Earlier this year, the Government was criticised for its piecemeal approach to fleet.
More than two-thirds of its departments were either failing to hit their own green motoring targets or were unaware they existed.
Now, more than 38 government departments and organisations will be supplied with vehicles from 15 manufacturers in what is described as one of the biggest-ever collaborative procurement exercises in the UK public sector.
The deal, spearheaded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and signed this week, is expected to reap savings of up to £100 million and enable the government to meet its sustainability target for a 15% reduction in its vehicle carbon emissions by 2010-2011.
It allows all public sector organisations to replace their existing fleets with greener, cleaner vehicles at a reduced cost.
One example sees the DWP saving at least £5 million on the cost of its fleet in addition to cutting CO2 emissions by about 4,500 tonnes.
Lord Hunt, minister at the Department for Work and Pensions, said: ‘I am pleased that the efforts of DWP, OGC and departments across the government have resulted in this groundbreaking deal.
It is an excellent example of collaboration that will not only contribute to the government efficiency goals but will also help the public sector to hit its targets on vehicle emissions.’
Departments wanting to join the programme must calculate their current fleet’s wholelife costs and its carbon footprint.
They do this by entering engine size, carbon dioxide emissions and Euro IV engine rating into a model designed by the OGC and can then access a database of the cars available under the programme.
The OGC model can then be used to monitor the fleets’ carbon footprint.
Joanne Whaley, head of strategic sourcing at the OGC, told Fleet News: ‘The benefit to vehicle suppliers is that they don’t have to tender for different government department fleet contracts as they had to in the past.’
Fraser Ireland, the OGC’s category manager for fleet, added: ‘It’s smarter working all round for both the public and private sectors.’
Over the next 12 months, the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency will be one of the leading departments securing pan-governmental collaborative deals for windscreens, tyres and leasing. It has been and is supported by numerous key government departments including the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency, HM Revenue and Customs, HM Prison Service, the Environment Agency and the Government Car and Dispatch Agency.