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Corporate fleets could save billions through greener measures, find new report

In its report on ‘Saving fuel, saving costs’, the organisation says that corporate fleet managers have more power over the composition of our atmosphere than most politicians, or even most oil executives. 

It adds that transport is responsible for nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and road transport accounts for 72-81% of that. Europe’s corporate fleets produce around 380Mt CO2e annually, significantly more than the entire emissions of Spain.

The organisation also says that 45% of the total GHG emissions from road transport in the EU come from company fleets. However, the impact of fleet managers’ purchasing decisions is far greater than this, as the majority of company cars are sold into the second-hand car market, and so fleet managers control a large proportion of the supply of used vehicles in the private market.

The report covers a wide variety of different approaches to reducing fuel consumption and the potential savings available:

  • Eco-driving – given training, changing road behaviour can cut fuel costs, and emissions, by up to 20%
  • Retro-fitting – adding one aerodynamic feature to an HGV can cut fuel use by 4%. With better tyres, weight reduction and other improvements, a reduction of 45% is possible.
  • Switching from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, hybrids, trains, barges and teleworking are all evaluated as cost and carbon saving measures.

Andy Eastlake, managing director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP), welcomed the report saying: “In the UK, 90% of new vans and over half of all new cars were bought by companies in 2014. Combine this with the fact that, on average, company cars travel more than twice the miles of private cars and it’s clear that the fleet sector is responsible for most of road transport’s impact on climate change. 

“Greenpeace’s report highlights the wide range of technical and operational opportunities for businesses to improve both their carbon footprint as well as their ‘bottom line’.”

The launch of the report comes at the same time as the LowCVP launches a Low Emission Van Guide and web tool, to give direct practical guidance to fleet managers choosing between different models and drivetrains in different circumstances. LowCVP’s analysis shows that choosing the correct van can save a business £18,000 over the vehicle’s lifespan.

The two reports are being released together in order to provide fleet managers with as much data as possible to support their vehicle and logistics planning.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.