A new online calculator released Friday makes it easy for fleet managers to measure their greenhouse gas emissions as a first step in creating "greener" vehicle fleets. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA) created the Fleet Greenhouse Gas Calculator that enables fleets to track their progress in reducing emissions over time.
"Fleet managers today face immense pressures from all sides to cut costs – and reducing emissions is one way to do so," said Jason Mathers, Green Fleet project manager for EDF. "Our goal in launching this online calculator is to put fleet managers in the driver's seat when it comes to measurement, efficiency and cost savings."
Recognizing that it is difficult to capture the complete data required by more advanced calculation methods, the calculator is designed to minimize data entry needs for fleets while retaining accuracy.
"With environmental goals front and center for so many fleet managers today, they need help calculating and quantifying their successes when it comes to minimizing the carbon footprint of their operations" said Phil Russo, executive director of NAFA. "This new tool combines great data with ease of use and fills a big gap for fleet managers as a result. NAFA will also be using this tool to speak with legislators and regulators to help them understand the kinds of data fleet managers can collect and the impact fleet operations can have on mitigating emissions."
The Fleet Greenhouse Gas Calculator estimates total fleet greenhouse gas emissions from fuel consumption data. This data is directly used to calculate emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), which accounts for about 95 percent of greenhouse gas from vehicles. Emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) are estimated based on their prominence among greenhouse gas from transportation source as reported in the "Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2006." You can access the calculator by clicking here.
Vehicles are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 28 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EDF. In the U.S., fleets account for nearly nine million vehicles on the road. Combined, these vehicles emit millions of metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. Fleet operators, both private and public, are seeking ways to lessen their greenhouse gas footprint. The most effective fleet actions are directly tied to seeking greenhouse gas reductions.