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FDs should champion green fleet management

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Mark Sinclair, director of multi-marque fleet funding company Alphabet, says a recent survey of more than 250 fleet managers shows 46 per cent have taken no action to make their fleet greener. Of that number, 44 per cent of respondents claimed there was a lack of impetus from the board. Only five per cent reported that cost was the main obstacle to implementing a green regime.

Of the respondents that had introduced a green fleet, 41 per cent said the environment was the motivation followed by cost saving (29 per cent), corporate social responsibility (16 per cent) and tax (7 per cent).

Sinclair notes: “Going green is good for the environment but there’s a direct linkage between going green and saving money.”

He argues that there is a number of reasons for this. High oil prices mean gas-guzzling cars are now more expensive to run. But recent tax changes in areas such as capital allowances also provide compelling financial evidence to go green.

The problem, Sinclair continues, is that the people who are often in charge of fleets (such as fleet managers and HR departments) find it hard to calculate what the impact of those tax changes is; they don’t see the bigger picture.

“It’s difficult to conceptualise what the tax changes really mean and difficult to build that into a policy especially when tax is done only once a year,” he says.

“There needs to be a joined-up approach within companies. Finance departments need to be thinking ahead about what the impact of these tax changes are going to be and become more involved in fleet management.”

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