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  • Writer's picturePaul Andrews

Grey Fleet Thwarts Green Aspirations

With budgets and resources stretched, it is unsurprising that businesses have cut costs by relying on employees to use their own vehicles – grey fleet – for work more often than pre-COVID. However, a Europcar Mobility Group UK study, published in its latest report – Greening the Grey Fleet – has found this is leaving businesses lagging behind where they and their employees want to be in terms of sustainability. In particular, employees want to see their employers do more to encourage greener mobility.

“Sustainability is on the agenda for most businesses,” commented Mark Newberry, Commercial Director and Sustainability spokesperson at Europcar Mobility Group UK. “Cutting emissions from transport is a top priority as it is one of the biggest contributors and it is an area where organisations have the ability to make change through direct action."

“We are seeing more and more business customers shift their focus to greener vehicle options, however employee feedback suggests they are not going far enough. Those driving their own vehicles want to see more stringent policies put in place to reduce Grey Fleet emissions.”

Report Highlights:

  • 81% of businesses rely on grey fleet for business travel

  • More than half of employees using their own vehicle for business travel every week; a quarter use it every day

  • 32% of employees said their employer has no green travel options available

  • 27% would like to be given access to zero emissions vehicles through a car sharing or pool fleet scheme, to simultaneously reduce the use of their own vehicle and cut emissions.

Mark Newberry continued: “Reducing the impact of a business fleet, whether company cars or grey fleet, does not have to mean providing electric vehicles to all employees required to travel for work. At Europcar we believe in supporting the transition in a way that suits the individual needs of the business and its employees."

"Renting a younger and therefore more fuel-efficient fleet is a good first step, with hybrid or fully electric vehicles included where viable. This will help businesses navigate the growing number of low emission and clean air zones around the country, while cutting emissions and fuel costs compared to a typically older grey fleet."

“The pandemic has changed how people work and how much they travel. So flexibility is key to enable businesses to navigate the economic challenges while meeting environmental targets.”

Simple steps to reduce emissions from business travel:

  • Encourage vehicle sharing and reduce work journeys where appropriate

  • Encourage a greater reliance on public transport

  • Impose an upper emissions limit and a maximum engine capacity for grey fleet vehicles

  • Install electric vehicle charging at business premises

  • Support home charging for employees (installing home chargers, contributing to energy bills, etc)

Full results and more tips for businesses looking to reduce Grey Fleet emissions are available in the report, Greening the Grey Fleet, available to download here.


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