Developed and launched by BAA Heathrow, the programme aims to help companies on or around the airport reduce fleet pollution.
It has already saved more than £6,000 in costs for DHL Aviation by slashing mileage while Exel Distribution reduced CO2 emissions in 2003 by 22 tonnes and cut vehicle movements by 60%.
BAA Heathrow has created a 10-step guide to help fleets achieve environmentally responsible fleet management (see below). This includes maintaining vehicles, changing policies if necessary and promoting the right message to drivers.
The CVP has also launched a five-tier award system from Bronze to Diamond for companies which improve their environmental performance.
Fleets which sign up to the programme are provided with an initial assessment and an action plan focusing on appropriate and cost-effective measures to improve the environmental performance and profitability of their fleets.
Claire Williams, head of sustainability and environment strategy at BAA Heathrow, said: ‘No individual company can work in isolation to improve the air quality in the Heathrow area, so we are exercising our stewardship role by supporting and working with users and tenants of the airport. BAA Heathrow is committed to an air quality strategy which the CVP is part of and focuses on reducing the impact of vehicles in and around the airport.
‘Air quality nationally will be subject to EU limits in 2010. We know that solutions can take some time to show improvements and so we must be working now to deliver what we can. We want to continue to engage others in working to understand what needs to be done.’
The CVP is aiming to have 50 companies signed up by March next year. It already has 47, 36 of which have had an initial assessment.
Williams said there was also interest from organisations such as the Greater London Authority and neighbouring local authorities which may adapt the programme for wider use.
Simon Collings, manager of the Clean Vehicles Programme, said additional benefits were available to fleets joining the CVP.
He said: ‘Menzies Aviation has invested in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vans for its baggage handling operation as well as 25 new buses operating outside the airport perimeter, all fitted with state- of-the-art particulate traps.
‘Airlinks, an airport services group, has also encouraged better driver techniques and efficiency resulting in better fuel performance.’
By working closely with companies involved with BAA, Collings says the CVP is able to share ideas and provide resources for environmental fleet management.
Members get recognition of commitment and achievements and advice is provided using a structured framework based on all aspects of good practice. ‘Ultimately it is simple to take part in, can reduce transport costs and is free,’ Collings said.
He added: ‘Any organisation that has a transport fleet can join and our philosophy is one of continuous improvement. No minimum standards are imposed to join and the focus is more on whether environmental considerations are taken into account when vehicles are specified and purchased.
‘The CVP is not just about the type of vehicle, it’s also about how well the vehicle is maintained and driven and what steps are taken to minimise mileage and fuel consumption.’
Ten steps of the Clean vehicles programme
1. DATA AND MONITORING
Getting the basic facts and figures about your fleet
2. TRAINING AND AWARENESS
Ensuring your staff know what the programme is, what to do and what not to do
3. VEHICLE MAINTENANCE
Making sure your fleet gets regular attention
4. MANAGING TRIPS
Planning and checking if any transport is necessary
5. FIT FOR PURPOSE
Making sure your fleet is an appropriate one
6. CLEAN FUELS AND VEHICLES
Considering the use of alternative fuels and vehicles
7. PROVIDING INCENTIVES
Advising on how best to change behaviour
8. REVIEWING POLICY
Making sure your company is giving a consistent message
9. MAKING THE BUSINESS CASE
Ensuring that you know the costs and benefits
10. MAINTAINING MOMENTUM
Setting targets for long-term improvement