Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

Schindler Targets 10% Per Year Carbon Footprint Reduction for Global Fleet

Schindler operates 17,000 vehicles worldwide. To reduce CO2 emissions, it targeted a rolling annual 10-percent reduction over three years for its global fleet. To date, it has decreased average fleet emissions by more than 30 percent.

September 2011, by Mike Antich - Also by this author

In its 137-year corporate history, Schindler has become the largest supplier of escalators and the second-largest manufacturer of elevators worldwide, in addition to being a distributor of information technology and consumer electronics in Europe.

Founded in Switzerland in 1874, the Schindler Group employs approximately 43,000 people worldwide and is headquartered in Eibikon, Switzerland.

Schindler is a multinational company operating a worldwide fleet of more than 17,000 vehicles. In charge of Schindler’s global fleet activities is Douglas Else-Jack, vice president at Schindler Management AG. He joined Schindler in 2003 and is stationed at the headquarters office in Switzerland.

The Global Category Manager for fleet is Tino Bergemann, who reports directly to Else-Jack. As global category manager, Bergemann works with the company’s national fleet managers and, to a lesser degree, national HR managers.

The Schindler fleet function is managed by corporate human resources.
“The fleet policy comes from corporate HR,” said Else-Jack, who is also a  member of the fleet steering committee. He represents corporate purchasing and non-production materials and services.

Since Else-Jack joined Schindler, there have been a number of changes in how the fleet is managed. His work at Schindler has been widely acknowledged as best-in-class by his peers in Europe. In 2007, Schindler’s then Global Category Manager, Raphaelle Jeanneret was named European Fleet Manager of the Year by Fleet News magazine. The award was given based on Schindler’s achievements in segmentation control and fleet supplier management.

Deploying Multi-Pronged Fleet Sustainability Initiatives

One of the more significant changes with Schindler’s global fleet has been gradual transition to a green fleet. Schindler’s green fleet and sustainability programs comprise a number of corporate-wide and individual country initiatives.

“The way Schindler approaches environmental issues mirrors our approach to business,” said Else-Jack. “We take a systematic review of the activity and focus on where we can have the maximum effect.”

Douglas Else-Jack.
Douglas Else-Jack.

Fleet represents 64 percent of Schindler’s global carbon footprint. “Since we started our global fleet efforts, we’ve reduced engine sizes and improved fuel/CO2 efficiency by more than one third,” said Else-Jack. This decrease would have been even more significant if not offset by the increased number of vehicles in Schindler’s fleet and an overall increase in vehicle mileage due to changing business conditions.

“Our fleet is very much a reflection of our business. We’re a growing business that is creating greater efficiency as we go ahead. But going forward every year, we’ve increased mileage and increased the total number of units,” said Else-Jack.

There are two distinct parts of Schindler’s elevator and escalator businesses: the new installation business and the service business. The larger of the two is the service business.

“If you look to the new installation business, our technicians are increasingly supervising subcontractors, so they’re covering many more sites than before,” said Else-Jack. “In the past, they used to go to a site for a week or so and do the work themselves. But now, they supervise that work. Since I’ve started, we’re adding 2-3 percent in unit mileage year-over-year, and likewise are increasing the number of units.”

The increase in mileage and units has occurred on a global basis. The average Schindler fleet vehicle in the U.S. accumulates approximately 20,000 miles per year.

“Our fleet applications are primarily in an urban environment driving. Of course, that’s also the type of driving that has the greatest environmental impact because it is all stop-and-go driving,” Else-Jack said.
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