Fuel social responsibility

If organisations are to reduce their carbon footprint, then running a fleet efficiently needs embedding in corporate culture

Green fleet management is one of the biggest issues facing employers today. Britain’s company cars spew out 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, according to the Energy Saving Trust’s 2007 report Behind the Wheel: Understanding the business case for greener company car fleets.

Yet only 42% of employers that offer company cars and also have a corporate social responsibility policy consider the impact of their fleet on the environment. If organisations are to reduce their carbon footprint, then running a fleet efficiently needs to be embedded into their corporate culture.

Nick Sutton, chairman of Provecta Car Plan, says: “Green fleet management in the 21st century must go beyond managing fuel consumption within a company’s own car fleet. It must encompass all cars used by employees for work.”

The benefits of green fleet management are clear for Mark Sinclair, director of Alphabet. “[It] will save fuel; reduce tax bills to the employee and employer; reduce risk under health and safety and duty of care; reduce vehicle maintenance and accident costs; reduce exposure to future taxation and motoring inflation, as well as helping to save the planet.”

Corporate buy-in

There’s more to going green than simply adding a line to the corporate website, or sending out a press release announcing that your CEO has bought a Toyota Prius. Reducing a fleet’s environmental impact is a slow process and involves reviewing fuel consumption, exhaust emissions, vehicle choice and maintenance.

Mark Chessman, deputy managing director at Lloyds TSB Autolease, says: “It’s essential to get the buy-in of management and staff when implementing a new, greener policy. Resistance to change is natural, so it’s important for the whole business to understand the benefits. Workshops with staff to brainstorm ideas allow everyone to contribute to corporate social responsibility.”

Back to ‘How to manage a green fleet