As we enter Q4 and another calendar year draws near, many fleets are about to enter what’s known as bid season. With private and public sector organizations putting a growing importance on making environmentally responsible decisions, institutions that hire fleets are looking more closely than ever at their supplier’s sustainability efforts.
How do your sustainability credentials stack up? Here are five tips for fleets looking to improve upon their sustainability efforts to help win more bids.
- Track your data.
Those putting quotes and other requests out for bidding are starting to ask for more and more data. That can be your fleet’s emissions-related data (which, by the way, is something REG provides to customers) or data related to the fuel itself. If you have the numbers to prove that you’re a lower-carbon option, you might get a leg up on the competition.
- Look for opportunities to tout your sustainability.
Some organizations’ requests for proposal (RFP) ask for specifics on how the responder will help them reduce their carbon footprint. That’s where greenhouse gas emissions data can be most useful. Some RFPs ask more open-ended questions. And while the trend is heading the other direction, there are still some RFPs that don’t ask at all. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring up your use of cleaner fuels. More local and state governments are enacting clean air policies. The nation’s ports are also giving more consideration to carbon footprints. Unless you get the sense that the organization is hostile to renewable fuels, this could be an opportunity for you to educate them on how you being a lower-carbon option could be good for their business or institution.
- Sell yourself as a sustainability provider … right now.
Contracts vary in length, but generally speaking the bids going out this time of year will cover 2022. There’s a lot of attention paid to the development of electric trucks right now. That’s fine, but the infrastructure and technology are just not there yet for trucking applications and won’t be for a while. If you’re waiting for electric vehicles before getting on board with sustainability, you’re losing time and money. For 2022 and, really, the next few years, you should look at drop-in solutions like biodiesel that work in your existing vehicles and help you lower fleet emissions immediately.
- Take advantage of the financial benefits of cleaner fuels.
Sustainability is growing in importance, but many RFPs still go to the lowest responsible bidder. Explore fuels that allow you to reduce your emissions and be more competitive with price. This means not just what you pay per gallon but also whether you need to upgrade your trucks to run on it, make changes to fueling infrastructure, search hard for supply and other issues. Maintenance can also be a factor. For example, biodiesel offers higher Cetane, increased lubricity and reduced wear on diesel particulate filters compared with petroleum diesel. Those can all help lower your total cost of ownership. On top of all of that, you may be able to take advantage of the federal Biodiesel Tax Credit and state tax incentives.
- Don’t be afraid to use multiple fuels to achieve your goals.
There is no silver bullet solution when it comes to which fuel a fleet should use. For example, a fleet in the Midwest might use higher biodiesel blends. A national fleet might buy a renewable diesel and biodiesel blend for their West Coast operations (because it’s more widely available there) but primarily use biodiesel blends elsewhere and test out a handful of electric or compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks. The point is, an integrated energy management approach is worth considering — and a good fuel partner can help you determine the right solution and explain the advantages of it in your bids and responses you submit.
Still want more info?
Check out this Commercial Carrier Journal article on how biodiesel is helping fleets win freight bids.
If you have questions about which fuels are right for your fleet or how we can support you during bid season, don’t hesitate to reach out: