The cost of green scaring companies

According to a recent study, fleets across the country have become more interested in environmental issues, but many are unsure of how to implement green goals and policies in a cost-effective manner. PHH Arval, a subsidiary of PHH Corp., reported in its annual survey of public and private fleet managers that 80% of those surveyed see interest in their fleets' environmental impact is growing, up from

According to a recent study, fleets across the country have become more interested in environmental issues, but many are unsure of how to implement green goals and policies in a cost-effective manner.

PHH Arval, a subsidiary of PHH Corp., reported in its annual survey of public and private fleet managers that 80% of those surveyed see interest in their fleets' environmental impact is growing, up from 77% last year.

According to Karen Healey, PHH Arval director in charge of the company's green initiatives, about one-third of those surveyed said that while they were more interested in environmental policies, they had yet to outline any goals on how to improve their green footprint, with many feeling that it is too cost-prohibitive. Yet several who have are seeing results in both emissions and cost, she said.

“A number of companies have said they reduced emissions while reducing costs, which helps disprove the myth out there that being environmentally friendly costs a lot of money,” Healey said.

Another third of the respondents set goals based around technological advances, which Healey said is not effective because it doesn't always have a direct correlation to greenhouse gases. According to the survey, 25% of fleets have defined greenhouse gas goals, and 28% measure the emissions produced by their fleets.

The most encouraging part of the survey, Healey said, was that more than a third of fleet managers have reduced emissions while saving money, although 50% of private sector companies still view cost as an obstacle.

The PHH survey found that a major problem for some fleets is information, reporting that 21% of private sector and 17% of public sector organizations said a lack of data has prohibited them from making good environmental choices.

“A lot of people are saying cost is stopping them from doing more,” Healey said. “One of the things we are trying to educate people about is that purchasing hybrids is not the only way to reduce emissions.”

Driver behavior is also a significant factor in environmental impact, and 68% of fleet managers reported they have educated drivers about their environmental impact, although public sector organizations have engaged in training drivers at a far higher rate than the private sector, PHH said.

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