The amount of business miles covered fell by 350,000 (9.2%) from 3.8 million to 3.45 million in the year. A temporary no-diesel policy was introduced for the essential-user fleet of about 200 vehicles due to urban pollution concerns. The bank has also replaced its outright purchase user-chooser policy with a solus supply deal with Peugeot with whom it is working on an evaluation of its HDI direct injection diesel engine range and particulate filter technology. The changes to the company fleet, along with those in other areas of the bank's operations, saw emissions fall by 20% in 12 months.
The reduction in car usage has not been a response to the looming introduction of a company car tax system based on CO2 emissions in 2002, but is an effort to address the Government's aim of reducing carbon dioxide levels to 20% below 1990 levels by 2010. However, the bank says it is keeping a 'watching brief' on how the tax system will work. The bank's success in reducing emissions of 'greenhouse gas' is outlined in its annual report - the Partnership Report or 'health check'.