As we enter Q4 and another calendar year draws near, many fleets are about to enter what’s known as the "bid season." With private and public sector organizations putting a growing importance on making environmentally responsible decisions, institutions that rely on fleets for their transportation needs 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 information 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 are a lower-carbon option, you might get a leg up on the competition and more importantly win the bid.
- Look for opportunities to tout your sustainability.
Some organizations’ requests for proposal (RFP) or requests for quote (RFQ) ask for specifics on how the responder will help them reduce their carbon footprint. That is where greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data can be most useful. Some RFPs ask more open-ended questions. We see the trend heading the other direction requiring specific submissions and responses, but there are still some RFPs that don’t ask at all. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t highlight your use of cleaner fuels in your submission. 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 requester is hostile to renewable fuels, this could be an opportunity for you to educate them on how 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 is a lot of attention paid to the development of electric trucks right now. While we hope the technology will become readily available, the infrastructure and technology are just not there yet for trucking applications and will not be for a while. If you are waiting for electric vehicles before getting on board with sustainability, you’re delay will cost you 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. While you are making a difference now, you can then evaluate your investment in alternative technologies in the future.
- Take advantage of all of the 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 on 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 where available infrastructure exists. The point is, an integrated energy management approach is worth considering — and a good fuel partner can help you determine the right solutions 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:
About Renewable Energy Group
Renewable Energy Group, Inc. is leading the energy and transportation industries’ transition to sustainability by transforming renewable resources into high-quality, sustainable fuels. Renewable Energy Group is an international producer of sustainable fuels that significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions to immediately reduce carbon impact. Renewable Energy Group utilizes a global integrated procurement, distribution and logistics network to operate 12 biorefineries in the U.S. and Europe. In 2020, Renewable Energy Group produced 519 million gallons of cleaner fuel delivering 4.2 million metric tons of carbon reduction. Renewable Energy Group is meeting the growing global demand for lower-carbon fuels and leading the way to a more sustainable future.