Samsara recently partnered with Wakefield Research on a survey that asked fleet leaders to reveal what challenges exist for their organizations in setting and meeting sustainability goals. The data and key findings were released on Nov. 1, 2021.
The research points to a desire for meaningful change, as 78% of the leaders surveyed said that they feel a greater responsibility to prioritize sustainability efforts than other industries. 91% said they feel significant pressure to set and meet aggressive sustainability goals, as these efforts become a differentiator.
Many spoke to the importance of aligning efforts with a bottom line, as 94% said they can only meet their sustainability goals if they can prove it will benefit the business. With 49% operating without a sustainability strategy in place, 87% are worried their organization will not meet goals.
Leaders are faced with supply chain disruptions and a labor shortage that impact daily operations. 79% admitted that these disruptions have set back their sustainability goals. In addition, the majority of leaders (93%) are prioritizing the labor shortage first.
Technology solutions and real-time data have an important role in helping leaders move sustainability forward. Leaders revealed that COVID-19 accelerated the need for technology solutions that allow them to evaluate sustainability efforts (79%). Despite this, not all have the right partnerships and technology in place to progress and set more aggressive sustainability goals.
Data-related issues are a common challenge. 93% said they experience data-related challenges when analyzing sustainability performance, such as an insufficient amount of data (47%), unreliable or inaccurate information (46%), and difficulty synthesizing information (45%). The research also found leaders do not have real-time data to track sustainability performance for more efficient routes (46%), vehicle utilization (42%), and equipment or machine efficiency (41%).
One strategy to reduce emissions is the electrification of fleets, as 77% said it is extremely/very important for their organization to meet its sustainability goals, and 26% said it’s the most important thing. Government incentives for the adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles also had an impact on many organizations’ electrification strategies (89%).
Nearly half (45%) of leaders indicated that electrifying could also benefit their bottom line. The top benefits of electrifying vehicle fleets include financial incentives (43%), lowering the total cost of ownership (42%), and reducing vehicle downtime for maintenance (40%). In this time of labor shortages, 42% said incorporating electric vehicles into fleets is also considered to increase employee retention.
Amplifying this challenge is the fact that many are still tracking some of their physical operations manually (96%) and cite a lack of real-time data as preventing them from setting more aggressive sustainability goals (41%).
Leaders also stated that insight from real-time data would make it easier to meet emission targets (47%), which has the potential to make a sizable difference considering only 20% are completely confident their organization is accurately measuring its emissions.
“This research highlights the huge opportunity for the world of physical operations to push sustainability forward, and shows just how important technology is to enable this change,” said Alexander Stevenson, VP of product management at Samsara. “While many leaders are facing setbacks, they are also gaining access to new tools that can help realize their goals. Be it the ability to digitize operations or the growth of electric vehicles, there are a lot of advancements helping to make sustainable choices easier.”
The press announcement also mentions that many global leaders are meeting this week at the UN Climate Change Conference to discuss plans to cut emissions and accelerate sustainability efforts in the public and private sectors. The world of physical operations, specifically the industrial and transportation sectors, currently consumes more than 60% of energy in the United States.