THE Government is to produce two new reports to help fleets cut emissions, despite vital strategies for cleaning up its own fleets remaining on the starting blocks.
The third annual Greening Government Report has revealed that a general tool for creating travel plans will be placed on the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regionsby the end of the year.
A best practice guide on travel plans is also due to be published in spring 2002, according to the report.
But it reveals that the Government-backed Motorvate scheme designed to help and reward fleets which reduce emissions has still only attracted three of its own departments as members, with three more considering joining.
Motorvate helps fleets set targets for reducing emissions by 12 per cent in a set period, of which 3 per cent must come from reduced mileage. The report highlights the Department of Social Security as one fleet which is taking decisive action. It has taken on dual-fuel vehicles and all drivers handbooks have a section that deals with the environment and what steps drivers can take to minimise their impact.
The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency is reducing business mileage over the next 10 years, with no employee allowed to exceed 19,000 business miles, dropping to 15,000 miles after 2002, while average vehicle fuel efficiency is being increased. It also reports that use of video conferencing systems is saving 2,000 business miles for every meeting of the Travel Plan Steering Group.
The report added that in total, the Government's fleets run 352 alternatively-fuelled vehicles.
But Environment Minister Michael Meacher claimed overall, the Government was proving it was focused on the environment, and committed Government departments to purchasing 10 per cent of their energy from renewable resources by 2008.
He added: 'I am proud of the leadership that Green Ministers and their supporting officials have shown. I look forward to together finding creative solutions to the challenge of delivering sustainable development in Government.'
- The Greening Government Third Annual Report 2001 is available from: DEFRA Publications Admail 6000 London SW1A 2XX Tel: 08459 556600.