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North Ayrshire Council cuts grey fleet CO2 emissions by 37% through car club

North Ayrshire Council Enterprise Car Club

North Ayrshire Council has cut its grey fleet CO2 emissions by 37% - or 9.1 tonnes annually - after introducing its car club service 18 months ago.

The programme is operated by Enterprise Car Club, which has been helping the council develop and pilot potential business travel facilities. 

A significant communications programme a month ahead of the launch saw 250 employees sign up in advance, with the car club now having more than 500 members.

These vehicles are now in constant use and are travelling almost 11,000 miles every month.

Last year, Enterprise Car Club added three electric vehicles owned by the council to the original eight vehicles provided. These are all fully equipped with advanced technology to enable rapid access and monitoring of usage.

Earlier this month, the council responded to increasing demand by adding another three new cars to the programme.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for Place, said: “As a council we are forward-thinking and innovative in our approach to tackling environmental issues.

“Over the past three years, the council has delivered a series of programmes to improve sustainability and tackle climate change.

"Our recycling rate is one of the best in Scotland, while we have saved 11,000 tonnes of CO2 by replacing 7,000 street lights with LEDs.

“There is a whole lot more being done across the council and our pilot programme with Enterprise Car Club is one of them. We are delighted that it has proved so successful since it was introduced in November 2015.”

Usage policy for the council vehicles was set to eliminate common employee issues, in particular the early and late drop-offs at the office that could make the car club inconvenient for people who live further away.

As a result, cars can be taken home overnight for early-morning meetings or brought back to base the following morning at each employee’s convenience.

The council is currently piloting the programme and looking at the potential of making permanent arrangements for business miles.

Montgomerie added: “We were spending approximately £1.2 million on business miles and that simply needed to change.

“The scheme is about changing the mindset of our staff and making it the norm for employees to book car club vehicles for meetings.

“Using your own car and claiming mileage should become the exception to the rule. 

"The car pool scheme saves the council money, reduces our carbon footprint and is really positive for staff. It allows them to leave their own car at home which takes away all the hassles of traffic, parking and minimises the wear and tear on their car.

“The scheme has worked very well and the message is getting across to our staff. The feedback from staff using the scheme is always positive. We are always looking at ways to develop it further.”

Paul McCorkell, Enterprise’s regional business development manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “The success of an employee car club is entirely dependent on culture. Everyone has to understand the bigger picture and what the club can deliver in terms of real impact. It isn’t change for its own sake.

“While cost saving is a factor, there are other benefits such as a reduction in mileage and CO2 emissions. North Ayrshire Council is a great example of a car club that right from the start has focused on engaging the employees. This is why it has been such a success.”

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