What’s your green fleet strategy?

Iron Mountain scooped the award for Private Sector Fleet of the Year (+250 vehicles) at the 2010 GreenFleet Awards. Rory Morgan, the company's logistics general manger, shares how this success was achieved

Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain is a global leader in information management services. The company manages billions of information assets, including business records, electronic files, medical data, e-mails and more for organisations around the world.

Describe what type of fleet Iron Mountain operates
Iron Mountain has a fleet of approximately 430 vehicles in the UK. This consists of around 290 light commercial vehicles such as vans (LCVs) and the rest are various types of large goods vehicles (LGVs) that are predominately 7.5ft box vehicles. The fleet also includes some larger vehicles as well as several articulated and specialised vehicles.
In which ways have you ‘greened’ your fleet?
Iron Mountain has implemented a range of fuel-reducing measures. This has taken the form of intensive driver training, and adopting fuel-saving technology and fleet management software. We have also installed a driver behavioural system on vehicles that monitor driving styles constantly. This gives the trainers the information they need to effectively train drivers to be safer and more fuel efficient.
Have you used any new technologies?
Yes. All Iron Mountain’s LCVs have fuel-saving technology that assists with the engine management system. Currently, we are trialling the technology on one of our LGVs.    

Results with the LCVs have shown an average improvement of 12 per cent across the fleet.    

In addition, since the beginning of the year, we have been trialling the GreenRoad driver behaviour system on 30 vehicles. Iron Mountain has made the decision to install the system across the fleet in the UK and Ireland.    

The trials produced fuel savings of around 14 per cent and a huge reduction in accidents. Iron Mountain hopes to replicate these results across the rest of the fleet in the UK and Ireland with potential to install in vehicles on the continent next year.
Have you used any alternative fuels?

No, we only use diesel at this point. However, we are waiting for our first electric vehicle to be delivered in Birmingham. We have explored alternatives, but at this stage in development we feel that alternatives are not quite there yet.
What challenges have you come across?
To a certain degree, change management has been a barrier. The driver behaviour and fleet management systems, whilst excellent tools, require understanding and engagement from transport teams to work successfully. To address this, we have embarked on full training and coaching packages. Driver buy-in has also had to be thought through. But drivers are coached in such a way that they feel the benefit to themselves, through being safer on the road and less stressed, and are therefore happy with the training.
How has your green fleet strategy been successful?
Our results speak for themselves. However, we are not complacent and are continuing to provide refresher coaching to drivers and staff on fuel efficiency and safer driving. We are always exploring further opportunities to further reduce fuel use. For example, we are looking to increase night deliveries to further reduce fleet numbers.

How do you manage your grey fleet?

Through communications at the moment, but we are looking to provide on-line risk assessments in the future, which will have awareness coaching provided as support and back up.
What advice would you give to other fleet managers looking to ‘green’ their fleet?
The first principal is monitoring and understanding your results. You have to know where you are using fuel and why, before you can begin to reduce consumption.    

Driver awareness is the second basic approach. By something as simple as producing weekly fuel consumption results, talking through these results and providing some straightforward guides can improve fuel economy by as much as five percent.    

Driver training is also paramount to increasing driver awareness. Iron Mountain has committed resource to its fleet and driver management by installing regional driver trainers. The trainers identify closely with the drivers and support teams. They provide guidance and coaching to initiate and embed safe and fuel-efficient driving, whilst also providing training in many internal processes.    

At Iron Mountain, we feel that the driver trainers have provided huge benefits to the company.  

The GreenRoad driver behaviour system will further improve driving techniques on a daily basis. It will provide the trainers with increased knowledge of a driver’s daily activity so that they can approach the coaching sessions with a full profile of the driver and engage where necessary to hone skills.

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