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Fleets not reacting to green agenda

Date: 18 September 2007

Business Car Perceptions report

Business car fleets are still failing to adjust their practices to take account of green issues, according to a new report that claims nine out of 10 companies don't stipulate low CO2 models on their fleets.

The 2007 Business Car Perceptions Report claims more than 75% of firms don't have a strategy in place to reduce business miles, almost all of which haven't looked at technology to reduce the need to travel.

"With green issues rising to prominence on the political agenda in the UK, our research suggests the fleet industry risks being significantly out of step," said James Rodger, global automotive leader for the report's author Bearingpoint. "Firms appear to not even be taking the basic steps to acknowledge their environmental responsibilities and review the way in which the operate their fleets."

Duty of care is another issue being neglected by much of the fleet community. A quarter of respondents claimed management is totally unaware of the risks involved, and 39% believe duty of care issues will have no impact on their business.

More than one in 10 fleet managers are yet to publish rules for using mobile phones while driving, and 13% don't publish alcohol abuse rules, a figure that rises to 15% for drug abuse. "It is surprising that duty of care falls so low on the radar of the modern fleet manager," said Rodger. "Simple risk assessment and the deployment of straightforward policies are vital if the risk of penalties and damage to corporate image are to be avoided."

The survey also found a decline in the number of fleet managers. The proportion of respondents with full-time fleet manager responsibility dropped slightly to 20%. Since 2000, the number of organisations with no full- or part-time fleet manager has risen by a quarter to 58%, with the role transferring to the finance department in 28% of cases. Only 20% of respondents have a full-time fleet manager, with another 23% employing someone to take part-time responsibility.