Driving America’s Businesses Forward with Proactive ESG Strategies at the Forefront

62

By Katerina Jones

Entering the new millennium, few companies across all industries had a watchful eye toward environmental stewardship, particularly throughout the heavy-duty truck transportation industries. However, just a few short years later, governments in many countries began to better understand the benefits that could come from corporations curbing their carbon emissions output, and new greenhouse gas mandates began to take effect by the early 2000s.

Pioneering Insight for Industry Sustainability

In the early 2000s, the use of data analytics began to help fleet customers run their operations more efficiently. Fleet Advantage CEO, John Flynn, had a family relative who was receiving treatment for cancer caused by environmental pollutants, and Flynn realized the importance of leveraging resources to help companies with transportation fleets not only comply with the new environmental regulations but serve as model corporations regarding environmental stewardship.

Flynn understood the importance of being the future of truck leasing by advocating solutions that would significantly reduce emissions over time. By 2011, leading fleet consultants had begun to make strong recommendations against the use of older-model equipment because of toxic emissions. They introduced never-seen-before emissions scorecards, and an innovative replacement program with financial flexibility in mind that made it beneficial to operate newer, clean-diesel engines. These programs also helped fleets meet new GHG-1 Federal mandate standards and calculated fuel economy gains at 2.5% MPG and CO2 reductions. 

A Focus on Environmental Stewardship

Between 2016 and 2021, leading industry players continued their mission to help fleets change the way they see the environment, as well as their impact. Advanced asset management strategies helped companies reach environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals while promoting sustainability through shortening asset life cycles, optimizing vehicle specifications to be more fuel-efficient, and to align with the duty cycle as well as geographical locale. New approaches also specified lighter components that allow for longer maintenance intervals which reduce environmental hazmat waste disposal.

Today, with Flynn’s foresight, companies are boasting vastly improved environmental records while implementing ESG strategies in front of customers, regulators, and other critical stakeholders. As an example, Fleet Advantage has saved customers approximately $250 million and approximately 175,000 metric tons in emissions since inception.

Socially Conscious Organizations

In addition to environmental stewardship, social criteria are also within companies’ ESG strategies. It’s important that organizations are operating the newest and safest trucks that keep all motorists safe and help attract and retain a greater pool of diverse drivers and other staff. Fleet specification experts work with each company to design new trucks for maximum safety, fuel efficiency, lowest maintenance cost, and highest resale values through innovative programs that focus on upgrading to newer trucks with advanced safety features. By focusing on safety proactively, fleets are recognizing risks that they may otherwise not likely identify, as well as a solution that could save millions of dollars in cost reduction while avoiding damage to their corporate image and brand identity.

Socially responsible organizations today also recognize that a more diverse approach to the transportation industry unlocks more potential growth for organizations through the advancement and empowerment of a gender-diverse workforce. 

Governance & Corporate Leadership

Governance is an area many companies have struggled with in recent history. This pertains to the governance factors of decision-making, from sovereigns’ policymaking to the distribution of rights and responsibilities among different participants in corporations, including the board of directors, managers, shareholders and stakeholders. Governance factors highlight the processes for organizations. Fleet experts today provide analytics, processes, and transparency so that clients can meet legal requirements and satisfy every stakeholder in the process.

Today and Looking Ahead

Today, Flynn is proud of the leadership his company displays in life cycle asset management, data analytics and overall strategies to help clients lead competitive and agile organizations through better decision-making. Leading companies today are proud of the culture they have created internally, and many are strong examples of how diversity and inclusion in the workplace can have a substantially positive impact on their organization, employees, customers, and the surrounding communities. They believe that the long-term success of any business calls for a diverse body of talent that can bring fresh ideas, perspectives, and viewpoints into the workplace. Fleet experts now strive to create a culture of diverse individuals from all races, ages, genders, education levels, and cultural backgrounds. 

Ultimately, leading executives like Flynn and his company have a goal to help the industry become as sustainable, socially conscious, and governed with as much integrity as possible. Every effort these leading companies put forth is to benefit all – the environment, clients, stakeholders and local communities. 

About The Author: Katerina Jones is Vice President, Marketing and Business Development at Fleet Advantage, a leading innovator in truck fleet business analytics, equipment financing and lifecycle cost management. For more information visit www.FleetAdvantage.com.