Case Study: Atkins

Case study: Atkins

Engineering consultancy Atkins is trying to clean up its act by persuading staff to switch to green cars. Last year, the company began rewarding workers who pick cars with carbon dioxide emissions of less than 160g/km.

Iain Willetts, head of reward, says “We want to encourage those colleagues entitled to a company car to choose a vehicle with better environmental performance and lower CO2 emissions when their vehicle comes up for replacement.”

Employees get £1 extra per month in their car allowance for every one gram the car generates below 160g/km. Willetts says if an employee’s car does 145g/km this would add up to £720 over the vehicle’s lifetime.

The firm, which has 2,100 company car drivers, also rewards workers who use less fuel. Willetts says: “Atkins’ people drive a total of 21 million miles per annum on company business. We have a responsibility to ensure that wherever possible, these journeys are made either by public transport or by environmentally-efficient cars.”

To encourage workers to reduce fuel consumption, the firm last year capped mileage payments at the level it would cost to run a two-litre car. Staff who already owned cars with larger engines were able to continue to claim above this, but if they change their car they may lose out if they buy another gas guzzler.

Case study: Version One

Software firm Version One helps businesses to run green, paperless offices using electronic storage, so it makes sense for the company to take an environmentally-friendly approach to its fleet. Liz Ebbrell, green executive, says: “Version One is committed to its carbon-neutral initiative which was launched in October 2006. This initiative looks to improve our impact on the environment in all areas of the business, including staff travel.”

The Cheshire-based organisation has 64 staff and just over a third are eligible for a company car allowance.

Ebbrell says: “We encourage staff to purchase environmentally-friendly company cars and plan to increase the car allowance for workers who opt for those types of vehicles.”

Aside from encouraging staff to pick cleaner vehicles, the firm uses technology, such as video phones and net conferencing, to reduce the need for business travel.

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