Cox Enterprises Uses Telematics and Fuel-Efficient Vehicles to Cut Costs and Reduce Its Carbon Footprint
ATLANTA – Cox Enterprises celebrated the fifth anniversary of Cox Conserves, the company’s national sustainability program, and provided details on its 12,000-vehicle fleet’s specific achievements in its latest corporate sustainability report.
The company said it launched the Cox Conserves program in 2007, and that it is designed to reduce Cox Enterprises’ energy consumption “by embracing renewable forms of energy, conserving natural resources and inspiring eco-friendly behavior.”
Cox Enterprises said it currently employs flex-fuel vehicles and is replacing fleet vehicles with a mix of more fuel-efficient models and hybrids. The company said a number of these vehicles are used by its Cox Communications division.
Currently, 90% of Cox’s executive fleet vehicles each get 27 mpg, 10% of the fleet consists of Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEV) and LEED-ranked vehicles, and the fleet now has nearly 300 hybrid vehicles. For the company’s network operations vehicles, 90% of them use a new hybrid operating system that allows them to emit zero emissions during aerial operation.
Cox also employs Trimble’s GPS system, now installed in a total of 5,000 vehicles in the fleet, which the company said saves more than 1 million gallons of fuel each year. The system also helps Cox reduce its carbon footprint by more than 25 million lbs. of CO2. Other features of the GPS/telematics system include a vehicle diagnostics component, which the company said helps drivers reduce fuel use (by controlling engine idle time) and C02 emissions, and a “GeoManager” module. The GeoManager features mapping and real-time traffic, and allows field tech supervisors and dispatchers to improve operating efficiency and customer service and reduce operating costs. Both features allowed Cox to reduce vehicle idle time by 84%, from 90 minutes per day to 15, during the first year of the system’s use. The company also created a “no-idle” zone at the Atlanta headquarters’ loading dock.
For the executive vehicle program, Cox employees must choose a vehicle that achieves mpg of 27 or better. Cox partners with Georgia’s Clean Air Campaign and the Perimeter Transportation Coalition. Clean Air Campaign recognized Cox with a PACE Large Business Award in 2006 and a PACE Innovator Award for a Green Fleet in 2008, according to the company.
Additional transportation options for employees also help reduce the company’s carbon footprint and costs. The company utilizes a shuttle system that transports employees to a public transit station (including MARTA). Cox also provides a motor pool via a Borrow-A-Hybrid program. Vehicles branded with “Cox Conserves” are available to employees who take alternative forms of transportation. Employees can check out the cars if they need to attend an off-site meeting, for example. The company also provides a guaranteed ride home if an emergency occurs to employees who take public transportation.