Abbott First to Join PHH GreenFleet Program

Company cars may not be the ultimate status symbol in the corporate world, but the make, model, and luxuriousness of a company-supplied vehicle still represent one's place in the pecking order for many employees and executives. Corporate fleet vehicles also get driven more than most passenger cars (on average, 25,000 miles per year, according to the US Department of Energy), so this group of automobiles contributes more than its share of CO2 emissions. Environmental Defense and fleet vehicle management company PHH have created the PHH Greenfleet program " improve vehicle efficiency and reduce fuel consumption among commercial fleets," and health-care giant Abbott is the first corporation to join the effort. According to ED's press release,

As part of the PHH GreenFleet pilot program, Abbott established a greenhouse gas baseline and incorporated more efficient vehicles into the fleet. In order to encourage drivers to choose more environmentally friendly vehicles, Abbott offered upgrade incentives such as satellite radios and sunroofs and clearly communicated with drivers about the environmental impacts of their choices. As a result, in the most recent fleet selection, 20 percent of drivers chose more fuel-efficient vehicles, improving the Abbott fleet’s average fuel economy, reducing average per vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing projected per vehicle operating costs.
It's certainly a start, and we hope the Abbott employees that chose more efficient vehicles rave about them to their co-workers, especially during the summer driving season when gas prices are higher. One could argue that corporate cars are a relic of a cheap oil economy that should be rethought; on the other hand, ED and PHH's program may just succeed in getting many more green(er) cars on the road than efforts focused on consumers, and even automakers. Fleet buyers certainly have more pull with car manufacturers, so their purchases of gas-sipping cars could provide an extra incentive for Detroit (as well as Japan, Germany, etc.) to pick up the pace on cleaner car development. And, who knows: maybe the Prius or the Tesla Roadster will become the next symbol of corporate success. ::Environmental Defense and ClimateBiz

Tags: Fuel Efficiency