Whichever way you look at it, running a greener fleet is better for everyone – your employees, the local community and your company’s image. Yes, there’s expenditure which you may baulk at initially, but what price the satisfaction of knowing your company is doing its bit to lessen its carbon footprint? Helping the environment means your business would be leading by example, and boosting its green credentials would not only earn the respect of customers, you’d get a PR boost as a happy side-effect.
Businesses across the country are looking at ways to cut back on petrol and diesel-powered fleet vehicles and replace them with greener alternatives. Here, you’ll find a round-up of what some of the biggest organisations in the UK are doing to become friendlier to the environment.
British Gas: Rather than settle for low-emissions vehicles, British Gas has incorporated a large number of electric vans into its fleet. The energy company’s aim is to make ten per cent of its fleet wholly electric by 2017, and it made a start by ordering 100 Nissan e-NV200 vans in April 2014.
As well as running costs that are a fraction of traditionally fuelled vehicles, commercial electric vehicles sidestep the efficiency debate currently surrounding private electric cars. This is largely because recharge periods are scheduled for each night. Company vehicles run to a schedule which is easier to allocate plug-in time around, unlike non-commercial vehicles.
If you are considering investment in electric vehicles, hazard perception training for your drivers may be worthwhile. Since electric vehicles are near silent, drivers will need to be even more vigilant in busy areas; they’ll need to spot and react to unaware pedestrians well before being noticed. A reversing camera on each electric vehicle is a good idea too, for the same reason.
Waitrose: The supermarket arm of the John Lewis empire is looking to drive down its carbon output and has recently invested in six new environmentally friendly delivery trucks. These lorries are powered by a blend of diesel and gas. Refrigerators in each trailer are also powered by the same mixture.
Sainsbury’s: Another of the UK’s leading grocers is investing £1 billion into a scheme to cut its carbon emissions by 20 to 30 per cent by 2020. As part of that, Sainsbury’s have also commissioned dual-fuel lorries, which have already cut out 2,000 tonnes of emissions across the south west of England alone. These dual-fuel vehicles release around 25 per cent less carbon than traditionally fuelled vehicles.
The Environment Agency: You’d expect Britain’s Environment Agency to be the trendsetter when it comes to green vehicle policies. The agency has taken a varied approach to lowering the environmental impact of its fleet. As well as 25 hybrid vans, innovative engine remapping technology has been trialed in an effort to make each vehicle more efficient. Plus, sustainable biodiesel is being used across a fleet that includes 4x4s and even boats, while high-polluting vehicles such as the 4x4s are being phased out for greener models.