Emissions and the environment have been hot topics in trucking and the transportation industry this year, with numerous proposals and regulations from state and federal levels having been announced.
While many of the challenges presented by those regulations will have to be met by equipment manufacturers, there is still work that fleets can do to work toward trucking’s sustainability goals. Geotab's Charlotte Argue joins Jason and Matt this week on the 10-44 to talk about how telematics can help fleets meet their own goals and the goals of the industry as a whole.
Contents of this video
00:00 Telematics and sustainability goals
02:57 Growing pressure to reduce emissions
06:51 Areas where fleets can make changes
09:10 Using data to find operational inefficiencies
10:06 Using data to reduce emissions
12:19 Leveraging data to improve fleet operations
14:33 Opportunities for fleets to collaborate
This week's 10-44 is brought to you by Chevron Delo 600 ADF ultra low ash diesel engine oil. It's time to kick some ash.
How one telematics company is looking to help fleets meet sustainability targets.
You're watching CCJ's 10-44, a weekly web episode that brings you the latest trucking industry news and updates from the editors of CCJ. Don't forget to subscribe and hit the bell for notifications so you'll never miss an installment of 10-44. Hey everybody, welcome back. I'm Jason Cannon and my co-host on the other side is Matt Cole. Emissions in the environment have been two hot topics and trucking and transportation this year. Numerous proposals and regulations from California and at the federal level have already been announced.
Well, many of the challenges presented by these regulations will have to be met by equipment manufacturers. There's still work that fleets can do to work toward trucking sustainability goals. We're joined this week by Charlotte Argue, senior manager of Sustainable Mobility at GEOTAB, who talks about the company's recent sustainability and impact report, which highlights GEOTAB's own sustainability efforts. And how the company can help fleets use telematics data to improve their own efforts.
So the sustainability impact report that we just released this year, it is the second report. The first one GEOTAB put out was in the fall of 2021. And essentially what it does, it outlines the different activities that GEOTAB is doing in the progress we have towards our sustainability goals. As well as how our data and solutions are driving sustainability and emissions reductions for our customers and across the industry. So the reason why we're putting out these reports is because GEOTAB recognizes that everyone has a role to play to ensure future generations can thrive. And so we've decided to hold ourselves accountable to do what we can to drive change for more sustainable industry. And this commitment really comes from our CEO at the top.
And in part what we are doing is looking at our own operations. So looking at our footprint, we've committed to several global frameworks that are set out there, including the UN Global Compact and the Climate Pledge. So we've set our baseline emissions for 2019, and we have our own targets to reduce those emissions to get down to 50% of scope one, two, and three by 2030 and fully net-zero by 2040. So this is us leading by example, but the other part of the report really talks about the broader impact that we can have in the industry. And this is really where we can influence broader change beyond just our own footprint. And that's helping use or leverage the data insights and the data intelligence that GEOTAB is able to provide with our customers and with the industry.
Transportation generates about 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. And Charlotte mentions the growing pressure on the industry to take action to reduce those emissions.
I think what we're seeing just as an industry at large is that there's growing pressure for organizations both in the transportation sector, but across all sectors to reduce emissions and take more proactive action towards sustainability. So we know for the transportation sector specifically in the US, it makes up about 27% of total emissions, which is a pretty big piece of that pie. And so there's more pressure for that industry to really start to look at reducing that and getting down to where we need to be. We know there's only a small window of opportunity right now that we have to hit if we want to prevent climate impacts to be irreversible. That's what the latest science reports are telling us in the scientific community. So there's more pressure both within stakeholders and at the board level, but also via regulations and customer demands and even employee demands.
One of the positive things about this though is that the transportation industry is actually in a really good position to make change. So if we compare transportation compared to other sectors out there, we have a fairly fast turnover with our vehicle fleets. And we also have a lot of great emerging technologies that are available to this industry. So if we look at the opportunity for change, we're actually in a pretty good position. So what we're hearing about or where the status is today is everyone's kind of still figuring this out and trying to understand what actions they are able to take that fits into their business model. And you have to be realistic in terms of the industry that you're in and your bottom line or triple bottom line in this case as well. So that's where good data and smart intelligent data insights can help these fleets start to tackle the areas that are the biggest opportunities for change and start to track the metrics and progress towards their goals.
In a perfect world, there would be a one size fits all approach that every fleet across the country could implement to become more efficient. We all know that's not possible for trucking though with all the different segments in the industry. After a word from 10-44 sponsor Chevron lubricants, Charlotte will explain how fleets can start assessing where they can make changes.
