Saturday, June 25, 2022

For Fleet and Transport Professionals

The rise of sustainability reporting and how fleet managers can simplify grey fleet compliance

Fleet managers are being urged to look at the accuracy and efficiency of their carbon and sustainability reporting, with both mandated and voluntary reporting on the rise.

According to the KPMG Survey of Sustainability Reporting 2020, 80 per cent of the 5,200 companies included reports on sustainability. For UK-based organisations it’s 90% – a higher rate likely impacted by the 2019 introduction of Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR). And that’s predicted to rise with the UK government announcing at COP26 plans to enshrine in law climate disclosures for the country’s largest companies.

Legislation centring on carbon and sustainability reporting in the UK is largely focused on bigger organisations, with the mandatory disclosure of climate-related financial information only relevant to over 1,300 of the largest UK-registered companies and financial institutions.

The SECR applies to companies that fit into two of the three following requirements: more than 250 employees, greater than £36 million in annual revenue, and a balance sheet greater than £18 million.*

Yet many other organisations voluntarily choose to report on their carbon footprint, including the sustainability of their fleets, to demonstrate being carbon neutral or reducing efforts to stakeholders and customers.

According the aforementioned KPMG survey:
“Scrutiny over sustainability…from financial stakeholders, especially asset owners and managers, has become markedly more intense and demanding over the last 3 years according to professionals at many KPMG firms.”

Sustainability reporting is becoming commonplace in modern day organisations, and fleet managers should expect to contribute with data such as emissions tracking through to accurate monitoring of grey fleet vehicles.

Banishing the burden of fleet sustainability reporting

Selecting the relevant fleet operations data for a sustainability report, ensuring its accuracy and using it to make informed, purposeful decisions can appear to be a mammoth task – but technology can help.

Vehicle tracking technology – telematics – can track exact mileage and produce emissions reports: vital when measuring the environmental impact of fleet vehicles. Such data can also be consistently presented year on year, arming organisations with evidence of trends, and hopefully improvements, over time.

Areas for improvement in fleet efficiencies can also be flagged using such technology. The likes of market-leading telematics solutions, such as ABAX, can track driving behaviours – along with the status of vehicles – to highlight potentially fuel-wasting habits such as idling or sharp accelerating. Such insights can provide clear ways to cut fuel usage and improve the sustainability of fleets – great additions to any carbon reporting.The tracking of fleet vehicles can also provide opportunities for route optimisation. Vehicles can be monitored and assigned according to their proximity to a job, ultimately saving on mileage and emissions but also time and productivity.

What’s more, mixed fleets can also benefit from telematics, particularly where vehicles aren’t the only emission-producing asset and, as a result, the likes of plant machinery and power tools should also be included in sustainability reporting. ABAX telematic solutions can be applied to mixed fleets – giving consistent and easily-managed data on all assets.

Benefits beyond sustainability

Being able to back up sustainability claims is one of the inherent benefits of sustainability reporting. Many acknowledge that more and more customers are actively seeking out sustainable options – the likes of Customer Thermometer even claim that 13% of consumers would pay 31-50% more for products or services if they were under the impression that the business was making a positive impact.

But the benefits extend far beyond proving sustainability. Environmental savings through the use of telematics also equate to financial savings.

Assessing the use of telematics for fleet tracking, the Department for Transport’s Energy Saving Trust states that:
“In one study of company car drivers, a telematics system identified a 50% difference in fuel economy being achieved in identical cars over similar journeys. Much of the excess fuel use was down to driving style, including excessive speed and harsh acceleration. By improving fuel economy and reducing time spent idling, a business can reduce its emissions and costs.”

And it’s results like this that ABAX fleet tracking solutions customers see too. On average, ABAX users save 18.5% on fuel costs, find up to 30 minutes per employee, per day in timesheets and are able to analyse driving behaviour for a safer, greener fleet that spends £22.30 less per vehicle, per month.

The use of telematics can also lead to cost-savings thanks to data-led insurance. The likes of partnerships between telematics provider ABAX and insurer Zego allow fleets to insure their vehicles on a usage or fixed-rate basis – depending on the size of fleet. Driving behaviour can also be monitored to inform premium prices at renewal. The result is that fleet businesses are provided more control over how their assets are managed, allowing an increase in business efficiency, reduced risks and money saved on insurance premiums.

Cutting out the grey areas
Another potential challenge that fleet managers may face when it comes to sustainability reporting is the accurate and effective monitoring of grey fleet vehicles.

It has been estimated that 14 million grey fleet vehicles are in use on the UK’s roads, with 9 million used for business journeys on a regular basis. In the words of the Energy Saving Trust “it is crucial that opportunities to reduce emissions and cut costs from grey fleet are identified”. But that can seem daunting if all companies have to rely on is mileage and expenses claims.

Thankfully telematics can help here too. Privacy law compliant trackers can be installed onto personal cars – and drivers can easily choose which trips to declare as business.

Undeclared trips won’t be tracked or logged, and can’t be claimed back in mileage. But trips that are declared can be easily factored in to carbon reports – particularly as the telematics technology will know the emissions level of the personal car and automatically adjust mileage rates for each user based on the vehicle type and miles claimed per month.

Even better is the fact that the data is HMRC compliant and easily on hand should there be an audit.

Smaller fleets can benefit too
Although larger companies, and therefore fleets, are the ones subject to mandatory carbon and sustainability reporting, smaller fleets can still benefit from the likes of ABAX telematics technology to make both environmental and financial savings.

In fact, according to research from Sewells UK Van Fleet Market, 41% of van fleets greater than 25 and 53% of van fleets greater than 50 are using telematics. This compares to less than 10% for smaller fleets – leaving up to 90% missing out on the benefits.

Whatever the size of organisation – and whether private or public sector – sustainability reporting needn’t be arduous for fleet managers. The right technology is a powerful tool in their toolkit and one which can give quick and easy access to vital sustainability data – and provide insights into where improvements could be made. In turn that can translate to fleet optimisations and cost-savings, which in current times all organisations are searching for.

ABAX telematics units are self-installable, provide HMRC compliant data and offer live-tracking solutions, all allowing you to access actionable location and usage data on all your assets – and via one easy-to-use interface. Grey, mixed, large and small fleets can all be tracked in an efficient and cost-effective manner, whilst also provide vital reporting data on demand.

*ABAX are not tax advisors. It is therefore recommended that you contact your tax advisor to understand the many exclusions to the legislation.


If you’re looking for your fleet to make environmental, financial and productivity savings, then ABAX could be the solution for you.
Go to or call 01733 698888

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