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Green car plan hopes to save money

A PROGRAM designed to provide environmental and hip pocket savings, called Greener Motoring, was introduced to WA last week at an Australasian Fleet Managers Association seminar.

WA businesses were canvassed to adopt the new program of keeping tabs on their vehicle demands and costs.

Fleet Review managing director Ken Thompson said the Greener Motoring program incorporated important economic principals, which led to a cheaper outcome for the operator.

“Underpinning the rationale of Greener Motoring is that organisations should see their fleet as the transportation element of the organisation’s business, and, as such, subject to a level of strategic management review and risk management assessment that it rightly deserves,” he said.

The program is designed to remove the barriers to change by incorporating more than just the upfront cost of the vehicle in the decision making process.

“At the centre of the Greener Motoring program is the belief that first defining a vehicle’s needs and service requirements and only then matching the lowest whole-of-life costed vehicle to meet the required characteristics provides the opportunity for cost reductions,” Mr Thompson said.

Greener Motoring was introduced in February with the support of the Federal Government’s Energy Efficiency Best Practice Program and is administered by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources.

It aims to reduce the environmental impact of fleet vehicles throughout Australia by reducing fuel consumption of participating fleets by up to 15 per cent by June 2003.

Mr Thompson said there was a growing awareness of the health dangers from vehicles.

“However, keeping a perspective, we should not view the internal combustion engine as a complete villain while accepting it has brought its own set of problems, especially in terms of environmental impact,” he said.

“Fleet vehicles will never be anything other than a diminishing asset. The aim for any organisation should be to reduce this liability to its lowest level.

“It offers a method to define the vehicle requirements and a vehicle selection process based on a whole of life process.”

The program is structured to provide a process or model through which the organisation can first evaluate and meet its transportation needs.

Fleet owners can also apply for a certificate for best practice.

AFMA executive director Marja Thompson said 560 organisations with 550,000 vehicles had already signed up for the certificate.

The transport industry produces approximately 26 per cent of carbon dioxide and 16 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

While support is growing WA’s peak motor vehicle membership organisation, the RAC, has yet to throw its full weight behind the initiative.

RAC director Mike Upton said the organisation was formulating a public policy document that would incorporate RAC’s environmental strategy that should be ready next month.

“Part of that strategy is to ensure that we are seen to practise what we preach,” he said.

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