Fleet News

Lack of knowledge hampers green fleet growth

THE organisers of Motorvate, the greener fleet certification scheme, are fighting a lack of knowledge among fleet managers that could hamper its growth. Since launch, the scheme has reached seven fully paid-up members, but even among those who have signed up, there are problems with meeting the scheme's demands for details of total mileage and total fuel use.

Organisers of the scheme, which last week held the first of a series of Green Fleet Management seminars, said they would work with fleets struggling to compile the right information, but insisted it should not stop anyone in the industry from joining.

The Motorvate scheme costs between £500 and £1,000 to join, depending on fleet size and has core targets of a 12% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions over three years, 3% of which must come from reduced mileage.

Before committing to a reduction, fleets must assess their fuel use, emissions and total mileage before setting a target, but that is where the industry is stumbling.

The fleet industry has already come under attack for failing to monitor fuel use correctly and estimating total mileage covered can also be a problem. The recent Lex Vehicle Leasing 2000 Report on Company Motoring also showed that a third of fleet drivers were unaware that benefit-in-kind tax would change in 2002.

So far seven companies have paid to be members of the scheme - the Inland Revenue, UKAEA Constabulary, Nexus, London Borough of Hillingdon, Guildford Borough Council, Unilever and Whitbread - with at least two more, including the RAC and Lex Vehicle Leasing, committed to the initiative.

A target of more than 30 members by the end of the first year is still within reach, insisted Simon Collings, transport sector manager for the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme, which is behind the Motorvate scheme.

Paul MacDonald, a consultant to AEG Technology, which manages the Motorvate scheme, said: 'By cutting carbon, you can cut your costs. If fleets are only going to join the scheme for commercial reasons, then they should do it anyway.

'Fleets may be a soft target for taxation, but they are a realistic target. Although commuting uses a lot of fuel, business journeys use more fuel. Joining the scheme gives the discipline to improve fleet operations, by monitoring mileage and committing to continuous improvement.'

  • To contact Motorvate call 0808 1009100 or click here.

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