A council in Gloucestershire has reduced its road travel emissions by more than four tonnes of CO2* in the first six months since introducing a green car club for its staff.
Tewkesbury Borough Council has been working with Enterprise Car Club to deliver a greener hybrid vehicle fleet for its staff – and the council estimates that it will make annual carbon savings of around 8.6 tonnes*.
The council makes use of a fleet of six Enterprise Car Club vehicles including two low-emission Ford Fiestas and four hybrid vehicles: a Kia Nero, a Toyota Prius and two Toyota Yaris.
All six cars are bookable by the hour or day by council employees and are being used to replace the ‘grey fleet’ – a practice where employees drive their own cars for business trips and claim mileage reimbursement.
The new car club forms part of a broader change in the council’s travel policy, designed to drive efficiencies and carbon savings. Employees now log their journeys on the Enterprise Travel Direct platform before making a journey to assess which form of travel is most suitable to their needs.
In addition to encouraging employees to make more sustainable and cost-conscious choices, this platform provides invaluable data on business travel that can be analysed to help identify further efficiencies.
As well as reducing costs, health and safety risks and carbon emissions, the new travel policy encourages employees to question if a business trip is necessary in the first place. It then offers a more efficient, sustainable and convenient means of travelling if the trip is required.
Rob Weaver, Deputy Chief Executive of Tewkesbury Borough Council, said: “Working with Enterprise to design our new travel strategy is already helping to cut costs, make employee business travel more efficient and improve our sustainability performance. The technology, vehicles and new travel policy are helping us to reduce our carbon footprint. Our Enterprise fleet is low emission, especially when compared to an employee using their own vehicle, which can often be far older.
“Enterprise understood exactly what we’re trying to achieve and has been innovative in providing solutions that make our business travel better, even to the extent of questioning when a trip may not be necessary. We are tracking the data and hope to report on significant savings in the coming year.”
Curt Craig, General Manager for Enterprise West Midlands, said: “Tewkesbury Borough Council was looking for a way to cut its CO2 emissions and reduce its reliance on the grey fleet without reducing vital local services. This is a challenge that we are seeing across all local authorities, and the key to addressing this is to go back to the data and figure out what employees actually need to support their travel requirements and decide the most efficient way to provide that transport.
“Shared access to vehicles ticks many boxes. We’ve worked closely with the council to establish how many and which types of vehicles will be most effective for employees. Our local Enterprise team then held workshops to show council staff how car club works and how to use our booking platform.
“This is a great example of how we work with local authorities to understand their travel needs and co-operatively develop a strategy to meet those needs in the most efficient manner, both in terms of cost and for the environment.”
Enterprise Car Club members can – for both business and personal use – access any of its growing network of more than 1,400 on-street vehicles available for rent 24/7, 365 days of the year, in more than 180 cities, towns and communities across the UK. This currently includes four vehicles across Gloucestershire, with more expected.
Many Enterprise Car Club vehicles are located at transport hubs or railway stations to make it easier to travel around the UK using public transport.
* Estimated CO2 savings
Tewkesbury Borough Council’s estimated figures for CO2 savings above are based on the best available data, using lookup tables produced by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for various vehicles that include a generic figure for CO2 equivalence* of an “average” car used for business travel.
BEIS figures for use with EVs, hybrids and small ICE cars have been used to calculate the tCO2e* for the car club vehicles’ mileage figures each month against the figures for grey fleet, comparing the grey fleet figure from the equivalent month in 2017.
tCO2e = ‘tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent’ – is the standard unit for measuring carbon footprints.