22 Feb 22

“Three major aspects are critical for achieving sustainability"

At Securitas Europe, fleet efficiency is one of the most critical elements of operations to provide security to thousands of clients. 

Saban Tekedereli, Procurement & Category Manager Fleet Europe at Securitas, manages a fleet of 13,500 vehicles across Europe. He set up a thorough strategy to overcome the challenges of the supply chain crisis and clear the obstacles on the path of sustainability. “Yet, the highly volatile prices are increasingly becoming a problem for the fleet industry,” he says. 

As a veteran in the automotive industry, we asked Mr Tekedereli about his supplier policy, decarbonization plans, and critical to achieving sustainability.

Since when you have been working as a procurement category manager for Securitas?

"I joined Securitas in September 2020, after spending more than 20 years in the automotive industry, particularly in the complex and dynamic fleet segment."

How many countries are you responsible for as procurement manager? 

"In Europe, we have an unmatched presence covering 22 countries and serving over 100,000 clients in a wide range of industries and customer segments - from retail and events to aviation and SME. Today we have around 13,500 vehicles in Europe. Our key markets in Europe are Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands."

What vehicle models and fuel types do you have?

"At Securitas, we have a strong heritage in the guarding business, so our mobile patrol units have been using predominantly passenger cars from the B segment and small light commercial vehicles. We also use special designated cars and trucks for some of our services like Fire & Safety. Being a responsible and sustainable company is a priority for us. We pay much focus on our environmental impact and carbon footprint." 

"Sustainability is well integrated into our operations. We believe it ensures long-term growth and gives us a competitive advantage. Securitas is one of the few security companies globally that can take on the security challenges of today’s world in a sustainable way. Securitas has an environmental policy, which is updated every year. Our primary focus is on reducing emissions from transportation. And similar to other companies, we support the transition process of our international fleet from diesel dominance to other sustainable alternatives like electric and hydrogen cars." 

What are the main factors impacting the car policy?

"Before joining Securitas, countries were organizing their fleets locally, but now we have signed several International Fleet Agreements with selected suppliers to manage this in a more centralized and harmonized way which contrributes to our fleet efficiency in a sustainable way." 

"One of the first things we did when I joined Securitas was to conduct an extensive data analysis of our fleet in the 22 European countries and support the countries to have a 360-degree focus on their local fleets. The consolidated data enabled us to identify and implement short, mid and long-term strategies to optimize our fleet, as well as our sustainability goals. At Securitas, our car policies are dynamic and constantly being improved and evaluated on different perspectives: safety, sustainability and costs."

What's your strategic focus towards suppliers? 

"In my role, I am focusing and engaging with the regional or international strategic partners, identifying, benchmarking and vetting suppliers while local organizations in the countries are executing the procurement process at the local level."

"Sustainability and our carbon-footprint reduction are a clear focus for us at Securitas, so we partner with suppliers that have a similar strong focus on sustainability and can support the development of our hybrid fleet business model. We have a very transparent Business Code of Conduct that all our partners need to follow."

How did you position yourself against the supply shortage? 

"Last year was a challenging year for many fleets in Europe, and the supply shortage makes it even more complex. But at Securitas, we have managed this shortage very well compared to other industries. We informed our local fleet managers about the possible supply shortages at a very early stage. We motivated them to adjust their business plans, build reserves where possible, and increase the utilization of their fleets."

"Since most of our fleet in Europe is purchased and not leased, we can decide to extend the holding periods whenever this can be done sustainably. Our financing and lease partners and other suppliers have done a great job supporting us with extensions and reserve replacements."

Could you tell us about your corporate mobility policy? 

"Securitas is a service company with a relatively small environmental impact compared, for example, with the manufacturing industry. Nevertheless, our primary environmental responsibility is to reduce the level of emissions generated from our transportation activities, which is clearly reflected in our mobility policies and other parts of our operations. The goal is to gradually, on an annual basis, reduce the emissions generated by the company cars and minivans owned and leased by Securitas around the world. Since 2008, the average emissions from these vehicles have declined significantly."

"We will continue to reduce the emissions caused by our vehicles. We have a clear strategy to reduce emissions by ensuring that all new vehicles purchased or leased every year emit fewer grams of CO2 per km on average than all the latest company vehicles purchased or leased the year before." 

What challenges have the priority for your fleet strategy in 2022? 

"This year, we are focusing on mitigating a couple of key challenges:

  • The supply shortages and the price increases from vehicle manufacturers 
  • The highly volatile energy prices (not only fuel but also the price of electricity)
  • The uncertainty about political decisions on sustainability strategies and targets (local country decisions)"

Among electrification, safety and digitalization, which one will be most vital for you in 2022? 

"Besides electrification and safety, we focus on digitalizing our fleets in Europe. We aim to reach the point where all of our vehicles have telematics installed. The future of our fleet is for sure connected, and we are confident we will have it soon across Europe."

What would be your advice to peers to have a more efficient and sustainable fleet in this complex and changing fleet environment? 

"I believe it is critical to:

  • Collect as much fleet data as possible
  • Analyze the vehicle utilization habits of the employees
  • Focus on the three major P’s in your fleet strategy: People, Planet and Profit."

How do you envision the future? 

"The future of our fleet industry is one centred around Mobility. Besides the titles, the job descriptions are changing as well."

"The days where procurement would do its “buying/leasing/renting” tasks” and then stepping away from the fleet are numbered. Procurement is now more fully-responsible than ever for the fleet, but will need to take into account the corporate mobility expectations of employees, drivers and stakeholders as well."

The main image shows Saban Tekedereli, Procurement & Category Manager Fleet Europe at Securitas, courtesy of Securitas Europe. 
The in-article image is courtesy of Securitas Europe.

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen