The vast majority of the 830 fleets surveyed (94%) now list the environment as their top consideration when making fleet decisions, up from 57%.
The findings are produced in GE Commercial Finance Fleet Services’ latest quarterly Company Car Trends report.
Managing director Rich Green said: ‘Environmental issues have nudged duty of care considerations off the top of the fleet agenda for the first time in a number of years.
‘There is little question that this is an area to which fleets are now giving much greater consideration thanks to issues such as corporate responsibility and government pressure.
‘The question is, though, what action will employers take to ‘green’ their fleets? Thanks to the CO2-based company car taxation scheme, most have already dramatically reduced their emissions of greenhouse gases in recent years but what further steps can be taken?
‘We expect this to be a subject of great debate in the fleet industry during 2007 and that many fleets will start to undertake top- to-bottom reviews of their activities to understand how they can make improvements.’
Mr Green believes fleets’ green audits will now start to identify whether all business journeys are necessary and will also look at areas such as biofuels.
He added: ‘A key point to make is that duty-of-care exercises that fleets have undertaken over the last few years have provided some evidence of reduced costs as new controls were introduced and we expect the ‘greening’ of company car travel to have similar results.
‘For example, if you introduce measures to reduce fuel use for environmental reasons, you also save money.’