Ten tips for greener fleet management
30 January 2007, News release from Energy Saving Trust
Improving your fleet's performance makes sound commercial sense. At the Energy Saving Trust we offer free telephone consultancy and regular e-bulletins to organisations running fleets. Our free support and advice can help your business reduce fleet costs, cut vehicle emissions and improve its social and environmental reputation. We have devised ten tips that will help your organisation run a greener and more efficient fleet.
1. Promote cars with low CO2 emissions to reduce employee car tax and National Insurance
In the vehicle selection process, companies should specify more fuel-efficient vehicles where appropriate. As government policy tends to favour lower carbon vehicles, companies and employees can benefit from reduced NI contributions and car tax.
2. Evaluate alternative fuel cars to see if they might benefit your fleet
Typically fuel costs will account for 12-20 percent of the total operating costs of your fleet. And switching to cleaner fuels will not only contribute to national and international efforts to reduce climate change, but will also improve your organisation's environmental reputation.
3. Ensure vehicles are regularly serviced - poorly maintained vehicles have higher toxic emissions and fuel consumption
Keeping your fleet properly serviced is an important aspect of fleet management, because of the costs involved and it is also part of any employers' Duty of Care responsibilities. A well maintained car or van will generally use less fuel and produce lower emissions.
4. Identify opportunities to reduce mileage by recording and analysing business travel
Making unnecessary trips will cost more than just fuel, it will add to depreciation, maintenance, additional tyre wear and unproductive use of employees' time.
5. Record and analyse individual fuel consumption to encourage fuel efficient driving
Fuel abuse can be a significant temptation for some employees as most driving takes place away from the base. As such, policies and procedures to manage private vehicle use should be carefully considered.
6. Promote safe and environmentally sustainable driver training
Specific driver training is not always required by regulation and not all drivers will necessarily need training. But good fleet management recognises the role of driver training to reduce road safety risks, lower insurance costs and improve overall fleet performance.
7. Ensure mileage reimbursement rates are environmentally sensitive and do not encourage drivers to make excessive journeys
Employers can provide any rate they can agree with employees, on any basis, but there is an Inland Revenue cap on the amounts that can be paid tax free and they actively build environmental factors into their rates.
8. Provide access to web sites and route planners to minimise vehicle mileage
A journey may appear easy but getting lost within the last few miles can waste a lot of time and fuel. Providing access to, and encouraging the use of internet-based route-planners should be considered wherever possible, especially where the driver is not familiar with the destination.
9. Provide satellite navigation and telematics systems to help drivers access the most efficient routes to destinations, avoiding congestion
The benefits of telematics technology will vary depending on the core business activity and the type of system, but they include: reduced vehicle CO2 and tailpipe emissions, reduced mileage and fuel costs and reduction of employee downtime.
10. Review arrangements for telephone/video conferencing as an alternative to business travel
Employees may need to interface with clients but sitting in slow moving traffic is not very productive. At the highest level, organisations should be asking "Is there a better way?" Every mile not driven is a saving in CO2 and other emissions. It is a mile that has no fuel cost and no risk of accident.
A well run fleet is not only cheaper and more efficient, but greener than a fleet that is not well managed. With the wide range of vehicle types and technologies, fuels and management techniques now available, running a green fleet has never been easier, or more cost effective. Alex Goodwin, Head of Transport Advice at the Energy Saving Trust comments:
"A green fleet is an efficient fleet and the need for organisations to operate fleets efficiently is increasingly important. With today's commercial pressures and climate change hot on the political agenda, organisations can no longer afford to ignore green fleet management."
If you require more information about our free telephone consultancy or you would like to register for regular e-bulletins, visit www.est.org.uk/telephoneconsultancy or call our helpline on 0845 602 1425.
For further information please email Energy Saving Trust