Masterclass to drive transport agenda

While great strides have been made in greening the workplace, the energy savings which can be made by staff as they travel about is still being overlooked by many businesses.

Marcus Jones and Chris Fry, speakers from the Transport Research Laboratory’s Centre for Sustainability (C4S), will aim to address this oversight when they deliver a masterclass in green transport at the SustainabilityLive! Trade show in Birmingham next week.

The pair will be speaking at the NEC on Wednesday, May 2 about the opportunities which are open to businesses looking to streamline their fuel bills while reducing their environmental impact.

“We’re going to be focusing on the business potential for greener travel,” Mr Jones, a consultant at C4S told edie.

“How you can reduce costs for energy by producing more energy efficient vehicles, by monitoring and setting targets for fuel consumption and looking at driver training programmes.”

Looking at staff travel, there are quite a few examples of businesses which have reducing travel by staff by encouraging car sharing and pedestrian and cycling access to sites.

Mr Jones said there were likely to be measures which could help any business and the process would usually begin with a survey of staff travel needs.

“It’s very site specific, and each business needs to look at its individual circumstances,” he said.

“But there’s a lot of guidance on that and help from local authorities.

“Big companies have got more resources and control over their sites and what they can do with them, but even small sites can often work with their neighbours to achieve useful results. There are often easy wins.”

There is also a lot of support from central Government which business can tap into, he said, citing the Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED) training scheme as an example.

SAFED-trained drivers had managed to reduce their fuel use by 16% using the TRL’s truck simulator while road trials had seen them getting 10% more miles per gallon while maintaining or improving journey times.

While the scheme is geared towards large companies with in-house trainers, Mr Jones suggested that smaller companies could probably access the training too as the market for courses grows.

Asked who Tuesday’s seminar would be pitched at, Mr Jones said: “We’re very keen to speak to people like energy managers and facility managers.

“They’re used to thinking about energy and waste and keeping track of the costs and we’d like to see businesses treat transport in the same way.

“Often the cost of transport is scattered across different departments and not looked at, but if you’re looking at fuel use and efficiency in your buildings, why not for transport?

“It’s a logical progression for them.”

Sam Bond

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