Fleet News

Pointless meetings raise carbon output

A third of meetings company car drivers attend annually are a waste of time and are contributing unnecessary emissions to firms’ carbon footprints, while affecting productivity.

A study found that on average, employees attend 91 face-to-face meetings a year with 37% of them unnecessary and even counter-productive. Over their working lives typical British workers will create 42 tonnes of carbon dioxide from business travel.

The research, by online meeting firm WebEx, suggests that many firms are working inefficiently and costing themselves money and time, while also causing the environment harm.

Bert van der Zwan, vice-president EMEA, WebEx, said: “If the UK is to cut its carbon emissions by up to 32% by 2020, everyone will have to embrace smarter alternatives to commuting and business travel. UK businesses also need to wake up to the fact that overloading their employees with unnecessary meetings is not only damaging the environment, it’s reducing productivity, increasing stress levels and creating a poor work-life balance.”

And Lloyds TSB autolease has released advice on how to limit the impact of fleets on the environment. Mark Chessman, deputy managing director, said: “Just by taking a considered approach to vehicle choice and journey planning, organisations can really help to significantly reduce the impact that their fleet has on the environment, without having to spend lots of money or investing a lot of time.”

But experts say reducing a fleet’s carbon footprint requires more than just cutting down face-to-face meetings. Managing the fleet and getting the whole firm concentrating on reducing emissions is also key.

Mr Chessman added: “We are working very closely in assisting businesses to reduce the carbon impact of their business transportation, primarily through helping them to move to a fleet policy which favours vehicles with a low carbon output.

“Interestingly, one of the main challenges we have encountered has been finding organisations where the fleet manager, board and staff all have the same appetite for reducing their fleet carbon footprint – there’s often conflict here.”

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