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October 27, 2009

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Work-related driving initiative targets ‘grey fleets’

A major campaign has been launched to improve the way the public sector manages ‘grey’ fleet — employee-owned vehicles used for work-related journeys.

The brainchild of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), the campaign aims to raise the profile of the issues and opportunities presented by managing grey fleet, as well as helping organisations and employees adopt safer, more cost-effective and sustainable forms of travel.

According to the OGC, grey fleet accounts for around 57 per cent of the public sector’s total road mileage, and reducing that mileage by a million miles could unlock an estimated £250,000 in cash savings and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 240 tonnes.

The Office adds that many organisations — in both the public and private sectors — struggle to manage grey fleet effectively, on grounds of resource, expertise and the greater difficulty in monitoring vehicles not directly owned or managed by the organisation.

Moreover, grey-fleet mileage reimbursement rates are normally considerably higher than alternative modes of travel, so focusing  on grey fleet helps employees make conscious decisions about the journeys they  make, thus cutting down on unnecessary business journeys  and reducing the strain on travel budgets.  

The OGC will be showcasing best-practice toolkits and online support at the first-ever national conference on managing grey fleet in the public sector at the BIS Centre in London on 25 November, and during a series of regional road shows and sector-specific workshops.

It has also published two new information pamphlets: Grey fleet: Improving your carbon, cost and care and Grey fleet: Is your organisation safe from prosecution?

Speaking about the initiative, the Government’s Chief Sustainability Officer, William Jordan, said: “Small, simple improvements in grey-fleet management can collectively make big differences. Our toolkits support the public sector’s better management of employee welfare, and can lead to significant reductions in cost and carbon emissions.

“I would urge all managers responsible for this particular area of public-sector expenditure to ensure effective measures are in place to maximise efficiencies, and safeguard staffs’ well-being.”

To find out more about the campaign, the conference and the toolkit, click here.

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