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Reducing fleet emissions and driving towards net-zero

March 10, 2022By
Truck driving down road at sunset

You’re stuck. On one hand, the scientific community has stated that globally we must reach net-zero global CO2 emissions by 2050 to limit global warming. On the other hand, you lead a company whose operations rely on some of the top greenhouse gas offenders: fleet vehicles. How do you find the balance between being a sustainability-responsible business while continuing to grow in your industry?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. But, there are steps all fleet vehicle managers, operators, and leaders can take to begin working towards net zero.

Consider your fuel options

Greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide are emitted from vehicles when gasoline is burned as fuel. However, there are gas alternatives that burn cleaner and result in lower GHG emissions, reducing your carbon footprint. Fuel alternatives like compressed nitrogen gas and renewable biofuels are used as a sustainable fuel option by companies like our friends at WM. This is an especially great option for fleets whose vehicles don’t have zero-emission vehicle alternative options yet.

Consider your vehicle options

If your fleets utilize vehicles that do have zero-emission alternatives like battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or hydrogen fuel cell, then by all means those should be looked into. EV fleets not only reduce your carbon emissions but also remove the cost of fuel altogether. Additionally, many modern vehicles including electric vehicles have built-in telematics that are a huge asset when it comes to vehicle maintenance.

Consider green initiatives and applying for funding

Any changes that take place at the scale of an entire fleet are inevitably going to require a financial investment, which for some may not be possible.

Fortunately, there are many green initiatives and funding available at the federal, state, or provincial level:

Start tracking fuel efficiency

These methods of reducing carbon emissions are effective and should be embraced by any fleet team eager to reach net-zero carbon emissions. However, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. At the end of the day, you need to truly understand your fleet’s fuel efficiency if you’re going to be making a concerted effort to reach net-zero fleet emissions.

If you have telematics set up in your vehicles, that is a great place to start (and if you don’t, it’s definitely worth looking into installing in gas-fueled vehicles, too). But you’re not just dealing with single vehicles, you’re dealing with a whole fleet. You need a method of collecting all fuel usage, maintenance, and other fleet emission-related data to understand the full picture.

Fleet Emissions Tracker

Designed for organizations using Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud, the Fleet Emissions Tracker provides users the ability to record and track information about their fleet vehicles. While Net Zero Cloud tracks information such as fuel consumed, type, and distance traveled to calculate emissions, the Fleet Emissions Trackers adds the detailed data points you need to understand your fuel efficiency for everything from a single company shuttle to entire fleets of multiple vehicle types.

Traction on Demand's Fleet Emissions Tracker
Fleet Emissions Tracker dashboard

The Fleet Emissions Tracker can automatically calculate the tCO2e per mile based on over 80 unique engine and trip parameters providing fleet-wide visibility into the fuel efficiency and carbon footprint of your fleet. This means you can directly review data recorded in your telematics system (like maximum cruise control speed, total distance traveled, or average vehicle speed) against your calculated tCO2e to determine where your biggest fleet efficiencies and inefficiencies lie.

Built as a foundation for fleet emissions, the tracker can be customized and integrated with other products and add-ons like Salesforce Field Service and Salesforce Maps. Doing so can help with other methods of lowering carbon emissions like route planning to identify not just efficient routes in terms of time, but in terms of energy efficiency. By recording this information, teams can compare planned vs. actual emissions to better understand how their fleet carbon footprint is changing with these added efforts.

The Fleet Emissions Tracker is also useful for vehicle manufacturers who want to report any related downstream fleet emissions using GHG Protocol scopes. Manufacturers can calculate Scope 3 emissions via category 11 of the GHG Protocol to evaluate the emissions of sold products directly in Net Zero Cloud with the tracker. This helps manufacturers to assess their entire value chain emissions and identify where to focus reduction activities.

Offsetting Carbon Emissions

Once your fleet’s carbon footprint is well understood and being maintained at a somewhat consistent level, it’ll be important to look at the big picture – fleet and all. What else is your company doing to reach net-zero? How can you get there?

In addition to the Fleet Emissions Tracker, the Carbon Offset Accelerator can be added to your Net Zero Cloud org. While not fleet specific, the two additions can be paired together to identify fleet emissions (along with other Scope emissions) and how many carbon credits you would need to allocate towards these emissions to reach net-zero.

Your path to net-zero starts here

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