How can police forces use data to achieve net zero targets

15th June 2023

Getting the green light: hitting the fleet sector’s net zero targets

For more than a decade, the UK has been at the forefront of efforts to minimise carbon emissions and achieve net-zero targets. While these efforts affect all departments of organisations, due to the nature of the sector, the responsibility to achieve these targets can quite often fall onto the shoulders of those in fleet management positions.

All organisations, both in the public and private sectors, should be championing efforts to minimise their fleet’s impact on the environment. Not only does achieving net-zero targets help the environment and help minimise emissions, but it can also directly impact some other key targets that many modern organisations strive for – saving money, increasing efficiency, and improving customer confidence.

So, how much do fleets impact our net-zero goals? The DFT’s Transport Statistics Great Britain report showed that in 2021, 176 billion tonne-kilometres of domestic freight was moved within the UK. Out of that, a massive 77% was delivered by road, dwarfing the freight moved by air or water. The report also showed that transport remained the highest source of greenhouse gas emissions, creating 27% of all emissions at a massive 122 million tonnes of CO2. These figures highlight the immense responsibility the fleet sector have in addressing carbon emissions. However, difficulty can arise in getting buy-in from other stakeholders within an organisation. To the uninitiated, hitting net-zero targets can seem like a time and cost-intensive endeavour.

So, how difficult will it be? Though it’s clear that the Transport sector needs to tackle its emissions, the electrification of the UK’s fleets will surely be a costly process, costing both time and money. Not only are most vehicles on our roads fuelled by petrol or diesel, but many premises are not equipped with the space or equipment for electric charging. Charging points require space that is sometimes not available and will cost both for the hardware and installation and connection to the power grid.

When improving the carbon efficiency of your fleet, it is important to view the whole-life performance of each vehicle. Turning to data, we can help make cost-effective decisions to electrify our fleet. Making decisions with limited data is like completing a jigsaw with a blindfold on – it’ll take longer to complete, and you’ll never have a full view of the project.

Through collecting comprehensive data on your fleet operations, you will be given the power to make impactful decisions and minimise the guesswork.

By analysing the full-life cost of vehicles, you and your organisation can choose which vehicles should be phased out and replaced. With accurate data, you can forecast future performance trends, allocating time and budget effectively. This data can also be compared to real-time data, allowing you to understand whether you’re performing to your original business objectives.

So, we know how data can support your fleet decisions, but how you collect the data, and what data you collect, can massively impact your goals. If you are collecting data through a pen and paper or disconnected spreadsheets you may find it hard to keep track of information, experience challenges in keeping data up to date, and may not be able to see the full picture.

With digital-first information, gone are the days when forms can be misplaced or forgotten. Fleet management software, like our own TranSend Fleet Management, for example, can assist with automating reporting and data collection. By digitally managing fleet data, appropriate members of your organisation can access the data they need quickly without needing to hunt down files and paperwork. For example, through integration with fuel cards and bunkered fuel types, fleet management software can capture and record liquid and electricity usage and run reports analysing efficiency by vehicle or vehicle type.

With better data and analysis, fleet managers and stakeholders can make effective and informed decisions that not only help chip away at the looming net-zero targets but also better the organisation as a whole.