Anglian Water and Slough Estates, have put company drivers through a new course designed to encourage them to think green as they are driving. Initial findings suggest companies can achieve fuel savings of up to 20%, simply by speaking to employees about how they use their vehicles.
The Peak Performance Management course, called 'Econo-Driver' is designed to identify the savings that can be made through routine preparation and economic operation of vehicles.
Each participant is debriefed following training and given his or her 'Econo-Driver' score based on the overall performance during the challenges, ranging from gold to bronze.
David Mullins, administration manager for Slough Estates, which runs 100 cars, said: 'During the first training session, driving a vehicle that normally achieves 31mpg, we managed to achieve 37mpg with three people in the car, making an overall saving of 20%.
'This should produce significant savings for the company in terms of fuel consumption, gas emissions and drivers suffering less stress, and we are less likely to suffer accidents and time off as a result.'
Carol Green, transport co-ordinator at Anglian Water, added: 'The fuel consumption of eight drivers was closely monitored for three months prior to their training, and again for three months following the training. We found that average fuel consumption reduced by 8%.'
Peak Performance Management said with concerns following predictions that fuel prices would increase in the next few months, fleet decision-makers had to use their drivers as the key to keeping fuel costs under control.
James Sutherland, managing director, said: 'The increasing risk of war with Iraq, the rising cost of fuel and increased congestion on our roads all point to the need for drivers to be more careful on the road and save fuel.'