.

Companies are notably taking this imperative seriously. Deloitte’s recent C-Suite Sustainability Report found that more than half of executives stated employee activism on climate matters has led their organizations to increase sustainability actions over the last year. Moreover, regulation is also important, as 65% of executives noted the changing regulatory environment as a factor in their increased action.

Unfortunately, awareness and action alone do not translate into results. Lack of transparency and clarity around goals can significantly hinder companies’ abilities to achieve meaningful carbon reductions. This issue isn’t niche. Despite clear appetite for positive change, LEK reporting finds that two of the three largest barriers to delivering on long-term sustainability ambition include a lack of relevant data needed to identify and prioritize key ESG opportunities and risks, as well as the absence of clearly defined implementation plan timeframes and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Lofty goals are great, and the ambition to meet them is even better, but it’s vital to not ignore crucial planning steps from the outset. When striving for sustainability objectives, the significance of data and measurement cannot be overstated. High-quality data is essential for devising effective strategies to set realistic goals and more importantly, deliver on them.

The Role of Data in Understanding Corporate Vehicle Emissions

Corporate vehicle programs whether they be those that are corporate owned or those that are grey fleet in nature (utilization of an employee’s personal vehicle for work related driving purposes) are an obvious place to start when it comes to reducing carbon output as road travel accounts for three-quarters of transport emissions. But it’s crucial to have the right tools in place to support these goals. Many companies struggle to reduce their emissions due to inadequate data and visibility. To truly tackle such a complex issue, a comprehensive approach must be taken throughout. For instance, when a company aims to decrease carbon emissions, it must first assess the makeup of the existing vehicles that are driven for work related purposes, identify the vehicles with the highest emissions, and initiate plans for their retirement and/or replacement with newer model years and/or more efficient and eco-friendly vehicles from an EPA ratings perspective.

Data transparency is the cornerstone of effective emission reduction strategies within corporate vehicle fleets. As such, tools like fleet mileage tracking apps can help enable companies to collect and share data transparently, providing insights into fuel consumption, mileage, and calculated carbon emissions. Accurate emissions measurement and monitoring can further enhance visibility, guiding sustainable decision-making. By rooting decision making in data, not only are results more quantifiable, but KPIs can also be measured.

Leveraging Information for Sustainable Decision Making

By leveraging data transparency, companies can identify emission hotspots and areas for improvement within their fleets. Measuring current vehicle emissions involves quantifying factors such as mileage, EPA vehicle ratings, and the overall carbon output of each vehicle. For example, understanding the variance in EPA ratings for vehicles, which span from 1 (least eco-friendly) to 10 (most environmentally friendly), is a crucial step. Gaining visibility into the current classification of vehicles driven for work allows leaders to devise strategies capable of instigating substantial change. Significantly, elevating lower-rated vehicles up the scale can result in considerable carbon reductions.

For instance, a vehicle rated at level 5, driven 15,000 miles annually, emits 5.5 metric tons of CO2. Yet, by swapping said vehicle for a newer or more efficient vehicle, to one with a rating of 6, emissions are reduced by 1.1 metric tons. Incremental changes can make immense impacts on sustainability goals. Through real-time monitoring and analysis, targeted strategies can be implemented to reduce emissions waste. Comprehensive reporting also offers insights for companies to strategically align with their objectives, helping gain genuine progress toward sustainability.

Meeting Objectives through Robust Data

By using a single source of truth, enhanced data accuracy allows precise planning for upcoming initiatives and monitoring progress against existing ones. Utilizing data tracking software enables the identification of opportunities for emissions reduction, providing actionable insights such as minimizing unnecessary travel, curbing fuel wastage, and considering electric and/or more EPA efficient alternatives. Data serves as a catalyst for companies to achieve their immediate, short-term, and long-term objectives. Through emissions data analysis, companies can pinpoint vehicles with elevated greenhouse gas emissions and areas where incentivizing employees to adopt more efficient vehicles is viable. Companies can refine their strategies for reducing carbon emissions, making informed decisions to drive meaningful progress.

Access to such detailed data empowers organizations to precisely quantify their targets and implement actionable measures to attain their goals. By adopting robust data management practices and collaborative approaches, companies can best prepare themselves for a sustainable future.

Creating a Cleaner Future through Clarity

As technological advancements continue, the transformative impact of data transparency on the makeup of vehicle management emerges as an integral part of the solution. Embracing a commitment to visibility and allocating resources toward pioneering solutions empowers companies to spearhead the transition towards a sustainable future. However, to effectively navigate this shift, businesses must firmly embrace data visibility as a foundational principle within their sustainability objectives. It is essential to acknowledge that alongside ambitious goals, the utilization of appropriate tools plays a pivotal role in achieving outcomes that not only empower employees but also accelerate positive environmental change.