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Fleet Forum Annual Conference: 6 Major Trends in Greening Fleets

Fleet Forum notes donors – in line with their country’s commitments - require humanitarian organisations to manage the environmental impact of their operations. For example, USAID asks its partners to describe the measures taken to reduce the environmental impact of fleet and generators through reduction of emissions and responsible waste management.

Aid and development organisations are aligned with this shift in demand. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasised the imperative of incorporating sustainability considerations into aid and development activities and operations. In the past three years, several organisations have made commitments to sustainability, and this is now a cascading throughout the sector. Our Fleet Forum members are now tracking carbon dioxide (C02) emissions and setting a baseline.

Where are we going? At this week’s Annual Fleet Forum Conference, more than 50% of the sessions were related to greening fleets. Here are 6 key lessons from the conference.

1. Rightsize your fleets

World Food Programme (WFP) showed us their process to optimise the fleet on a country basis. By getting insight into the optimal number and types of vehicles per country and implementing an optimisation plan, they are able to reduce C02 emissions.

2. Getting the basics right will reduce your C02 emissions

Walter Fallas, Fleet Manager at the Costa Rica Red Cross showed us how implementing a fleet management improvement programME (including fleet standardisation, preventative maintenance, data analysis, and driver training) can go a long way in the reduction in C02 emissions.

3. Organisations must take responsibility for their workshop waste

Humanitarian organisations are not only looking at C02 emissions as part of their sustainability efforts. ICRC investigated how to reduce waste from their own workshops and looked at the data to determine what practices could be developed to apply in a world-wide context. Current indications are that more data is needed, and individual country circumstances may not allow the creation of a one size fits all solution. At the organisational level, we should all consider collecting data to about the waste we produce to further along future cleaning/recycling initiatives. We are responsible for the waste we produce. We should all internalise this practice from ICRC.

4. Organisations are starting to pilot electric vehicles (EVs) in Africa

Pilots launched to determine the feasibility of electric vehicles in Africa concluded that it is all full steam ahead. Proper planning, vehicle selection, and maintenance agreements make usage of EV more feasible and attractive. Not to mention the environmental benefits.

5. Vehicle sharing between organisations also taking off in the sector

The implementation and integration of Booking Platforms across different organisations have really taken the carsharing concept to new heights. The access to vehicle and driver data has streamlined many processes in operations, fleet management, and administration.

6. Leading indicators can help identify successful strategies to scale up

A small group of experts came together during the conference to develop green leading indicators. Leading indicators look forwards, through the windshield, at the road ahead. Lagging indicators look backwards, through the rear window, at the road you’ve already travelled, which you cannot change. Fleet Forum will be taking the outputs of the discussions and transforming these into a guidance document.

What’s next?

The webinar month of September will be fully dedicated to Greening. You can expect more tools and trainings from Fleet Forum. We also look forward to spotlighting early successes and lessons learned from those implementing their green agenda.



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