East of England Co-op, the fourth largest consumer co-operative in the UK, has achieved dramatic drops in fuel use, emissions, and vehicle idling, thanks to the adoption of British green-tech for fleets.
The cutting-edge in-cab driver coaching technology and rewards platform, developed by Lightfoot, has helped East of England Co-op achieve average fuel savings of up to 13.8%, and has also reduced vehicle idling – where drivers leave their engines running while stationary – by up to 9%.
This has helped the East of England Co-op, which operates a diverse range of delivery vans, security vans, stonemason vans and flatbeds, funeral hearses and limousines, to remain on track to reduce its fleet CO2 emissions by 233 tonnes over the next five years.
One of the reasons that Lightfoot was adopted is because it aligns with East of England Co-op’s sustainability policy, enabling the Co-op to reduce the impact of its existing ICE fleets ahead of its planned switch to EVs in 2030.
Lightfoot’s ability to enhance the safety of the Co-op’s drivers, leading to 80% reductions in instances of harsh acceleration, a 25% drop in harsh braking, and a 20% drop in harsh cornering, was also key in the decision to roll-out the in-cab coaching and rewards platform fleet-wide. However, it was Lightfoot’s ability to give the Co-op’s drivers good reason to be smoother and safer, enabling them to become self-managing and self-moderating drivers, that appealed most to the cooperative.
Luke Warren, Health & Safety Manager at the East of England Co-op, explains: “We have vehicles that operate across Norfolk, Suffolk, North Essex, and parts of Cambridge. Some operate from our home delivery stores and have up to 20 users each, while others are based at hubs, or are assigned to individual drivers.
“For years we’d looked at different telematics options, but all were extremely time and labour-intensive, requiring extensive analysis and post-event feedback to drivers, which tends to have low impact. We wanted a simple self-managed solution that actively helps and motivates our drivers on the road.
“Lightfoot delivered exactly that with its in-cab dashboard mounted device, which guides our 550 vehicle users to be smoother, safer, and more mindful drivers, thanks to its audible and visual in-cab alerts. This keeps our team in the sweet spot of their engine, and gives those achieving Elite Driver status access to Lightfoot’s weekly prize draws on the smartphone app.”
Luke Warren added: “Today, using Lightfoot’s vehicle ID sign-in, every one of our team has the chance to do their part for the environment, at the same time as unlocking access to a range of weekly prize draws. That’s resonated with our drivers who actively listen out for their end of journey score, especially following a £150 winner in The Drivers’ Lottery.
“But it doesn’t stop there. We regularly have drivers achieving a perfect 100% Lightfoot score, one of whom told me that it was their proudest moment working for the Co-op. That kind of feedback is priceless. It shows you the power of positive recognition, and reward.”
Today, thanks to Lightfoot’s simple, intuitive management portal, East of England Co-op’s delivery vehicles are now managed by local branch managers, further boosting driver engagement. That enables the Co-op’s central teams to focus on other pressing fleet issues.
But even here, Lightfoot has a part to play, through its smartphone app-enabled vehicle-check facility, its servicing, tax and MOT alerts, and Lightfoot’s First Notice of Loss (FNOL) notification service, which alerts East of England Co-op should a vehicle become involved in an accident. This enables Luke and the team to immediately contact the driver to check on their wellbeing and, if necessary, to alert the emergency services or roadside assistance.
Paul Hollick, Managing Director of Lightfoot, commented: “East of England Co-op is a pathfinder partner on the Suffolk Carbon Charter. It recognises the importance of reducing its carbon footprint by empowering and incentivising its drivers to be smoother and safer on the road. That’s unlocked a wealth of CO2 savings, enabling the cooperative to decarbonise their existing ICE fleet, ahead of the transition to EV.
“Today, 96% of East of England Co-op drivers regularly achieve the weekly Elite Driver target. That’s up from 59% pre-Lightfoot and it’s leading to impressive fuel and emissions savings, as well as reductions in vehicle wear and tear, accidents, and idling. Together, we’re driving positive change for the better, one mile at a time, and we’re pre-conditioning the Co-op’s drivers to be EV-ready through Lightfoot’s range-extending style of driving.”