Fleet News

Flexible working will impact on company fleet use

The introduction of carbon pricing and a growing appetite for alternatives to the nine-to-five culture are set to drive significant changes in the way company car fleets operate.

The average daily commute now amounts to 29 days of wasted time a year for many workers. In London, the figure is 96 days each year.

This equates to 1.1 billion wasted man hours just getting to and from work.

And estimates suggest that by 2025 congestion will cause some £22 billion worth of wasted time in England alone each year.

It is these statistics that are driving the behavioural changes by companies and their employees in relation to how and why they travel to and from work and while at work.

“We believe that a 60% improvement in CO2 reduction could be achieved through behavioural change,” Edmund King, the AA president told last week’s Work Wise UK Summit.

He stressed that initiatives that alter the way we travel to work and how much we travel when we are there need to be introduced.

“Smarter choices can reduce traffic levels by 11% in ten years,” he said. “But we need Government leadership.”

Environment minister Hilary Benn warned that the imminent introduction of carbon pricing and carbon trading will put added pressures on companies to reduce their carbon emissions.

And one of the main areas this can be achieved is through less work-time journeys.

Once a price has been set for each gram of carbon a company uses, the focus on fleet acquisition and use will come even more to the fore.

Alternatives to work-time travel are already here – home working, teleconferencing and remote offices – and they work.

Nearly 3.5 million people already work from home in the UK - an increase of 600,000 since 1997, according to TUC figures.

The AA for example now has 300 home workers.

By not commuting, they save 360 litres of fuel a day, travel 620,000 fewer miles each year and save 212.5 tonnes of CO2 annually.

BT, another advocate of the Work Wise philosophy, now saves at least 97,000 tonnes of CO2 annually through the use of teleconferencing, rather than making employees get into company cars and drive to meetings.

The company has also saved £500 million in reduced office costs by introducing flexible working.

“The nine-to-five working culture is a thing of the bygone age,” said David Lennan, chairman of Work Wise UK.



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