10 ways to reduce your fleets CO2 emissions

17th Jun 2021

By now we are all aware that lower levels of CO2 emissions lead to better air quality and overall improvements to the environment and our own health. However, air pollution still remains a huge concern and one of the leading causes of air pollution in the UK is transportation. 

Do you know what your fleet’s carbon footprint is?  Have you thought about trying to reduce your fleet’s CO2 emissions? 
Choosing to reduce your fleet’s carbon emissions will not only have a positive impact on the environment and society, but you will also benefit from lower fuel costs, reduced tax rates and class 1A NICs.

With this in mind, we have pulled together some tips on how to reduce your fleet’s CO2 emissions:

1. Review your fleets current co2 emissions

If you are looking to reduce your fleets emissions then it’s important to understand what the current carbon footprint of your fleet looks like.

You can measure your fleet’s CO2 emissions in a number of ways, typically the most popular are via the amount of fuel used like that used in this Carbon Footprint Calculator or via a calculation based on the vehicles CO2 grams per kilometre rating and annual mileage. Once you have established your current position, you can then start work on considering what may work for your business and what changes can be made to start the journey towards net zero.

2. Set maximum CO2 thresholds

Imposing CO2 caps on company car choice lists sends a powerful signal of corporate intent and accelerates the process of lowering carbon emissions. These caps should ideally also apply to employees who opt for a cash allowance rather than a company car – there is no environmental argument for displacing carbon emissions from a company car to a private car.

3. Route optimisation

Accurate planning can help you avoid traffic jams as well as to find more efficient routes that can save you time and drive down the CO2 emissions.  Just remember that often the shortest possible route might not be the best one and consider all other factors such as avoiding routes that are likely to be congested, or where there are planned roadworks.

4. Consider alternatives and go electric

Carbon savings can be substantial if you electrify your fleet and there are many reasons to consider going electric: 

  • Fully electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions – they are greener, cleaner and better for the environment.
  • Plug-in Hybrids emit zero tailpipe when being driven in electric mode, which will defer depending on their EV range.
  • Make savings with lower tax rates and Government grants reducing purchase costs.
  • Reduced fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs and tax breaks can help lower whole life costs.
  • Maintain a positive corporate image and meet business corporate responsibility goals by improving your green credentials.
  • EV’s have the latest in vehicle technology and the latest advancements in battery technology, increasing vehicle range and reducing battery costs.
  • Choosing electric helps improve air quality, meet the requirements of traveling in clean air zones (CAZ) and benefit from exemptions from CAZ charges.
  • EV’s provide attractive vehicle options for employees with lower rates of BIK, the latest technology and reduced fuel costs.

The PVM team can help you with evaluating your fleet’s fuel mix, choosing the right hybrid and electric vehicles for your business, giving your employees the best choice in low emission company cars and most importantly staying compliant with the latest government guidelines. More general information can be found on our EV hub.

5. Vehicle Maintenance

Staying on top of your fleet’s maintenance is important for reduction of CO2 emissions. For example, tyres can play an important role in fuel economy, as under – inflated tyres can create more resistance, and this causes the engine to work harder and burn more fuel.

6. Consider promoting car sharing 

Carpooling is more CO2 efficient than driving solo in an ICE vehicle. It can help to reduce the CO2 footprint and it’s a cheaper alternative for company’s employees to travel to work.

7. LCVs – choose the right size 

Rightsizing light commercial vehicles to avoid excess volume and payload can add to CO2 savings. Where possible, choose smaller, more fuel-efficient vans, so long as they are operationally fit for purpose.

If you are thinking of looking at hybrid or EV commercial vehicles making the right choice is equally as important. If you fleet operates around towns and cities with really great access to charge stations then you will almost be spoiled for choice regarding the full electric options. However, if you are looking for vans that can cover longer distances or need to be able to transport a heavy payload, a hybrid van could be a better option.

8. Encourage a light right foot

The individual driver is by far the most important factor in determining a vehicle’s real world carbon emissions. Accelerating hard, excessive speed and engine idling all burn unnecessary fuel. Coaching company car and van drivers in ecodriving, which is focused on better observation and anticipation as well as greater speed awareness not only promotes fuel efficient driving but safer driver. According to the Energy Saving Trust it also delivers average fuel savings of 6% in the long term for fleets, with parallel reductions in CO2 emissions.

9. Make sure your PHEV drivers plug in

Plug-in hybrid vehicles are providing a low emission stepping stone for many company car drivers, across many businesses. But PHEVs only work to help the environment if drivers actually take the time and effort to plug them. This will then ensure that the vehicles maximise their zero-carbon range. If PHEVs are never plugged in, this effectively creates an inefficient petrol car with the weight burden of a battery pack, which actually increases carbon emissions.

10. Avoid unnecessary business journeys

The last year and a half has shown how Microsoft Teams, Zoom and other online conferencing tools have managed to provide an alternative to meeting in person. Conducting as many meetings as possible virtually and providing guidelines for employees on which sort of business trips are truly necessary, will significantly reduce corporate CO2 emissions.


Get in touch

If you are looking for help and advice on evaluating your fleets fuel mix or are looking to switch you fleet to electric our team would be happy to help.