Every year on 5th June, World Environment Day reminds us to take action and safeguard our planet. With this year focusing on #BeatPlasticPollution, many industries, including the taxi community, are taking steps to reduce their ecological footprint and promote sustainability. Here at Taxi Butler, we believe that it’s important to share ideas, connect and inspire each other to take positive action towards making the world a happier and more sustainable place.
With that in mind, here are five simple yet effective steps that fleets and industry peers can take to become more environmentally friendly and pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.
Improving Fuel Efficiency
To make the taxi industry more sustainable, encourage fuel-efficient practices among drivers, and ensure you’re using a dispatch system. On top of optimising service efficiency, dispatch systems can drastically help reduce vehicle emissions. Dispatch systems reduce driver waiting times, reducing idling and harmful emissions. With real-time matches between drivers and passengers and less wait time, efficiency is improved, and vehicle emissions are curbed, making the taxi service even better and more sustainable. Drivers can pick up more passengers in less time, resulting in higher earnings and streamlining efficiency, reducing costs, and saving the environment. A worthy investment benefiting all!
The advent of hybrid vehicles across taxi fleets has elevated fuel efficiency significantly. In New York City, for instance, numerous traditional taxis have been replaced with efficient hybrid models like the Toyota Prius. These vehicles use gasoline and electric power to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. According to a study by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, these hybrids offer a substantial 26% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the previous taxi models. Beyond supporting environmental sustainability in the taxi industry, these measures also save money for both drivers and passengers by reducing fuel costs. London and Tokyo have likewise followed suit and implemented similar tactics to promote green, eco-friendly taxi fleets.
One of the most effective ways to reduce emissions is to turn off engines when standing by or waiting for passengers. Idling engines produce unnecessary pollution, so turning them off when not in use can significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Drivers can also reduce emissions by turning off the air conditioning when it's not needed. This includes turning off the AC when driving at low speeds or with windows down.
Many taxi companies have started incorporating electric vehicles into their fleets, reducing emissions and promoting a cleaner environment. Electric cars are quiet and efficient and produce fewer emissions than their gasoline-powered counterparts, making them an environmentally-friendly choice for taxi services.
Making better everyday choices
To promote sustainability and reduce their environmental impact, taxi companies can make better everyday choices. One effective way is to opt for eco-friendly or recycled paper. Digitisation has made printing paper tickets redundant, thus significantly reducing paper usage and safeguarding the environment against the adverse effects of paper waste. At Taxi Butler, we choose recycled paper and FCS-certified materials whenever possible.
Taxi companies can play a crucial role in advancing sustainability by partnering with local environmental organisations or joining green initiatives to safeguard the planet. On top of helping the environment, supporting local green initiatives can also raise customers' awareness of the need for sustainable practices. By adopting these measures, taxi firms can make smarter decisions and contribute to the global effort to combat plastic pollution.
Support environmental associations and charities
The industry can promote sustainability and support environmentally friendly causes by donating to charities or associations focusing on environmental conservation and reforestation. By doing so, companies can actively contribute to protecting the environment and raise awareness among their customers about the importance of sustainability.
At Taxi Butler, we donate monthly to TreeSisters, a non-profit organisation that focuses on reforestation projects worldwide. In addition to making financial donations, taxi companies can also consider partnering with local environmental organisations and participating in initiatives such as tree planting campaigns, recycling drives, or clean-up events. These efforts can also improve the taxi company's reputation and attract environmentally-conscious customers.
Promoting your sustainable practices
Taxi companies can play a crucial role in promoting sustainability within their organisation and among customers. It is essential to educate passengers about sustainability, and taxi companies have a unique opportunity to do so while providing exceptional service and sharing information in their infotainment system.
Taxi companies can lead by example when it comes to sustainable business practices. Such measures include reducing paper usage, conserving energy, and recycling waste.
By implementing these practices across an organisation, companies can reduce their environmental footprint and inspire employees to do the same. For instance, at Taxi Butler, employees shared sustainability practices on their birthdays, aiming to educate, inspire, and encourage their colleagues to help the planet in new ways.
The taxi industry has enormous potential to positively impact our environment by embracing sustainable practices and technologies. The industry can ensure a healthier planet for future generations by driving change through such initiatives.
Article by: Laurence Docherty, Head of Sales at Taxi Butler