Volvo urges SMEs to take action on eco footprints
Volvo has published its top tips for SMEs on how to reduce the environmental impact of their fleet as it highlights the need for fleets of all sizes to take action on carbon emissions.
By 2050, the UK is targeted to reduce its CO2 emissions by 80% compared with 1990 levels. However, research indicates that sustainability is less of a priority for smaller fleets.
In response, Volvo is asking SMEs to consider implementing some essential steps.
With a growing number of powertrain options now around, SMEs should ensure they’re using the right fuel type option for their drivers. For example, Volvo will expand its range of plug-in hybrids this year with 48-volt mild hybrid variants of petrol and diesel models, while its first pure electric car is set for launch in the coming months.
Don’t ask the earth of business drivers
Setting unreasonable schedules is bad for fuel economy, road safety and employee well-being. Look for alternatives to travel and, where travel is necessary, ensure workloads are manageable.
Use the right technology and innovation for fleet cars
Latest driver assistance features can also improve a fleet’s eco credentials, for example, features such as adaptive cruise control, which helps drivers maintain a constant distance from the car in front, improve fuel economy and reduce speeding. By choosing vehicles with technology designed to aid the driver and enhance safety, it’s possible to improve fuel economy and reduce the impact on the environment.
Invest in driver training
Offering employees driver training can pay all sorts of dividends for fleet operators. By encouraging safer driving, businesses can save between 10% and 20% in fuel consumption while also helping cut down on vehicle wear and tear and helping to ensure driver safety as part of a road risk management programme.
Don’t overlook the ‘grey’ fleet
There are an estimated 14 million ‘grey’ fleet drivers on the UK’s roads, yet research by the BVRLA and EST indicates that the average grey fleet car is older, more polluting and potentially more dangerous than its company car counterparts. Both organisations have recommended that employers should mandate car rental for any work-related vehicle journey over 55 miles, and employees driving more than 10,000 miles a year should lease a company car. Other recommendations in the report include using car clubs, videoconferencing and encouraging employers to incentivise alternatives to driving such as public transport, cycling and walking.
Commenting on the issues for SMEs looking to cut their carbon emissions, Steve Beattie, head of business sales at Volvo Car UK, said: “One issue for small-to-medium enterprises aiming to go green is that they often lack the time and resources to deliver large-scale programme. This shouldn’t dishearten businesses or make them feel as if becoming more sustainable is an unreachable goal. Even small changes can have a big impact on the environment.
“There are a number of ways that SMEs can go about reducing their eco footprint. It’s important to remember that even taking small steps such as reviewing their grey fleet or including electrified vehicles on their options lists can add up and make a real difference. Motivating employees to make small changes to their driving habits is another simple yet impactful change that businesses may want to introduce. Individually SMEs may be small, but together they can make a powerful difference.”