Gloucestershire County Council has significantly reduced its CO2 emissions by adopting a car club programme operated by Enterprise Car Club. Over the past six months, the council estimated that it has reduced its vehicle emissions by around two tonnes of CO2 per month compared to having employees use their privately-owned cars for work journeys.
Eight dedicated Enterprise Car Club vehicles are now based at the council’s Shire Hall headquarters in Gloucester and more than 450 of the council’s 2,000 employees have signed up to the programme. The vehicles include two Nissan LEAF electric cars, three Toyota Prius hybrids and three Hyundai i20s.
The introduction of the car club is an extension of a long-term programme where Enterprise Rent-A-Car vehicles have been used to lower business mileage, reduce emissions and improve air quality.
Enterprise and the council analysed employee journey patterns and usage to establish if car club rental could be part of a better solution than the so called ‘grey fleet’, where drivers use their personal cars for work journeys and claim for the miles driven.
The data indicated that a dedicated car club would help to lower vehicle emissions and reduce the council’s risk by ensuring employees always drive modern, well-maintained vehicles for business trips. It would also lessen the need for employees to commute to Shire Hall by car and therefore reduce pressure on parking in the city centre.
The council has also seen a number of other benefits deriving from the detailed journey and usage data the cars provide, as well as the assurance that vehicles are well-maintained and insured for business use.
The council sees the car club as an important tool in lowering overall travel costs and employee business mileage. The vehicles are booked and accessed via a mobile app and charged at a pence-per-mile rate lower than that of grey fleet reimbursement, which encourages both managers and drivers to be more thoughtful in how they manage their business travel.
Will Spendlove, Commissioning Officer at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We’re developing a comprehensive travel policy for employees to reduce our costs and make our business travel more sustainable.
“Enterprise was able to analyse the data of how and why our employees travel and use it to design a more efficient, tailored programme to help us move away from the grey fleet. The data analysis demonstrated a car club was a key part of that equation.
“The on-site car club is not only helping us to reduce our risk, but it also encourages our employees to use more sustainable hybrid and electric vehicles. These are most useful for shorter business trips, which are often the ones where employees would use their own cars.
“Enterprise additionally gives us the flexibility to easily add or remove vehicles based on our utilisation. One of the benefits has been the long-term support from Enterprise’s consultants, who have attended and hosted numerous stakeholder meetings, roadshows and other on-site events at Shire Hall.
“Partnering with Enterprise has helped us to change employee behaviour so they reduce business mileage and travel more efficiently and sustainably.”
Dan Gursel, Managing Director of Enterprise Car Club, said: “Dedicated car clubs can help organisations manage business travel costs and provide a level of control that is missing when employees use their own vehicles. They can reduce costs, ensure employees drive regularly maintained and properly insured vehicles, and offer a significantly more sustainable transport option.
“By developing policies and processes to make business travel more manageable and environmentally-friendly, Gloucestershire County Council has been able to improve sustainability and local air quality. It provides employees with a viable alternative to using their own vehicles for work.”