Companies that sign up for the ‘Motorvate’ scheme must aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from their vehicles by 12% within three years, three percent of which must come from reduced business mileage.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) told edie that it welcomed the fact that the Government had not imposed further regulations on business, but had made the Motorvate scheme voluntary. Environmentalists, however, said the Government must do more if it is to meet its CO2 emissions targets: “If the Government wants business to meet CO2 targets it has to be more exacting on business,” Friends of the Earth’s transport campaigner, Tony Bosworth, told edie. “Business is going to have to pull its weight and if voluntary measures don’t work out, the Government will have to consider going further.”

An initial registration fee of between £500 and £1,000 will cover the cost of annual assessment of vehicles, mileage patterns and progress toward the targets. Registered businesses will also receive fleet management guidance, a telephone advice service and on-site assistance. Motorvate certification, which will be awarded on a ‘five star’ points system, will complement other environmental management systems such as ISO 4001.

The DETR claims that a company meeting its Motorvate targets would easily recoup the registration fee. It estimates that a fleet of 200 vehicles could save £34,000 a year, and gain favourable publicity for its environmental credentials.

The Government expects advances in technology and changes to Vehicle Excise Duty and company car taxation to help fleets meet these targets. In this year’s budget, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced that from April 2002, company car tax will be calculated based on CO2 emissions and discounts for older cars and higher business mileage will be scrapped (see related story).

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie