In 2010, University of Dundee employees travelled nearly 640,000 business miles in their own vehicles, resulting in approximately £255,000 in expense claims and 205 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The University’s grey fleet (business miles travelled in employee-owned vehicles) has a significant and often underestimated impact on three key areas: finances (grey fleet mileage reimbursement rates are generally higher than alternative modes of travel), environmental sustainability, and health and safety.
They were keen to investigate where improvements could be made.
With help from Energy Saving Trust, the University introduced measures to reduce unnecessary mileage and transfer travel to safer and more efficient alternatives.
- providing free use of pool vans, cars and bikes to encourage more efficient modes of travel
- encouraging active travel by reimbursing cycle miles for business travel and facilitating bike sales
- introducing driver declaration forms and a system for regular driver documentation checks
- introducing cycle to work scheme for staff to buy discounted bikes
- introducing two types of parking permit – annual permit and pay as you go permit
- increasing on-site parking costs to discourage staff from driving to work
Since 2010, the University of Dundee has seen an impressive 70% reduction in grey fleet miles. This has resulted in total savings of nearly £170,000 and carbon dioxide emissions savings of approximately 140 tonnes. Although a decrease in staff numbers has contributed to this radical improvement, there has also been a marked shift within the organisation towards sustainable, safer and more cost-effective travel.
“Energy Saving Trust’s Grey Fleet Review helped us to target specific areas to reduce business miles and promote other sustainable forms of transport. We now have pool vans, pool bikes, various cycling promotions and an electric Nissan Leaf from Co-Wheels car club available for business use.”
Trudy Cunningham, environment and sustainability officer, University of Dundee