Northern Gas Networks
NGN chooses GreenRoad for driver safety & Zero Emission initiatives
GreenRoad safety telematics help Northern Gas Networks achieve challenging driver safety goals and plan to meet NetZero emission standards
Northern Gas Networks, the Gas Distribution Network for the North of England, has been using GreenRoad across its commercial fleet since 2014 as part of its commitment to employee safety and emissions reduction. In 2019, when its 5-year contract was due to expire and the company began its re-tendering process, Sarah Cooper-Birkenhead, Northern Gas Networks’ Fleet Transport Manager, evaluated GreenRoad’s performance and set its telematics goals for the next five years.
“When you have 600 vans, 2.7 million customers and operations spread across 25,000 square kilometres, road safety is a huge challenge, and we are committed to doing everything we can to get our engineers home safe to their families at the end their shift,” commented Ms. Cooper-Birkenhead. “That’s why we first installed GreenRoad in 2014, and it – and its excellent support team – proved itself day-in and day-out for five years. Still, when it was time for the re-tender, we were open to seeing what new innovations were available, especially in the areas of support for our NetZero emission reduction planning.”
Ms. Cooper-Birkenhead continued, “After evaluating numerous offerings, we concluded that GreenRoad remained the leading innovator in driver empowerment. Other proposals didn’t offer the full benefits of GreenRoad in terms of real-time in-cab coaching, driver education and app-based driver access, and these were deal-breakers for us. In addition, GreenRoad gave us the most granular driver behaviour and vehicle data, which is what we needed to support our greenhouse gas emission reduction journey.”
At the close of the re-tendering process, the company signed a 5-year renewal contract with GreenRoad.
The main features of Northern Gas Networks’ GreenRoad system include:
- Real-time “coach-in-the-cab” driver feedback: real-time feedback provided via a dashboard-mounted LED panel helps Northern Gas Networks engineers maintain strong safety awareness, preventing accidents before they happen. The panel displays “green” while driving is safe and smooth, but changes to” “amber” or “red” when driving is risky.
- Granular driver behaviour data: GreenRoad identifies over 150 different risky driving manoeuvres, including both “red” (severe) and “amber” (moderate) errors in the areas of braking, speeding, acceleration, lane changing and cornering. While reducing “red” manoeuvres is most important for safety, the reduction of moderate errors – for example, by adopting smoother braking and acceleration habits – is critical for reducing emissions. By analysing this data, GreenRoad provides drivers with specific personal information about their driving habits, with driving tips and coaching that empower defensive driving and ongoing fine-tuning. In addition, this granular data can be used to support NGN management’s long-term safety and environmental planning.
- User-friendly driver app: GreenRoad’s DRIVE™ app downloads onto drivers’ personal mobile phones, making it easy and convenient for them to independently check their safety scores and personalised driving tips.
- Driver engagement and “friendly competition”: GreenRoad’s safety scores promote the best kind of competition: “Who is the safest driver?”
- Management dashboard – the GreenRoad Dashboard gives managers a KPI-based “finger-on-the-pulse” overview of fleet safety and operations, with full drill-down into the details of the location and performance of individual engineers and all fleet motor vehicles.
“When we first introduced GreenRoad, we saw tangible improvements in driver behaviour, and this has been maintained now for 6 years, day-in and day-out,” continued Ms. Cooper-Birkenhead. “Our fleet score is currently 13, which is well within the ‘green’, and it stays relatively stable, usually between 13-17. The app helps: it makes it easy for our engineers to have healthy competition with others about their safety score. You can often hear them discussing it by the coffee machine!
“The system’s ‘live location’ and other reports support our dispatch teams, helping us optimise our resource utilisation and improve our customer service. It also helps me and our fleet management provider plan scheduled maintenance events and safety recalls.
“And the fact that we invest in telematics – together with our other safety initiatives, such as driver license checks, training, and driver risk assessments – supports us when we go out to renew our motor insurance each year, proving that we are a safety-conscious fleet.”
Ms. Cooper-Birkenhead concluded, “The last piece is the NetZero emission reduction programme. I’m looking forward to analysing our GreenRoad vehicle mileage data to plan our strategy for reducing our fleet’s carbon footprint. This is just one more step that we are taking towards our goal of making our fleet as safe, responsible and productive as possible.”