The Energy Saving Trust's "Behind the Wheel" report, launched today, examines business leaders' attitudes to their company car fleets and their impact on the environment. The report reveals a worrying lack of interest from many companies over their vehicles' impact on the environment and their bottom line. Company car fleets are frequently the second largest overhead a company incurs.
As well as making proven financial sense, running a green fleet can also impact greatly on an organization's carbon footprint and contribute towards greater awareness amongst staff and customers of a company's commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.
In addition, Energy Saving Trust research shows that consumers are becoming more insistent on a company demonstrating its environmental credentials. Over half (58 percent) of consumers say they still want to see more evidence of what companies are doing about climate change.
But in the Behind the Wheel report, fewer than half of the companies surveyed (48 percent) have CSR or environmental policy and of those only 42 per cent of companies take into consideration the impact of their vehicles on the environment in these policies.
Other key findings in the report show:
- Only half of U.K. businesses believe that running a greener fleet will save them money
- Only a quarter of companies offer incentives to employees to choose a lower CO2 car. Meaning that the majority of U.K. businesses promote the choice of cars with higher running costs that also increase the companies' carbon footprint.
- A fifth of companies (21 percent) still insist that eligible employees drive a car commensurate with their grade, meaning the higher the earner, the higher the CO2 emissions -- despite the range of low CO2 executive cars now available.
- Just eleven per cent of U.K. companies that offer company cars have reviewed their fleets' carbon footprint.
- Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said of the report, "When it comes to company car fleets, the business case is the environmental case. Yet we frequently find that fleets are not being discussed at the right level in companies. Very few organizations discuss their company car fleet as a boardroom agenda item."
Sellwood added that the companies who have shown leadership at a high level are the ones who are implementing green fleet policies with tremendous success in terms of carbon and monetary savings. As with any serious operational restructure, buy-in at the top is essential. He added that in 2006, the Energy Trust helped more than 120 companies run a greener fleet through their "Green Fleet Review</>" service, which helps organizations improve the environmental performance of company fleets.