Share your AFV commitment

Oct. 13, 2014
Create lasting and valuable relationships through fleet sustainability

In prior months, this column has focused on the many benefits of deploying alternative fuels and clean vehicle technologies into your fleet operations, including fuel cost savings, greater fuel price stability, emissions reductions, and for carriers, the ability to win new business from shippers focused on sustainability. Beyond these bottom line-driven benefits, “greening your fleet” can help you win favor with customers, which is also critical in today’s business market.

Plainly put, people prefer to give their business to companies that share their personal values, such as a commitment to being environmentally responsible. In fact, many of the AFV fleet operators that GNA has worked with have documented tangible bottom line returns following the implementation and promotion of their fleet’s sustainability efforts. By actively working to be a part of the clean transportation solution, fleets can grow their business multiple times over and positively improve their brand image.

Here are a few tips to help you effectively engage and inform key audiences, build valuable relationships, and demonstrate your clean transportation leadership role:

  • Leverage media relations. Attracting positive news coverage from a reputable publication will lend credibility to your clean vehicle operation. In order to keep the industry and related communities informed of your fleet’s recent AFV deployment or milestone, start by writing a press release. Then decide which audiences you want to target (e.g., the local community, fleet operators) and the best media outlets to reach them through. For example, if your latest AFV deployment or infrastructure project is in a city with poor air quality, tailor your pitch to a local reporter who has recently covered similar issues to demonstrate how your company is helping to improve air quality by reducing tailpipe emissions.
  • Create a corporate sustainability report (CSR). A CSR is a public organizational report that provides information about your environmental and social initiatives with the goal of creating transparency and accountability to external stakeholders. Beyond sharing your fleet’s sustainability achievements, this is a great way to demonstrate the many ways your organization is involved in causes that benefit the greater community in which it operates. You may also choose to share this report with media contacts, in a company newsletter, and/or on your corporate website.
  • Share your experience at educational events. Consider participating in a global alternative fuel event such as the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, which fosters peer-to-peer idea exchanges. By nominating an executive from your company to speak about lessons learned following your AFV deployment, your fleet can garner both industry recognition and favorable media attention from a variety of regional and national media often in attendance.

In summary, by transparently demonstrating your shared values and goals with external stakeholders in a way that is meaningful to them, you can continue to build public support and position your company as a “green” transportation leader.

Erik Neandross is CEO of Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA), the clean transportation and energy consulting firm that organizes the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo. Learn more at www.gladstein.org and www.actexpo.com.
 

About the Author

Erik Neandross | Contributing editor

Erik Neandross is CEO of Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA), the clean transportation and energy consulting firm that organizes the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo. Learn more at www.gladstein.org and www.actexpo.com.

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