Tag Archives: fleet

Understanding Staff Behaviours and Business Travel Needs

Aylesbury Vale District Council's on-site hourly rental pool cars

Aylesbury Vale District Council’s on-site hourly rental pool cars

How did Aylesbury Vale District Council save £90,000 and halve their emissions? Ena Lloyd spoke with Alan Asbury to find out.

I recently attended a seminar run by Enterprise Rent a Car on how public services are engaging with the private sector to improve their business travel arrangements. This has resulted in major contributions towards their sustainability targets and big savings.

I caught up with Alan Asbury, Sustainability and Energy Manager from Aylesbury Vale District Council and asked him about the Council’s travel policy. I was particularly interested in their focus on staff behaviour and their critical use of data to get a clear understanding of staff business travel.

I started by asking a little about the Council. The Council covers the northern half of Buckinghamshire and employs around 500 staff of which around 220 drive for business.

They created the policy with Enterprise to bring the council in line with the sharing economy and the latest cost-saving technology. They analysed the council’s usage data and was able to segment its employees’ business trips by cost-efficiency, highlighting where hourly rental and daily rental would be most effective. For example, by restricting daily rental to those with journeys of more than 75 miles or eight hours, it has ensured its low-emission car club vehicles are used more regularly.

Translating the policy into action meant that nine on-site hourly rental pool cars were sourced through Enterprise Car Club, which were provided for employees making short journeys, along with Enterprise Rent-A-Car daily hire cars for longer journeys. These have successfully replaced the grey fleet as a less expensive and more environmentally-friendly option.

The travel policy was changed to focus on safety, which is essential for the council’s duty of care responsibilities. Staff who still use their own vehicles for work first complete a tick box form checking several aspects of vehicle and driver maintenance such as safety, insurance, driving licence, health and fitness and vehicle condition.

As part of the initiative, the ‘grey fleet’ mileage reimbursement rate was cut from up to 0.65 pence per mile to 0.15 to encourage employees to use the Enterprise Car Club vehicles as well as daily rental, given the potential cost savings and the environmental benefits.

After careful monitoring, the scheme now been pared down to eight Enterprise Car Club vehicles. All are all low-emission and include three pure electric Nissan Leaf cars. In the first year of their use, the Council has saved £90,000. It’s also allowed them to re-introduce a 50% bus subsidy on all four locally-operated bus routes. Overall, its transport carbon emissions have been reduced by more than half. The Council also operate electric vehicles including BMW i3s.

Reflecting on their new travel policy, Alan said: “Our new travel policy was based on an in-depth understanding of how our drivers behaved and their needs in terms of mobility. Enterprise helped us analyse where, how often and why staff were travelling, which was vital if we wanted them to do it more efficiently.

“Using a car club has helped us save tens of thousands of pounds, and Enterprise also helped us work with our employees to understand the aims of the programme and demonstrate what we were trying to achieve. It has been highly successful and we’ve now been invited to speak with other public and private sector organisations to show them what we did and how we did it.”

Adrian Bewley, Director of Business Rental UK & Ireland at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, adds: “The council has been able to use a blend of hourly and daily rental, as well as leasing, to create a far more effective and greener approach to employee travel.

“The Council is, quite rightly, being viewed as a leader in public sector business travel. They have achieved silver in the annual Energy Savings Trust Fleet Hero Awards November 2015. Most importantly, the success of the programme is due to the fact it was based on an analysis of driver behaviours and journeys. Data is the most important tool in creating a better travel policy and changing how employees think about driving.”

If you’d like to learn more about the project and how Aylesbury might help you to do something similar, Contact Alan at aasbury@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk

Making the Most of Your Assets

3. Asset Management ImageDid you know that since 2006, business energy costs have risen by 243%? No, nor did we. The public sector in Wales is well aware of the need to cut costs and improve services. But what do you do when you’re faced with costs that seem out of your control? You could look to manage your assets better by trying new ideas or approaches. The Wales Audit Office’s Good Practice Exchange aim is to help you find these new ideas and approaches through offering free seminars, resources and guidance on asset management.

 What do we mean by asset management?

It covers a wide range of topics, including energy, IT, fleet, buildings and plant and machinery – all things you need to make your organisation function. Whilst you can’t cut any of these from your budget, you can try to manage them better. The aim is to make financial savings without having negative effects on service delivery.

Some good work has been done across the UK on asset management. Over £800m has been saved since 2004 in central government estate, according to the Northern Ireland Audit Office. In Wales, the National Asset Working Group helps organisations work together to make financial savings. But costs still rise and now that sustainable development is becoming a core principle for the Welsh public sector, why not look at some new ideas?

That’s what the Wales Audit Office’s Good Practice Exchange is doing this year. We’re planning on running some free seminars and gathering good practice on energy, fleet, IT and buildings management. We’ll share with you some key ideas and themes coming out of our work on this blog and our website. In the meantime, you may find the knowledge that we gathered previously helpful.

Why is finding these new ideas important? The public sector in Wales is facing tight financial constraints and well-managed, considered risks and new ideas could help. Sharing and learning from each other’s experiences can help organisations tackle asset management in a new way. Instead of struggling with your energy management, you could adapt the successful approaches taken by someone else – that’s our philosophy.

What else is out there?

The National Asset Working Group’s new hub could be a good place to start. The Energy Saving Trust has a blog with some interesting ideas and the Guardian has a collection of sustainability case studies from businesses. Some general internet research will turn up a range of ideas you may find useful.

Asset management is not just for your estates and facilities department. It’s an enabler of services   for your whole organisation. You could spend some time developing your strategy and see what new changes you could make to save money. If you’re not very familiar with asset management, you could do some research to see how important it is and what can be achieved.

Keep an eye on our website for new ideas and resources to help you think afresh about your asset management. There will be a collection of energy management resources available at the end of July. You can also see details of our Energy Management Seminar on our website. On the day, you can follow #WAO_EM on Twitter for some new ideas and approaches.

We’d like to hear from you if you’re doing some interesting work in this area or if you find any of our ideas particularly helpful – leave us a comment below.