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Sustainability in field service management: Tips to reduce your carbon footprint

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22nd April 2022 - Read our blog for our top tips reducing your carbon footprint and ensuring that your field service business is sustainable.

Sustainability has become an increasingly important global initiative, with the US and European Union announcing plans to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2023

As a result, many businesses are actively seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprints to keep up with government regulations and net-zero targets, in addition to keeping up with consumer expectations of sustainability. 

And the field services industry is no different. Let’s show you the Statistics:

✅ In Europe, less than 5% of vehicles are commercial vehicles or heavy duty trucks, but they contribute to almost 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.

✅ The field services industry makes an active contribution to harmful carbon pollution with a mobile workforce spending significant parts of the day travelling in fleet vehicles, making repeat visits and mapping out field service routes manually.

Therefore, increasing pressure from customers, regulators and competitors means that sustainability must be a top priority for many field service companies. 

Let’s take a closer look at the importance of sustainability and the actions you can take to reduce your business’ carbon footprint.

Why is sustainability important? 

Protecting the planet is vital for every business, and field service businesses have a big part to play. Field service businesses are facing pressure to change from a number of angles. This can have a huge impact on the industry if companies do not change ways of working or embrace digital technologies to transform ways of working, cut CO2 emissions, and remain profitable. 

  • Customer expectations – more and more customers want to see sustainability credentials before they choose a business. 52% of consumers factor a brand’s eco-credentials into their buying decisions, so not working greener can be a reputational and business risk. 

Research from Gartner shows 63% of executives at organisations with sustainability programmes state that the customer is their most important catalyst for action.

  • Fuel costs – fuel costs are now at record highs. Not only is every extra mile driven pumping out more carbon, but it can be impacting the business’ bottom line too.
  • Government policies – in the coming years, national and regional governments are likely to bring in more and more schemes to wean us off fossil fuels – especially diesel. The cost of not acting is very likely to rise. 

Top 4 tips for sustainability in field service businesses 

Let’s take a look at how you can actively make changes to your business to become more sustainable and reduce CO2 emissions across the company. 

  1. Route optimisation 

Fuel consumption is a huge challenge in the field service industry when it comes to both sustainability and cost-efficiency. 

With technicians servicing multiple customers per day, last minute schedule changes, lack of equipment or parts, and heavy traffic, driver’s time on the road can be significantly increased, leading to higher CO2 emissions and higher fuel costs. 

However, route optimisation ensures that technicians with the correct parts and skills are available in the correct location, and always take the most efficient route to every job. Ensuring technicians get to jobs as effectively as possible help to:

🚚 Lower the number of miles they travel
🚚 Lower the emissions produced
🚚 Limit the impact on the roads

All of these contribute to the overall sustainability of the company which can also help to improve customer experience, improving the bottom line of the business too.

Smart routing helps companies to work out the best possible journey between jobs, saving time and fuel. Big Change users cut their fuel bills by an average of 10%. 

Using cloud based job management software can provide:

  • live tracking and automated job scheduling to keep technicians up to date on their schedules through their mobile devices
  • Help to avoid unnecessary travel
  • Help to reduce wasted fuel
  • Help to reduce the environmental impact of the business.
  • Help to reduce wear and tear on vehicles, saving company costs. 
  1. Switch to electric vehicles 

As fleets are refreshed in the future, it will be time to consider making the switch from petrol or diesel powered vehicles to electric vehicles. Electric vehicles offer zero emissions, drastically reducing a company’s carbon footprint.

The European Union is working towards a 90% reduction in transport emissions by 2050. Research shows fleet vehicles travel more than 40% of vehicle kilometres in Europe and are responsible for half of the total emissions from road transport. 

These statistics mean that field service businesses will find they are increasingly pressured to switch to zero-emission vehicles sooner rather than later. 

Job scheduling software can help companies to switch to electric fleets which have more limited ranges by optimising job planning and routing to ensure that productivity of technicians is not impacted and to ensure that they get the most from their working day. 

  1. Go digital to save on paper 

Going digital can not only save the time it takes to manually track jobs, fill out forms and produce invoices, it can also reduce paper usage and make a business more sustainable. 

The following paper documents can be digitised:

  • Invoices
  • Work orders
  • Time schedules 

All of the above can be optimised online and completely eliminate the use of paper within the company. 

In addition, digitising all of these elements can allow technicians to access the information they need online, on-site too through a mobile app

BigChange is a paperless system. In 2021 we helped customers save 60 million sheets of A4. That’s roughly equivalent to 7,200 trees.

  1. Lower-emission driving

Before implementing electric vehicles, optimising the way technician’s drive their fleet vehicles can help to significantly reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, a key driver of climate change. 

In fact, fuel efficient driving including driving at a consistent speed and limiting acceleration and braking can save an average of 15% in fuel consumption

Job scheduling and live tracking software can provide driver alerts to technicians and reports to help drivers improve their driving habits which can increase fuel consumption and harm the environment, resulting in extra costs and a greater impact on the environment for the business. 

Teaching drivers to alter their driving habits offers a number of other benefits including: 

  • Improved technician safety – smoother and safer driving practices can help to reduce road traffic accidents and reduce the number of claims made against company vehicles. 
  • Extended life of company vehicles – changing driving habits can help to keep company cars performing well for longer and keep them in good condition. Well-maintained vehicles consume less and are less likely to break down, helping to save on costs. 

Key takeaways

Climate change is top of the agenda around the world and has become a key initiative for businesses across many industries. 

With so many vehicles on the road on a daily basis, the field service industry must play an important role in reducing emissions and making an impact on the road. Incorporating environmentally friendly processes and practices in daily tasks can help to achieve this goal. 

Field service management software can not only save time, costs, and increase productivity across the business, it can also contribute to reduced fuel consumption and contribution to CO2 emissions across the entire business. 

Find out how BigChange can help your business, book a free consultation today. You can also get helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below.

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BigChange.com

22nd April 2022

BigChange

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