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Every fleet is different. So what an individual fleet can do is going to depend on where they are regionally, what kind of vocation they have, what kind of vehicle class breakdown they have. I think if you look at any given operation, no fleet is going to be perfectly optimized or perfectly efficient in how they operate today. So there's always going to be opportunity to improve that even before making a powertrain switch or a technology switch. So it really starts again with understanding where those inefficiencies are. So in a trucking fleet, looking at assessing their baseline and knowing where their emissions are coming from, what the fuel economy today is, and comparing that to benchmarks can help a fleet understand where the biggest opportunities for improvement might be. So that's another example like with benchmarking data. Another example of how data can really support those decisions and identifying the first actions fleet operator can take.
Some examples would be in fuel efficient driving. So maybe there's opportunities to improve the fuel economy of the existing vehicles with driver training and the drivers can even have real time alerts or feedback where if they're doing any risky driving behavior or speeding harsh acceleration, harsh breaking, for example. Another example is idling. So there is always opportunity to reduce idling. It's a waste of fuel, it's a waste of cost, and it increases emissions unnecessarily. Another opportunity that we often see in the trucking is just around routine and optimizing those routes, and in some cases right-sizing the vehicles as well. So depending on, again, the sector and what the job these vehicles are needing to do, sometimes there's an oversized vehicle being used for what a more efficient vehicle might be able to accomplish. And again, data can help identify those opportunities or those benchmarking where they could be compared to where they are today.
Charlotte also mentions there's an opportunity for fleets to use data to find and address operational inefficiencies.
Just taking a little bit of a bigger picture view, I think there's also opportunities within the trucking industry to potentially use data to identify changes in the distribution or how the vehicles and fleets are operating. So potentially with route optimization, maybe a change in the location of the warehouses or multimodal and leveraging different hubs. There's ways to almost switch out today's routes to be more efficient overall as an industry. So yeah, there's lots of opportunity and best practices that can happen even before powertrain or technology switch
Through its various telematics platforms, GEOTAB collects a tone of data. The company can then use that data to help fleets in many ways, including with emissions.
For us, data intelligence is really the process of collecting and analyzing large amounts of data. So we're getting data from all kinds of systems, we're getting data from different sensors, and data on its own isn't really useful. You can throw a ton of data at me and what am I going to do with that unless it's turned into an insight. So it's really the process of extracting those insights that can then help decision making or then help fleet operations. And so a lot of that data and data intelligence, if a person went in and manually tried to find those insights, it's going to be quite the job. But here we can use computers and we can use queries and intelligent data algorithms to start to pull trends and start to pull useful information that can help with this. So some examples here, well, one good example is predictive maintenance.
So using this data to then be able to predict if an engine will fail or if something will fail before it happens. And using particular signals or trends that we can see from a lot of other data to then set those flags or warnings. Another really good example is benchmarking. So I mentioned using benchmarking for identifying where the improvements could be made by fleets. So if we think about looking at particular vehicle classes under specific vocations, being able to break it down so that it's useful for your operations, so you're comparing more apples to apples. This can be done by data intelligence and then that can be used to flag how you're doing compared to the average or the best in class and the worst in class. And for emissions reductions or sustainability, specifically some examples might be your overall fuel economy or different metrics around driver behavior and idling and that kind of thing.
In order to meet the overall sustainability goals of the industry and the country, it's going to take some time and some fleets are further along this path than others. Charlotte explains that it's important for fleets to understand where they are in their own journey to identify their next action steps.
One of the key takeaways is there are a lot of tools and actions that fleets can do. And so in the report we highlight a number of different case studies and ways different fleet operators have leveraged their data and data intelligence to make improvements in their overall operations. Generally, there's a bit of a journey, so it depends on how far along a fleet is in terms of what's going to be most useful for them. But generally we would say start with assess. So just understanding where you're at, where those opportunities to improve are, and using that data and doing some benchmarking. Then you can identify what actions to take to start adopting more efficient practices. So that could be looking at your existing best management practices for your ice vehicle fleet. And it could also include looking at the suitability based on your existing duty cycles today on where alternative or zero emission vehicles could work for you.
And that's big, especially with the transition to electrification, getting that right and not making those decisions blindly, but understanding where that fleet is going to be, where there's going to be success. So start with the duty cycles where it's returned to base and you know that the EVs that you're looking to replace would be branch capable to meet that operations. And again, that's where aggregate data and data intelligence can help us understand in your particular conditions under this climate and under these speeds, here's what we know. Or here's what we've derived from all this data from EVs on the road today to tell us that, yes, this vehicle is going to be ranged capable in the conditions that you're at. So again, fleets leveraging that data to make the right decisions.
There's also opportunities for fleets to collaborate with fleets that are further along in the process toward low carbon transportation, working with fleets that are just starting that journey.
I think the other thing that the report highlights is just ways that we can kind of collaborate and share with others. So there are fleets who have done it in many cases, and so sharing their learnings, sharing results, sharing best practices and also some of the challenges. And ideally sharing data where they're comfortable in sharing to help move the industry as a whole. And so we're really interested in partnering with organizations and fleets to help share those insights as well.
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