Drive safely – it’s good for the environment

Regular readers will be aware of how much effort we’ve been putting into keeping our stores ‘green’. In fact in Ireland it’s even won us the 2013 Green Retailer Award for Energy Under Performing Store programme (EUPS). But it’s not just about stores – or indeed Ireland. We have a big transport operation and we’re always keen to ensure that our fleet can improve its efficiency, reducing both cost and our carbon footprint.

Technology, you might say, caused this challenge by enabling us to communicate faster around ever-wider areas to which we could then send more trucks and vans to meet growing demand. Well technology is helping us to deal with it too through Fleetboard, a system we’ve been using in our vehicles.

Fleetboard helps drivers to continually improve their driving style. The more drivers are aware of what they’re doing the more safely they drive of course, but greater awareness also means that they keep down the level of damage to vehicles and manage fuel better – and that will limit the effect of our trucks on the environment.

How does this work? The techy fellows call it key performance data. You and I, however, would see it as information that can tells us what we’re doing. And that is what Fleetboard gives you. Every month it captures and provides the driver and management team with information about how the driver has driven on each trip. This is then added up and an average point score is awarded across the various elements.

One bit of information that most of us were aware of even before Fleetboard was adopted is that July is the worse period for damage to our vehicles. So when Musgrave GB Transport launched a Fleetboard Championship to find the best driver from each site based on their Fleetboard scores, it was hardly a challenge to work out the ideal period: it started on May 1st and ends on July 31st. The prize for site winners is a day at Mercedes Benz Wentworth Park, Barnsley on 5th September, honing, among other things, off-road, reversing, and defect-spotting skills and possibly winning an overall prize as best Musgrave driver on the day.

This approach is as much about safety and efficiency as it is about the environment, of course. But it’s not too difficult to see how ensuring one of these helps another.

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