David Brennan, CEO, Nexus Vehicle Management, looks at how reporting changes will affect fleets.
In 2012 it was reported that a third of companies refused to answer the Carbon Disclosure Project questionnaire – an amazing lack of response on such a pressing issue.
Putting aside the worry that this belied a real lack of commitment to the long-term strategy of reducing CO2, it was pause for thought for fleet providers considering the implications of CO2 emissions from rental vehicles.
In April 2013, the option to bypass the questionnaire was no longer available after mandatory GHG reporting stipulated that LSE-listed firms must complete it.
With carbon reporting tipped to eventually become mandatory for all companies, fleets will need to keep close tabs on their emissions and reveal their reduction targets and strategies. Compared with other sectors, this can be more of a challenge for the rental industry due the obvious necessity for a large number of CO2-producing vehicles.
However, if Defra’s guidance on how to record and report carbon emissions is adopted, then companies will be encouraged to account for external activities they undertake to offset emissions, such as renewable energy tariffs.
This can present a more realistic option for rental companies to demonstrate their commitment to reducing carbon emissions, beyond having to replace a large number of vehicles and pass the extra costs on to clients.
There’s no doubt that mandatory GHG reporting is going to shake things up. Fleet managers will need to start paying full attention to the impact their vehicles are having on the environment and be seen to be taking steps towards this.
We have definitely seen a trend towards a higher volume of queries regarding low CO2 vehicles and it is going to become increasingly important for fleet managers to book vehicles based on low emissions.
If mandatory GHG reporting is introduced, it will not only increase the demand for this type of vehicle, but will also highlight the need for fleet managers to be aware of the CO2 emissions of their fleet. They will need to ensure that they have the necessary reporting systems in place to meet these future requirements.