Sustainable America Blog

How a Uniform Company Saved $25K by Helping the Environment

From messenger services to furniture delivery businesses to cable companies, millions of short trips are made every day by businesses with fleets of vehicles—and that means millions of chances for drivers to idle their engines.

Unnecessary fleet idling really adds up—both for its environmental impact and for a business’s bottom line. That’s why we recently launched the Idle-Free Fleet program. This customizable program educates organizations with vehicle fleets, including businesses, municipalities and academic institutions, about the environmental, social and economic costs of vehicle idling and provides proven solutions to change driver behaviors.

A pioneering member of the Idle-Free Fleet program is Crown Uniform and Linen, a regional, family-owned, uniform and linen service in the Northeast. With Sustainable America’s help, Crown Uniform and Linen strengthened their existing idling policies and rolled out an idling-reduction pilot program with 20 of its 75 trucks this spring. When they started, they learned that each truck was idling 70 minutes per day on average, and many drivers weren’t even aware that they were idling. Four months into the program, their average idling time per truck dropped to just 7 minutes per day—a 90% improvement!—and in the months following they have further reduced their idling times to as little as 4 minutes per truck per day!

The infographic below highlights the success Crown has had so far and how they did it.

Details about Crown Uniform's Anti-Idling Program

As you can see, by increasing driver awareness, setting aggressive yet attainable idling limits and providing regular feedback, Crown was able to save a substantial amount of money. (The numbers above assume an average cost of $4 per gallon of diesel fuel, and 300 operating days per year.) They will save even more as they roll out the program to more drivers and experience reduced maintenance costs from idling reduction.

Throughout the program, Crown was able to analyze driver behaviors through their on-board telematics system, which tracks daily idling times by truck and driver. Data provided by the system is now aggregated and communicated to drivers on a daily basis, and issues are addressed as they arise with specific individuals. Their collective success at reducing idling hours is being communicated to drivers regularly so that they can share in the accomplishment and take pride in their achievements.

George Spilios, Regional Manager of Crown, says he’s excited to see the company expanding its sustainability programs, which already included recycling, waste reduction and lower resource consumption, among others. “Partnering with Sustainable America helped Crown identify a great opportunity. As a result of this program, we captured some significant fuel savings while further supporting Crown’s commitment to sustainable business practices.” To learn more about Crown’s Idle-Free Fleet experience, download their case study.

Interested in starting an idle reduction program for your company’s fleet? Contact Katrina Kazda, Director of Programs, at katrina.kazda@sustainableamerica.org or 203-803-1250.

Inspired to reduce your individual idling impact? Learn more and sign the I Turn It Off pledge at iturnitoff.com.

SOURCES
EPA Emissions Fact Sheet
transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/373.pdf
Environmental Defense Fund

RELATED ARTICLES
Meet the Man Who’s Asked Thousands of New Yorkers to Stop Idling
The Truth About Idling
7 Ways to Take Action on Idling

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Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

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The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

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The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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