30 Nov 23

Supermarket van fleet saves 13% in fuel and 1600t of CO2 in a year

One of the UK’s largest home delivery fleets has reduced its diesel fuel bill by 13% thanks to in-vehicle technology that encourages drivers to adopt a more fuel efficient driving style.

The frozen food supermarket chain Iceland, which has 1,645 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit refrigerated vans, has saved 1,600 metric tonnes of CO2 this year after installing Lightfoot’s in-cab driver coaching technology. The interactive system informs drivers in real time how they are driving, via audible prompts and a series of red, orange or green lights.

This intelligent dashboard encourages drivers to avoid harsh acceleration and excessive speed, with Lightfoot adding further cash prize incentives to encourage drivers to maintain a more environmentally-friendly driving style.

Improved safety

As a result, Iceland has also seen a major improvement in its fleet safety. Incidents of speeding have declined by 36%, while cases of rapid acceleration and sharp braking have fallen by 43%.

Phil Cane, Senior Delivery Operations Manager at Iceland Foods, said: “Lightfoot was easy to implement, it’s simple to use, and it enables us to reduce emission levels on our fleet in an entirely different way. By celebrating great performance by our drivers and engaging with them in a way that’s all about reward, our drivers are now self-managing and self-moderating. That helps to generate a safer, happier, more motivated team of delivery drivers, which in turn brings business benefits including reduced costs, fewer accidents, and lower emissions.”

Net zero by 2040

Iceland was the world’s first food retailer to join the Climate Pledge committing to be net zero for its Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

“We have a responsibility to find innovative ways to be better across the business, and that includes our home delivery fleet,” said Cane.

The company’s route planning system is designed to calculate the most fuel-efficient routes, so drivers do not waste time or fuel on unnecessary journey points.

And last year Iceland trialled its first fully electric home delivery van, based on a Mercedes eSprinter Panel van, and it is continuing to trial electric light commercial vehicles on a small pilot scale, while reviewing the capabilities of new e-LCVs as they come to market. Iceland has also transitioned 82% of its company cars to hybrids, reducing carbon emissions by over 57% compared to its baseline year, and is exploring battery electric options.

Paul Hollick, Managing Director of Lightfoot, said real-world experience repeatedly showed that the driver behind the wheel is more important than the vehicle they are driving in terms of reducing emissions.

“After all, even the most environmentally friendly vehicles are only as good as the way they're driven. Iceland's drivers have embraced our tech from day one - they're now one of our best performing fleets - and that's made a huge difference to the amount of emissions being produced,” he said.

Cash rewards app

Lightfoot’s rewards app gives drivers achieving its ‘Elite Driver’ standard the chance to win prizes every week, including cash, holidays, and technology gadgets. More than 100,000 fleet drivers use the Lightfoot rewards platform, and next year the company anticipates giving away €1.16million (£1m) in prizes across mainland Europe and the UK.

These rewards have transformed the relationship between drivers and their work vehicles, said Hollick.

“Now, instead of a workhorse to get from A to B, fleet vehicles and company cars are seen as the conduit to rewards, which can be unlocked by the simple act of driving well. That’s put drivers in the front seat of positive change, empowering and motivating them to be the best that they can be,” he said.

Since introducing Lightfoot, Iceland has seen the proportion of its drivers achieving ‘elite’ status rise from 15% to 98%, and drivers are now in leagues where they can see how well they are performing compared to their colleagues in the app.

Images: Lightfoot / Iceland

Authored by: Jonathan Manning