The last decade energy efficiency has merged with energy accountability. A 2021 study Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit and Oxford Net Zero showed that nearly a quarter of the world’s largest companies have made net zero commitments. 

The recent energy crisis has fiercely pushed energy efficiency to top of mind. Meanwhile a growing number of companies impose increasingly stringent CO2 conditions on the whole of their operations.

Whether motivated by the bottom line, by sustainability and climate awareness, or most times a blend of both, companies are seriously looking into their energy consumption and carbon footprint. And just as energy efficiency has, CO2 emissions have become a common auditable requirement. 

When discussing the regular additions in audited information, Marcel Meyer, head of sustainability Services at Deloitte Switzerland, described the growing transparency around sustainability as the most comprehensive and significant change since the middle of the last century.

Driving towards net zero

For organizations and companies that employ a sizable vehicle fleet, fuel consumption and emissions are a clear focal point.  

Multiple studies have proven a direct correlation between driver behavior, and fuel efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gasses. 

The findings confirm that aggressive driving results in the highest fuel consumption and emissions. One study shows that “less than a minute of high-powered driving produces the same GHG volume as half an hour of normal driving”. 

Driver behavior can affect the fuel efficiency of a vehicle by 5% to 30%. These are significant numbers, but for purposes of this article it is also worth noting these results are regardless of vehicle size or engine displacement.  

This implies that similar auditable results regarding energy efficiency and accountability are to be expected regarding internal logistics, i.e. on-site vehicles such as forklifts. 

Research investigating the impact of forklift driver behavior on energy consumption and productivity, confirms a comparable relation. Relevant takeaways from this research being: 

  • drivers performing similar tasks have different driving behaviors
  • average speed is the most significant variable that affects the energy consumption. 
  • Other driving behaviors that increase the energy efficiency are a high deceleration rate, a low acceleration rate, a large steady speed duration. 

Apart from the self-evident impact on safety, just having all vehicles in your on-site fleet respecting the appropriate speed limits saves fuel. A safe and ‘disciplined’ driving style leads to less maintenance and energy savings of up to 25%

Digital Driver Coach vs CO2 reduction

While classic training is focused on knowledge and skills, Rombit’s Digital Driver Coach provides you actual data of each driver’s safety performance, allowing individual coaching. With the Driverbox extension, drivers receive immediate feedback for out-of-tolerance driving such as sudden braking, sudden accelerations, sharp turns, lane crossing and speeding. 

This results in a significant and sustainable improvement of driver behavior with proven results for all stakeholders: 

  • management: improved eco- and energy efficiency
  • driver: improvement of skills and individual evaluations on objective data. 
  • HSEQ: higher overall safety and regulatory compliance
  • human resources: personal coaching capabilities

“At Schrauwen, we have around 30 forklifts that are continuously on the move. At the end of each day, we want to ensure that our operations were completed safely and efficiently. It is therefore essential we get honest, neutral feedback to offer our drivers qualitative coaching.”

— Tom Van Molle, Prevention Officer, Schrauwen

Digital Driver Coach allows for an easy retrofit installation that supports all types and brands of material handling equipment. This transforms an existing fleet into a ‘smart’ fleet, with continuously collected data automatically uploaded to the platform in real-time. 

Beyond accumulating comprehensive raw data, Digital Driver Coach’s intrinsic characteristics provide deep inroads into contextualizing that data in auditable insights and actionable knowledge, all in service of a greater energy efficiency and a lower carbon footprint. 

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