Across the country, people are becoming increasingly aware of how their day-to-day choices impact the environment and, in the long run, their quality of life.
Businesses have a vital role to play in improving our environment and the benefits of greener business practices go beyond a bid to save the planet there are serious cost benefits too.
In an economy that still hasn’t fully recovered from the global economic crisis, all businesses should be seeking new ways to maximize revenue and cut costs where they can. Taking a green approach is a tactic that increasing numbers of businesses are employing to not only aid the environment, but to help save on revenue.
Whatever the size of a business, cost reduction is a one of the major keys to success. By switching to eco-friendly transport methods, businesses at every level can cut costs in a range of ways:
Fuel costs have risen by a staggering 39% in the last 3 years alone, with the price of unleaded petrol increasing from 87.3p per litre in January 2007 to over 130p per litre in January 2014.Â At a time of rising petrol and diesel costs, the switch to eco-friendly electric and hybrid vehicles are increasingly appealing for businesses. A Department for Transport-funded report issued by the Plugged-in Fleets Initiative (PIFI) last year reported that organisations could cut fuel costs by 75% by introducing plug-in vehicles into their company fleets.
In a bid to reduce air pollution, Low Emission Zone (LEZ) areas are spreading throughout Europe. More than 200 cities and towns in 10 countries across the continent already have LEZs in place, or are preparing to launch. It means that higher emission vehicles, particularly diesel lorries and trucks, are charged costly fees to enter LEZs, or in some areas are banned outright. Switching to greener transport options means cheaper transport costs and access to bigger transport networks.
It’s not just businesses that operate overseas that can reap the rewards, but UK-based businesses too. Congestion charging was introduced in London in 2003 to help reduce traffic flow through the capital. It’s an extra charge that businesses across the country have to bear. Last month Boris Johnson announced further plans that would mean drivers of diesel vehicles paid an extra Â£10 on top of the current standard charge of Â£11.50 per day. Birmingham City Council is now also considering whether road pricing should be introduced in the most congested parts of the West Midlands.
The government really is set on tackling climate change, and with good reason. Public Health England estimates that thousands of people die prematurely across the country as a result of polluted air. As a result, government is keen to get businesses on board with alternative fuels and greener transport methods. As a result, businesses can benefit from several government incentives that are designed to cut the cost of making the switch to greener vehicles. Already more than 11,000 claims have been made through the government’s Plug-In Car Grant scheme, which grants businesses 25% of the cost of each ultra-low emission vehicle purchase and the 20% Plug-In Van Grant has been available since 2012 too.
When it comes to making the switch, businesses now have a greater range of affordable green vehicles to choose from than ever before. The newest electric vehicles are the most cost-effective yet, and include the Mercedes Vito E-Cell. With Mercedes at the forefront of green car design, producing the first electricity-powered van in 1972, the manufacturer has spent decades refining its eco-friendly vehicles. Its latest Vite E-Cell allows businesses to benefit from a van that can be fully charged, giving an 80-mile range, in just six hours.
Johnathon Lingham of specialist van and truck dealer S&B Commercials said: We see many business owners now choosing to invest in Mercedes eco-friendly transport as the vehicles are not only renowned for being reliable and cost-effective to operate, but the three-point star has always been at the forefront of technological change. With sustainable travel becoming an ever increasing responsibility for businesses, many of the partners we supply to are developing strategies with the environment in mind and have found the features of Mercedes commercial vehicles to be crucial to their eco objectives.