Orkin: Lower idling, greener earth
Published on August 18, 2020
Table of contents
The Challenge: Tackling fleet idling as a team
Caring for the environment is a core commitment of Orkin. The pest control and home services company, which serves over 1.7 million residential and commercial customers, takes an environmentally responsible approach to service, including products registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as recycling, paper and travel reduction, vanpooling, energy efficiency measures, and an Environmental Stewardship Group.
Within the fleet, Orkin seeks to reduce emissions through the use of GPS and route consolidation software. The company follows an every-other-month service frequency instead of monthly to reduce mileage and fuel emissions.
One area that Orkin sought to improve further was vehicle idling. As the Orkin fleet grew, so did idling. There was a 20-minute idling rule in place, whereby drivers received an audible, in-cab alert before they reached the limit. However, this had not reduced idling, as most drivers used up the maximum time, only turning vehicles off just short of the 20-minute mark.
Reducing idling would deliver environmental benefits, plus cost savings. It was estimated that idling time cost the company just over $1 million in 2017, which increased to $1.22 million in 2019.
To tackle this challenge, Orkin launched an innovative fleet contest that encouraged drivers to idle as little as possible.
The Solution: Gamification for the win
Orkin’s “Low Idle — Wins Title” contest was run for three months (one fiscal quarter). The goal of the competition was to educate drivers and managers about the importance of reducing excessive idling and capture potential fuel savings.
Powered by Geotab telematics, Orkin gamified the challenge, monitoring drivers’ total amount of idle time, instead of exception-based idling. Their Authorized Geotab Reseller sponsored a number of generous prizes to motivate drivers, with the top prize being a Caribbean cruise for two for the driver with the lowest overall idling. The second place prize was for Most Improved Driver, and there were branch and regional level awards, for Lowest Idling Branch, Most Improved Branch and Best Performing Region, in which was a donation to the Rollins Employee Relief Fund in the Region’s name.
Daily, Weekly and Monthly Idle Reports on the fleet’s Reseller Dashboard showing idling duration by vehicle made it easy for managers to track progress and share rankings with drivers throughout the contest.
The Results: Idling lowered across every division
Fueled by competition, Orkin successfully cut its idling by 8.4% in a three-month period. Some individual drivers and divisions cut their idling even more. Thanks to their fun and rewarding driver initiative, Orkin improved corporate sustainability and its bottom line.
By reducing idling, the Orkin fleet cut back on emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas which has been shown as a contributor to climate change, in addition to nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and other harmful pollutants. Idling reduction is an important part of corporate citizenship. Less vehicle idling means better air quality in the community and less noise.
Every minute of idling saved counts. Heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles waste around 6 billion gallons of fuel every year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Depending on the vehicle type, on average, burning one gallon of gasoline creates 8,887 grams of CO2.
Summary of results:
- 8.4% reduction in total idle time over 3 months, as compared to the previous year
- Two drivers achieved a total idling time of only 4 minutes and 26 seconds for the entire quarter. The first place winner was determined based upon the drivers’ overall driver scorecard.
- Most improved driver cut idle time by 99.5%. The most improved branch had an 87% decrease in idling, and the most improved division had a per vehicle reduction of 13%.
- Month over month, idling was lowered, even as the fleet size increased.
Even in the short run of the contest, Orkin realized significant cost savings, with no additional investment by the company.
If the trend continues, the savings could add up to as much as $250,000 according to projections. Reducing idling also increases fuel efficiency and has fleet maintenance benefits, including extending the vehicle engine life.
Orkin’s fleet idling contest reinforces how corporate initiative backed by telematics and teamwork can have a powerful impact on the environment and the bottom-line.
Types of vehicles:
Sedans, Pick-ups, SUVs and Crossover SUVs
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