DES PLAINES, IL - Nearly 3,000 drivers have improved their fuel efficiency as part of Wheels, Inc.'s EcoWheels Green Driver Challenge. Forty-one different corporate fleets from a range of North American companies were represented in the EcoWheels Green Driver Challenge, including SimplexGrinnell, AstraZeneca, and Nationwide Insurance.

The ten-week program enlisted 2,970 corporate fleet vehicle drivers to pledge to incorporate sustainable driving habits into their daily routines. Developed by Wheels and launched in conjunction with Earth Day, the program elicited pledges whose actions are equivalent to saving 4,640,520 lbs in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, or the equivalent of 341,787 trees having been planted. 

"We are thrilled with the results of this program," said Dan Frank, president of Wheels Services. "It is clear that our drivers are excited about the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operate their vehicles more efficiently while still carrying out the duties of their respective jobs. The drivers took action that made a significant contribution to the preservation of our environment while at the same time reducing their fuel consumption and expenses."

The EcoWheels Green Driver Challenge educated participating drivers and encouraged them to adopt sustainable driving habits, such as reducing idling time, regularly checking tire pressure and reducing cargo load, among others. Employees who signed up online and pledged to incorporate these habits into their daily driving routine were informed of the impact of each pledge in total CO2 emissions saved.

"As a company with a strong commitment to the environment and sustainability, SimplexGrinnell is proud to have participated in the Challenge," said Jim Spicer, president of SimplexGrinnell. "The EcoWheels program demonstrated the significant impact our employees can have by making simple changes in driving habits and embracing the importance of conservation and environmental protection." 

The corporate fleet with the greatest number of participants was AstraZeneca, which manages a fleet of more than 5200 vehicles and enrolled 503 drivers in the Challenge. 

"The EcoWheels Green Driver Challenge gave AstraZeneca an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to sustainable, and eco-conscious operations," said Mike Tilton, vice president, Sales. "Our drivers were excited to be able to make choices and take actions that would positively impact AstraZeneca's environmental footprint." 

Fleets of all sizes, from a variety of industries participated in the challenge. Among the diverse array of companies was Nationwide Insurance, a Wheels customer since 1985. Nationwide Insurance had the second highest number of drivers participate.

"We actively search for opportunities to improve our operating efficiency and to reduce waste, and participating in this challenge shows that you don't need to be in manufacturing in order to make sustainability a priority," said Gail Watson, fleet manager, Nationwide Insurance.

While the program has officially concluded, Wheels said it will continue to disseminate information to its customers and their drivers so they can make smart, environmentally sound driving decisions year-round.