Eco-driving: Changing truck driver behavior to achieve long-term sustainability results

Katsiaryna Dzenisiuk

Student thesis: Master thesis


Increased road transportation activity has resulted in increased burden on the environment. In particular, transportation-generated pollution in the form of greenhouse gases can cause acid rains, photochemical smog, water runoff, and it is strongly associated with global warming processes. Greenhouse gases are a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion. Even though policy instruments have greatly reduced levels of heavier gasses, they have not yet fully addressed CO2 emissions. The magnitude of the problem calls for prompt actions to create sustainable road freight transportation. Cutting down resource inefficiencies is a major task on the way to sustainability. The project is looking at eco-driving, a non-technical educational measure of reducing fuel consumption. Eco-driving is set of rules that have been developed to decrease fuel use, which involves both efficient driving practice and vehicle maintenance. Numerous studies have indicated that this measure has a potential of reducing fuel use up to 30% per truck driver. However, actual results have not lived up to the potential. Drivers soon lose interest in the practice and stop using the skills acquired during the eco-driving training. The Planned approach to change offered a perspective on why that might be the case. Motivation alone is not enough to produce a long-term change. According to Kurt Lewin, sustained group changes are achieved when the forces resisting the change are removed. Thus the research focused on identifying resisting forces at JC KURS LTD, a road transportation and haulage service provider in Belarus. The case study analysis revealed that truck drivers hold certain group norms, which act as resisting forces to implementing eco-driving. Namely, they believe that it is impossible to learn a new driving style; it is difficult to build new driving skills; driving style is a driver’s ‘signature’; the practice is not suited to the local conditions, and eco-driving trainers have little expertise in teaching professional truck drivers. An extended implementation strategy was developed that aims to guide the drivers though a 3-step process of unfreezing, or disconfirming existing beliefs about eco-driving, change and refreezing the new group norms about acceptable driving behavior.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages96