Graham Hurdle blog: 15 July - Shouldn't we just drive less?
15 July 2015
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
At E-Training World, we have a number of online driver training courses aimed at helping people drive more fuel efficiently, with less wear and tear to the vehicle and harm to the environment.
I'll be the first to admit, however, that if drivers didn't take their vehicle out in the first place, it would be a far better solution.
If an average company car driver, covering 20,000 miles per annum, could drop their travel by 25% it would go along way to reducing the level of pollution being pumped into the atmosphere.
But why do we all drive so much with work?
Necessity is one reason; certainly for the companies who have little option than putting vehicles on the road to fulfill customer orders or carry out vital duties and operations. But is there such a genuine need for other businesses with sales reps, account managers, technical support teams or other individuals to spend hours in a car to see a customer or prospect in person?
In my view, expectations to have 'face to face' meetings could be challenged more - particularly with such excellent web meeting technology available. Also don't ignore the productivity gains of spending 25% less time driving, or stuck in congestion, and using this time to do other things.
Of course, we don't want to lose human contact because people like doing business with other people. But I find many meetings are agreed to with no-one checking to see if it can't be done another way. There is also often the requirement for sales people to be 'out there' selling, the attitude being that sales people should be on the road and not at their desk.
The point I'm making, however, is that we can work as hard as we like to drive down emissions. Better vehicles, better driving and many technological advances will do this.
But are we, as UK businesses, doing enough to stop the root cause of pollution by thinking more carefully about the level of driving across our companies. Lets face it, if you have 200 vehicles, each travelling 20,000 miles per annum, that's 4 million miles a year, or approximately 160 laps of the planet!
In my mind, lets tackle this in 2 stages. 1 is to challenge, and reduce, the number of miles every business travels each year. Then, stage 2, is to work as hard as possible to minimise the emissions and harm caused by the miles we 'do' need to travel.
That way, rather than lapping the planet we'll be saving it - and saving ourselves a lot of money too!