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CO2 slashed by leasing industry

Date: 01 May 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Data sourced exclusively by BusinessCar has revealed the extent to which the UK's five largest leasing firms have slashed vehicle emissions across the board.

Over the past three years all have implemented significant reductions, with two of the five now recording a fleet average of less than 130g/km, a benchmark figure for writing-down allowances (see table). 

ALD Automotive, the UK's fifth-largest leasing outfit, displayed the biggest drop of 16g/km and 11.3% over the period.

ALD's auto solutions manager, Helen Fisk, said the shift was largely due to "persuading customers to use a total cost of ownership model".

Matt Walters, head of consultancy at the UK's number two leasing firm, Leaseplan, said businesses are now more willing to implement such policies.

"There is a recognition now that it isn't just about the rental for the customers - it's about whole-life costs as well," he said.

Walters claimed businesses are generally willing to work more closely with leasing firms to tailor policies and seriously reduce emissions and running costs than they previously had been.

"The sea change we've seen over the past couple of years is that leasing companies are now much more of a trusted partner again. We're now seeing clients much more open to help.

"Clients are much more open to long-term strategic change now. What we are seeing is that it isn't just looking at the next 12 months or two years, it's looking a lot longer term."

He confessed the fleet industry as a whole needed to do more if it is to make a serious dent in its environmental impact: "It isn't just about saying 'put a 120g/km limit on a fleet' - you need to look at the joined-up approach. driving a 120g/km car hard is just as socially irresponsible as driving a car with 160 or 170g/km.

"If you look at any manufacturer, you could set yourself a limit and automatically meet it because you simply can't choose a car that's emitting the same as cars were three or four years ago.

"A real green policy makes sure you're driving towards something and changing behaviour."

He cited driver training schemes with the intention of improving both safety and emissions if drivers were "just a little more light-footed".

Walters also announced Leaseplan's intentions to utilise telematics packages across its fleet to better monitor emissions: "We're looking at the possibilities of telematics on vehicle fleets.

"We've not yet decided whether we'll roll that out client by client or across our whole 130,000 vehicles. you'll see it develop over the course of this year."

He also warned that businesses need to remain on their toes with emissions and their carbon footprint, as they're likely to count for more in future.

"PLCs now have a legal responsibility under EU law to report their carbon footprint and that includes vehicle emissions.

"Only PLCs have to do that at the moment, but it would not surprise me if that gets rolled out on a much, much larger scale over the next few years."

Top five leasing companies: average fleet CO2 reduction ranking 2010-2012

   Company     CO2 2010-2012     Fall (g/km)     Fall (%)

1. ALD         142g/km - 126g/km   16g/km         11.3%

2. Leaseplan 138g/km - 124g/km  14g/km        10.1%

3. Arval         148g/km - 135g/km   13g/km         8.8%

4. Alphabet   147g/km - 137g/km   11g/km         7.5%

5. Lex           147g/km - 140g/km    7g/km          4.8%