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Going Green without splashing the cash

Sam Sterry, Head of SME for Europcar Mobility Group UK, looks at steps SMEs can take to go green without spending on PHEVs

With the increased focus on green credentials, businesses are seeking ways to transition their processes to operate in a greener manner. According to UNICEF, across 86% of the UK, children are breathing dangerous levels of toxic air, which can leave them with lifelong health issues, such as asthma. As air pollution becomes a major health concern, pressure increases for SMEs to build a greener fleet. However, with few having resources to invest in electric vehicles, it’s worth investigating the steps businesses in Northern Ireland can take that don’t need to involve expensive fleet upgrades.

Businesses can play a key role in creating cleaner air for everyone and it can be done with a few small adjustments. Reducing the mileage of your fleet is a simple way to decrease fleet emissions. Reviewing the miles drivers cover in a single day and eliminating unnecessary journeys will bring mileage and fuel usage down.

It’s also worth monitoring driver style to promote efficiency and improve fuel consumption. Educate drivers to ensure they adopt driving techniques that help them become a better driver. Not only will this cut down on their stress, but also improve safety and deliver financial, as well as environmental, benefits to your business. All it takes is a few small changes, such as anticipating other road users to avoid sudden braking or acceleration. Avoiding excessive speed helps reduce fuel consumption, as well as using air conditioning sparingly.

Grey fleet – employees own vehicles – remain one of the biggest factors when it comes to emissions because firms have little control over the state of the vehicles, including age and maintenance. Reducing grey fleet travel could help eliminate unnecessary travel, but SMEs need a viable alternative.

Services like Europcar Advantage, which provides a long-term rental alternative to leasing or outright acquisition, offer SMEs access to a fleet of new vehicles for employees that meet the necessary emissions standard, whilst offering the flexibility they need to meet the demands of their business. Short-term vehicle rental also helps SMEs try out the latest hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles, with models, such as the Hyundai Ioniq on fleet at Europcar.

Businesses can start making small changes within their own fleet and replace grey fleet vehicles with well-maintained rental vehicles that offer the latest technology, such as stop-start engines. Every little change goes a long way to reducing air pollution for everyone’s benefit.