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Aiming to be the best government agency in sustainability

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (SVV) has set itself an ambitious goal: to become the best government agency in sustainability. Well under way, they have seen the importance of correct data and anchoring throughout the organization. 

- When 25 percent of the car fleet is to be reduced, it is crucial to have a solid data base for making the right decisions," says senior advisor for The Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Andre Kempe. 

 Because it was precisely the number 25 that came up after consultants were hired to look at the use of the cars. Such a large percentage of the car fleet could be removed or scaled down, as many cars were used too little.    

- This wasn't really surprising, because the data had already shown us that. But we needed more than data, says Kempe. 

Sindre Røstad, also senior advisor at The Norwegian Public Roads Administration, explains further. 

-We have previously tried to remove unnecessary cars, but now we saw that we need both data, i.e. to know where we are, and an anchor with management. That you really want to address a problem. Now we had both. This is essential to achieve sustainable solutions, and the work on phasing out fossil cars is already well underway. 

In addition, part of SVV's overall sustainability strategy is to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2023. 

 - We use the same amount of electricity as a small city, and it is obvious that this is not sustainable in the long run. We need to include all relevant factors and clean up our own notes and processes. It is a collective effort to achieve our goals, says Sindre Røstad. 

Morgan Kittilsen, Head of Sales Fleet & Asset Tracking Solutions at GSGroup, says they see that more people are keen to document their own environmental footprint. 

- The motivation may be different. Whether it is a requirement in their internal environmental policy or companies that provide services to the public sector, we have in the last couple of years noticed an increased focus on solutions that can document, among other things, CO2 and KW consumption. 

Part of the problem and the solution 

By addressing the challenges internally and implementing changes based on insightful analyses, SVV can become a beacon for other organizations that want to follow the same path towards sustainability, Røstad hopes. 

- It's not always easy to admit that you are part of the problem, but we are. It's not until you see where you are, that you can figure out where you're going and how to get there. 

Kittilsen at GSGroup notices that SVV has focused on changing its environmental profile, and thinks it is commendable that such a major player is leading the way. 

- We have had a good cooperation with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration for several years. The starting point for the project was electronic travel lo, but gradually the focus has also changed to be able to go more in depth on the collected data and analyse the use of the car fleet, Kittilsen says. 

SVV has taken several initiatives that do not only apply to the vehicle fleet and electricity consumption in general. Reuse of furniture, workwear and a more thorough control of waste management are some other areas they have taken action. 

- Social sustainability is also an important aspect, with several sub-goals and elements that contribute to a holistic approach, says Røstad.  

Transition to electric vehicle fleet and range anxiety 

SVV has achieved significant milestones, including being the first company in Norway to take such concrete steps towards sustainability within the vehicle fleet. They have won awards for green efforts, and the ambition is to become the best government agency in sustainability. Røstad also reflects on the challenges. 

- We represent part of the problem with emissions, but no other government agency has come as far as us on sustainability. We must have ambitions to use our purchasing power to make a difference and inspire others. 

- Within the vehicle fleet, we have encouraged the use of Nordic Swan ecolabelled washing stations, and we have entered into cooperation to realise this. SVV has taken a leading role in implementing sustainable measures within the car fleet, and we have ambitions for all our cars to be electric cars by 2026, says Røstad. 

A collaboration between SVV and GSGroup has been crucial in achieving these goals. Data has been a key resource for understanding vehicle use and taking effective action, says Kempe. 

  - We initially saw that more people were sceptical about switching to electric cars. Here, too, data became crucial. Some were simply worried about not getting from A to B and back. The data, on the other hand, showed that our cars rarely move over such great distances that it should be a problem. When it comes to partnering with GSGroup, data-driven sustainability is a key part of the strategy for 2023 and the years ahead. 

- Focus on the use of our fleet products in combination with the environment and economy, has also given us valuable knowledge that we can pass on to other companies and organizations with large car fleets. At the same time, we should not forget that our solutions have no limitation in the number of objects, whether the customer has few or many, says Kittilsen at GSGroup. 

When asked what it takes to be successful in their sector, SVV emphasizes the importance of having sustainability as a central focus. While challenges such as accessibility and safety are important, they argue that sustainable initiatives can no longer be postponed. SVV will continue to use data as a tool to drive sustainable decisions and lead the development of environmentally friendly practices.