ARAMARK Uniform Services Initiates Environmental Transportation Programs
On any given day, ARAMARK Uniform Services’ (AUS) fleet of vehicles is on the road, delivering uniforms and work apparel to hundreds of our clients in 42 states. AUS is constantly tracking and managing resource consumption and any impact on the environment. One of the ways we’re exploring to lead the industry is by increasing fleet efficiency and decreasing vehicle emissions.
AUS has implemented a route-optimization program that reduces miles, use of fuel, and emissions. Using global positioning system (GPS) devices in each fleet vehicle combined with routing software, AUS sorted client accounts by their similar locations and mapped out the most efficient and effective travel route between locations. By eliminating service overlaps AUS reduced travel time, and, lowered the total number of miles traveled along with the corresponding fuel consumption. And, by re-engineering thousands of route territories and schedules, we were able to reduce our total number of routes by 10% which yielded a 20% reduction in overall mileage and accompanying fuel savings.
We’ve also added nearly 80 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) to our fleet in 28 states over the past year. Each hybrid vehicle reduces total greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent and generates fuel efficiency gains of between 20 and 40 percent compared to a standard diesel stepvan. The hybrids also create fuel savings of as much as 500 gallons per vehicle per year. The HEVs use the combination of an energy-efficient diesel engine and a battery-driven electric motor. When traveling under 30 miles-per-hour the hybrids run on electricity, then shift to diesel engine use when their speed increases.To make the most of the HEV technology, the HEVs are deployed to mostly urban areas with stop–and-go-traffic and limited highway miles. This strategy leverages not only the HEV’s fuel economy but their regenerative braking system, which converts energy created while braking into electricity to charge the vehicle’s battery. ARAMARK drivers are also educated to understand the mechanics of the vehicles and to make the most of the braking system, noted Satish Natarajan, fleet director for AUS.
“We’re pretty happy with the vehicles’ performance,” he said, adding that ARAMARK continues to look at even more advanced vehicles – zero emission plug-in vehicles for example -- to consider adding to the fleet when feasible.