Bausch & Lomb, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., runs a 400-vehicle fleet. In early 2007, the company began “greening” the fleet, deploying Chevy Impala, Uplander, and Express van flex-fuel vehicles, which run on E-85, and Saturn VUE Hybrids. In the 2007 model-year, the company deployed 12 Saturn VUE Hybrids in large cities, such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York as part of a pilot program.

Driven by the company’s U.S. Commercial Sales Organization (including vision care, pharmaceutical, and surgical sales reps), alt-fuel and hybrid vehicles are targeted for replacement after 36 months. “We’ll conduct ongoing analysis to determine a best practice for replacement,” said Mark Dennis, who manages Bausch & Lomb’s fleet operations.

According to Dennis, future fleet strategy is targeted at deploying smaller four-cylinder models and additional hybrids across the U.S. and Canada. Dennis will gradually phase in these fuel-efficient vehicles during normal replacement schedules.

The vehicles will come enhanced with company-provided incentives, including leather interior, sun roofs, and OnStar upgrades such as turn-by-turn navigation.

“Driver response and feedback have been extremely positive, especially with the Saturn Aura model that was just introduced this year,” Dennis said. “Positive comments about design, handling, fuel efficiency, and safety, especially with OnStar, have been the most common.”

Phasing Out Large Fuel-Consuming Vehicles
Dennis anticipates eventually phasing out use of SUVs and other large fuel-consuming vehicles by implementing smaller, more fuel-efficient models.

“Considering Bausch & Lomb is in the healthcare business, sustainability and social responsibility is very important in the eyes of our consumers,” said Dennis.

Bausch & Lomb’s 2007 Fleet Management Initiative aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and cut overall fleet costs. While the company’s alt-fuel and environmental initiative is relatively new, Bausch & Lomb has already successfully reduced SUV utilization by more than 60 percent, and its anticipated fuel ratings for all new models deployed into its fleet is anticipated to run approximately 24 mpg by year-end versus 19 mpg at the beginning of the year.

“Also, key environmental modules, complied by our fleet service provider PHH Arval, reveal the replacement models, put into service this year alone, have reduced GHG emissions by 32 tons year-to-date, with 100 tons projected by year-end,” Dennis said.

Plans are in place to deploy additional Saturn Aura and Chevy Malibu Hybrids later this year and into 2008, to account for projected GHG emission reductions of nearly 200 tons by year-end 2008.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet