Fleet News

Builders find green way is good news for its profits

Rok’s green credentials are helping it to secure business, as well as driving down costs.

And it’s proving that what’s good news for the environment can also be good for a company’s bottom line.

The property repair and maintenance company completed a Green Fleet Review with the Energy Saving Trust at the end of 2008, which has resulted in a range of measures being employed to improve its carbon footprint.

These have included:

  • Downsizing its van fleet to improve mpg and CO2 emissions
  • Fitting speed limiters to all new vans
  • Paying larger allowances for greener cars.
  • However, its carbon cutting agenda has not only had a positive effect on the environment, it’s also saving the business money.

“The environment is important to Rok for a multitude of reasons,” explains David Oliver, national procurement leader at Rok.

“But where the fleet is concerned, I think that whatever Rok does it has to be positive for the employees, the people we work for and the environment we operate in.”

He adds: “We want to know when our vans are going up and down the road that they’re well maintained, they’re clean, they’re low CO2 and the driver understands his responsibility in terms of not burning more fossil fuel to get to the job than he needs to.

“That’s good, because if he burns less fuel that saves us money, but it’s also good because no one wants to pollute where it could have been avoided.”

Rok set itself the ambitious target of reducing its CO2 emissions by 30% between 2008 and 2011.

It immediately started looking at how its almost exclusive Ford fleet, which operates on a five-year/70,000-mile replacement cycle, could play its part.

The company operates via a series of individual teams designed to serve specific geographical areas and Oliver saw the potential in comparing one with another.

He embarked on an internal benchmarking exercise, producing in-house case studies showing how technicians in one area were successfully using smaller vans.

These would detail any savings being made, as well as including driver reaction.

“We started by completely outlawing larger vehicles,” explains Oliver. “Historically, when vehicles were chosen people would just opt for the largest available and that was as scientific as it got.

“We needed to challenge that way of thinking, but we were able to do this safe in the knowledge that we had seen it work in other parts of the business.”

The savings made from technicians opting for smaller vans has brought big rewards, with £3,105 being saved per van on fuel over a five year period, according to Oliver.

“It’s changed the way people think about vehicle acquisition,” he says.

“They have started to see the potential savings for themselves rather than me simply telling them.”

Rok is on track to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% and, while different ways of working are producing ben-efits to the business’s bottom line, its environmental credentials are also being taken into account when tendering for work.

“It can be one of the defining factors between work being awarded or not,” concludes Oliver, proving that the rewards are many when a fleet makes the environment a priority.

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