New York-based Carbonfree® Business Partner Carma was founded in 2008 by a group of automotive and technology enthusiasts who wanted to make data from vehicles accessible on the internet. The first hardware Carma developed was for a European technology firm to transmit vehicle data over a GSM cell network to vehicle emissions monitoring software.
As part of their own sustainability initiatives, Carma joined the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program in 2011 in order to neutralize their own estimated annual operating emissions. Over the past five years, Carma has mitigated the impact of almost 795,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions through its support of Carbonfund.org’s reforestation projects around the world. That’s equivalent to planting and growing over 9000 tree seedlings and letting them grow for ten years.
Environmental responsibility and information regarding climate impact has always been an important part of Carma’s business philosophy and its products and systems development. In 2013, Carma launched CarmaLink.com, a cloud vehicle monitoring solution for small businesses which needed real-time vehicle management with a simple interface.
Early adopters to this new technology include the Boston Duck Tours, which uses the automatic vehicle location (AVL) to track the location of tour groups, monitor engine speed and safety information. Other customers include the Town of Bethlehem Highway Department (Delmar, NY), which uses the efficiency reporting to cut down on engine idle time and stay on top of engine trouble codes for their trucks.
Carma’s parts and manufacturing processes are sourced locally whenever possible, which allows Carma to decrease the carbon footprint from transportation of goods. They also use a low carbon, up-cycled plastic resin in their electronics, made from old water bottles, which reduces the total energy requirements for production.
Lastly, Carma leases rather than sells electronics to customers, allowing the devices to be reused and re-leased rather than thrown away at the end of a contract.
The philosophy behind CarmaLink is to make fleets more efficient, saving money and fuel by:
- implementing an idle reduction program to limit the amount of time a driver can idle the engine before triggering an alert to their manager, and
- by implementing a safety policy that includes a top speed limit for all vehicles, saving even more fuel. If a driver exceeds the set limit, the hardware records the time/location and speed of the vehicle for a report.
Carma reminds its customers – as does Carbonfund.org – that keeping a vehicle well maintained is important to ensure the best fuel economy which means heeding engine warning lights and fixing engine problems that can lead to inefficient combustion and lower fuel consumption percentage. CarmaLink also monitors for low tire pressure, as keeping tires properly inflated can increase fuel economy up to 3%.
Carbonfund.org applauds Carma’s efforts to help businesses of all sizes to monitor the efficiency and reduce the climate impact of their fleet, while maintaining its own carbon neutral operations through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership.