Can You Be ‘Green’ in the Current Economy?

August 11, 2010

The upheaval in the financial markets this past month has added a pile of new pressures for business owners and managers. The hot buttons are managing cash flow and operating costs while also holding onto people and business volume. But, amid this re-ordering of priorities, is anyone still thinking about the commitment to become more environmentally conscious or has that been swept under the boardroom table as an unnecessary frill?

As we reorganize our priorities, I suggest looking at our financial challenges and our promises to the environment as one key initiative. The two are connected.

For most companies fuel is the largest operating expense and the biggest contributor to pollution. Everyday our cars, trucks and equipment spew hundreds of tones of pollutants into the atmosphere.

How can we cut fuel consumption without destroying productivity? The answer is to think greener and become more responsible consumers. We must eliminate waste. When we eliminate wasted fuel, we have cut toxic emissions as well as lowering fuel costs.

How to eliminate wasted fuel

There are a lot of choices and there is the right fit for you and your company from better fuel management through better planning, to using new technology to measure and manage fuel consumption and better training your drivers and operators. It all helps.

The biggest benefit to your company is without question, saving money.

Most people think it costs money to become more environmentally friendly, but that is not true. Think about it this way: When you use less fuel, you spend less money on fuel. Becoming more efficient with your fuel consumption pays dividends to your company and the environment rather than adding cost.

As mentioned before, there are lots of solutions to eliminating wasted fuel. Here are just a few:

Stop driving to card locks. Use an on site refueler. When you have fuel delivered to you, you eliminate wasted time and fuel.Measure and Manage your fuel consumption. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. With the right information you can calculate which piece of equipment is guilty of over consumption and make the necessary changes.Train your drivers and equipment operators to be more fuel conscious. Bad driving habits waste fuel.Use technology to understand where you are efficient and where you are wasteful. There are a number of choices available to monitor engine performance so you can control fuel consumption.Cut pollution and switch to biofuels wherever necessary. You can do this without any engine modifications.

Once you have made a decision to cut wasted fuel and pollute less you have made huge strides towards becoming a leader in changing business attitudes. You have become a smarter company and there are big benefits. A smart company attracts more attention and a better caliber of clients. Add this to your list of standard company benefits and you will improve your corporate profile and enhance your market position.

As a smart company who has made a real decision to stop wasting the world’s resources you are making a contribution helping to reduce the stress on our planet. You are helping to create a better future for our children and grandchildren. This century will see new heroes created and you will become one of those pioneers. Now that’s something to tell your grand kids!

Even if you decide to use only one of the above tips to help reduce your company’s fuel consumption you will be making a huge impact on the environment.

By how much?

For every litre (gallon) of fuel you burn you generate 2.79 kilograms (6 lbs, 2.41 oz.) of greenhouse gases. For example, if you decide to have your fleet refueled on-site instead of driving to a card lock, you eliminate at least 20 minutes driving time to and from the card lock. That’s 20 minutes your engines are not running. 20 minutes you are not consuming fuel, and 20 minutes you are not paying in non-productive labor costs. How many times a week could you put cash back on to your bottom line and cut emissions? It adds up to thousands of dollars each month in cut costs at a time when cash flow is critical.


Jack Lee is president and CEO of 4Refuel Canada Inc, The Leader in Fuel Management. If you have any questions or comments about this article Jack can be reached at (604) 513-0386 or on line:askthefuelexpert@4refuel.com

         
 

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