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News - 14 May 2008

Business could save £3bn a year through "green cars"

UK firms could save £3 billion annually by switching to 'greener' company cars, according to new research by the Energy Saving Trust.

New government tax breaks, which allow UK firms to swap company cars for vehicles that emit less than 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre, could hand savings of £250 million to UK employers through cuts in National Insurance contributions.

Findings from the Energy Saving Trust's (EST) report Behind the Wheel II found that tax changes could lead to a cut in CO2 emissions in the UK of around five million tonnes a year.

UK workers driving greener company cars could save £645 million through reduced Benefit in Kind income tax contributions and £1.2 billion on the fuel bill for driving their cars privately.

The EST surveyed 400 board-level executives for the Behind the Wheel report and found that only 7% offer a financial reward to employees who choose a smaller, cheaper or lower-carbon vehicle.  Half of companies that provide cars don’t have a CSR or environmental policy (51 per cent) and of those that do 34 per cent don’t consider the impact of vehicles as part of that policy.

Figures from the report show that every year 56% of all new vehicles are registered to organisations and that although they account for around 11% of all passenger cars, they are responsible for 25% of passenger car CO2 emissions.

Nigel Underdown, head of transport advice at the EST, said; "Running vehicles costs a lot of money and with fuel prices over £1 a litre it's not going to get cheaper any time soon.  In addition, companies in the business-to-business sector won't get far when tendering for big contracts unless they can prove their environmental credentials.

"Indeed 2008 could see the tipping point in which offering – and choosing – low emitting cars is seen to be the only sensible business option."

The EST offer free green fleet reviews to provide organisations with tailored fleet management advice to help lower running costs, reduce environmental impact and enhance corporate social responsibility. If you operate a fleet of 50 or more vehicles, you are eligible to sign up for a free review.  For smaller fleets they offer a free telephone fleet consultancy service.

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Climate Change
Energy Saving Trust

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