Whether your company parking lot is filled with commuters’ cars or a fleet of delivery trucks, vehicle emissions are going to play a role in your company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
It may not come as a surprise but (according to the Environmental Protection Agency) the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 came from the transportation industry. Cars, SUVs and light-duty trucks are responsible for 58% of those emissions, while medium- and heavy-duty vehicles regularly used to transport goods are the source of about 24% of transportation emissions.
With higher gas prices, (yuck!) reducing emissions has a strong business case as well. Employees are looking for relief from the cost of commuting and welcome policies that allow them to do that. Companies with vehicle fleets have higher costs and the investment in more efficient vehicles is becoming more appealing.
The urgency of our climate crisis combined with higher gas prices makes now a great time to reevaluate policies connected to vehicle use and create a more sustainable way of doing business.
Cut the Commute
The days of an hour-long solo commute in the car each weekday are over for many professionals, thanks to work-from-home policies. Even if you’re a company where people are returning to the office, either out of necessity or by choice, having employees work from home even a few days a week is an easy way to cut emissions.
When setting work-from-home policies, take a hard look at why you’re asking people to return to the office? Are there remote ways to accomplish the same goals? Multiple studies show workers who are remote are happier and more productive–and who wouldn’t want that for their company?
How Policy Can Boost Business: Work from home is a great recruiting and retention tool, expanding the talent pool beyond your region. It also shows potential customers you’re flexible and care about your employees. Highlighting work from home policies on your careers page and on LinkedIn will show leaders in your industry where you stand on the evolving future of work and gives a glimpse into your company culture.
Electrify Your Fleet
Let’s face it. Gas costs big bucks these days, let alone the environmental and health costs of the emissions gas-powered vehicles emit. Transitioning to a hybrid or even all-electric fleet could make a big dent in reducing your company’s vehicle fleet emissions while also providing relief to your bottom line.
The first step is to take a look at your current fleet. How often the vehicles run and how long will each take to charge? How much will they cost to purchase and maintain? Engineering and construction firm Burns & McDonnell recommends contacting your local electric utility company to see if energy infrastructure upgrades might be needed as you add electric vehicles over time.
How Policy Can Boost Business: Use this transition to create a case study that promotes your savvy business sense and passion for the environment. Take pictures of charging station construction and the people behind the wheel of your fleet vehicles. Showing that this transition makes business sense will position your company as an innovator and thought leader as more companies seek to make the transition.
Charge Up Employees–and Your Customers
If encouraging sustainability is part of your company’s values or purpose, offering employees a spot to recharge the EV supports that mission. Plus, many electric utility companies offer incentives for building charging stations that make them less expensive than you think.
For example, the Eversource EV Charging Station host program covers 100 percent of the infrastructure implementation costs and connects you with trusted charging station vendors to ensure you find the right ones for your business.
How Policy Can Boost Business: Consumers and clients appreciate free stuff–who doesn’t! Offering an electric vehicle recharge while shopping or in your offices for a meeting is a generous gesture EV drivers will appreciate, and seek out again. It’s an easy way to build customer goodwill and boost satisfaction.
Companies today are truly taking a new look at how vehicles are being used, the amount of gas being used, and how these policies impact their overall efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Part of this process is understanding the true cost of doing business in a gas-powered world. Smart companies know lowering emissions will position them well for a sustainable future.