There are thousands of companies around the country with customer service fleets, often in urban areas. With fuel prices still hovering near $3 per gallon and the economy struggling, anything that can cut operating costs is helpful.
That's the kind of thinking that led Tyco Group company SimplexGrinnell to order 200 new Ford Fusion hybrids for its national fleet. SimplexGrinnell provides fire alarm, sprinkler and suppression systems as well as hospital communications systems. Technicians frequently visit client sites to check out and service these systems. So far, this is just a drop in the bucket for the 7,000-vehicle fleet. What to do with the non-hybrid vehicles? The company is running a Green Driver Challenge to encourage employees to be more efficient by checking tire pressures and avoiding extended periods of idling.
ADT security systems, which is also part of the Tyco Group, is ordering 3,000 Transit Connect compact vans for its fleet over the next six months. The new vans are expected to save $5.3 million a year in fuel compared to the vehicles they replace.
Photos by Sam Abuelsamid / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
SimplexGrinnell orders 200 ford fusion hybrids in effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- SimplexGrinnell, a Tyco International Company and industry leader in fire and life safety systems and services, recently ordered 200 Ford Fusion Hybrids as part of a company-wide effort to replace 25 percent of its sales fleet with hybrid vehicles
- The Fusion Hybrids will be used by select sales and leadership staff members and will replace conventional gas vehicles
- Fusion Hybrid – America's most fuel-efficient midsize sedan – delivers an EPA-estimated 41 mpg city and 36 highway
- In addition to the Fusion Hybrids, SimplexGrinnell also purchased 200 units of Ford Focus, 50 of Taurus, 28 Fusion gas models and a handful of Edge vehicles; all were chosen based on value, fuel efficiency, size and suitability for the job
The majority of SimplexGrinnell's 7,000-vehicle fleet is comprised of large commercial trucks and vans; however, the fleet also includes 2,000 cars, which are used by the company's sales and leadership staff. That's where the Ford Fusion Hybrid – America's most fuel-efficient midsize car – will make a significant impact, according to Jim Spicer, president of SimplexGrinnell.
"The Fusion Hybrids will provide us with much greater fuel savings and CO2 reductions compared to the conventional gas vehicles they are replacing," he said. "They also are a perfect fit for our staff."
SimplexGrinnell, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., operates in 150 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. According to Janice Buxton, senior manager of Fleet Services for SimplexGrinnell, the Fusion Hybrids will be used primarily in major metropolitan areas where employees do city driving of less than 2,500 miles per month. In order to achieve full efficiency, the company will start placing the hybrids in fairly neutral climates, but will look to expand use in more demanding areas.
The 200 Fusion Hybrids support a Tyco company-wide environmental program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water consumption by 25 percent over the next five years. The program, known as "Vital World," includes a series of steps the company is taking around the world to reduce its impact on the environment and to help customers reduce theirs.
SimplexGrinnell initiative encourages employees to adopt 'greener' driving habits
In addition to contributing to the company-wide initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Fusion Hybrids also may be used by employees participating in the EcoWheels™ Green Driver Challenge, which is organized by Wheels, Inc., SimplexGrinnell's fleet management company. The program encourages drivers to commit to practices such as reducing idling time, checking tire pressure and planning routes more efficiently. It began on April 22, 2010 and runs through July 1, 2010.
By registering at a special website and indicating what sustainable actions they pledge to take, drivers participating in the EcoWheels Green Driver Challenge will immediately learn the environmental impact of their commitment because the website will calculate the CO2 output that each pledge will save and the impact of that reduction in the equivalent number of trees planted.
"Our company is strongly committed to the environment and to reducing our carbon footprint," said Spicer. "By participating in the Green Driver Challenge, we can engage our drivers to do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and add the incentive of tracking in real time the positive effect their commitment has on the environment."
Spicer signed on for the challenge himself and encouraged each member of his senior leadership to do the same.
"The program has been well received, and we're working to increase participation, both among our fleet drivers and our employees in their personal vehicles," said Buxton. "Based on enrollment so far, we will be saving more than 93,000 pounds of CO2, which is the equivalent of planting roughly 6,500 trees. We're looking forward to seeing how employees driving the new Fusion Hybrids will impact those numbers."
In addition to Fusion Hybrid, SimplexGrinnell also purchased 200 units of Ford Focus, 50 of Taurus, 28 Fusion gas models and a handful of Edge vehicles.
"All of the vehicles were chosen based on their suitability for the job, operating cost and fuel efficiency," said Buxton.
Buxton says SimplexGrinnell also is looking to integrate the Ford Transit Connect into its fleet. ADT Security Services, the world's largest electronic security provider and also a Tyco company, plans to order 3,000 Transit Connects within the next six months, a move that will save ADT approximately $5.3 million in annual fuel costs while reducing carbon emissions.
"We're working to determine where the best fit might be for the Transit Connect," said Buxton.
SimplexGrinnell provides a comprehensive array of fire alarm, fire sprinkler, fire suppression, integrated security, communications and nurse call systems and services. With 1 million customers, 150 local offices and more than 200 years of history in the fire business, SimplexGrinnell is the leader in fire and life safety. For more information, please visit www.simplexgrinnell.com.