Thursday, 14 April 2011
The government wants us to all be greener in our driving habits but what does that mean for us in a rural location like Cumbria.
Its hard to run a business and not end up doing a fair amount of driving when you live in a place like Cumbria. Lets face it, those mountains we all love and enjoy, do tend to get in the way when you are trying to get about, and going round them does put plenty of extra miles on the clock.
At Nurture Lakeland we work with businesses right across the County , from the Solway Border in the north to Ulverston in the south, and from St Bees in the west to the Eden Valley in the East. And despite the fact that we would all love to be zero carbon here at NL, we have to recognise that we haven’t quite got the travel infrastructure yet for this in Cumbria.
It’s likely that in a few years’ time we will have that infrastructure with a wider choice of hybrid and plug in cars suitable for a rural location, a network of charging points and a range of sustainable travel options.
To help this infrastructure to move forward the government has just announced its Plug-in Car Grant. Both private and business buyers purchasing a qualifying ultra-low emission car will receive a grant of 25% towards the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum of £5,000.
So how do we manage to keep our business miles down at Nurture Lakeland?
Last year we took a long hard look at our business driving habits to see what we could bring down the number of miles travelled and reduce our emissions and bring down our costs at the same time.
In the end we managed to save 150 miles of driving per staff member per month. Over the whole year this added up to 7,200 miles less business miles and a total saving of almost £3,000 and 5 tonnes of carbon.
What are we doing to make this saving?
· We have learned to say ‘no’.
o When we looked at it we realised that many of the meetings we had been going to could just as effectively be carried out by phone or email.
· We cluster the meetings we do have to attend to make our travel more efficient
· We try to arrange our meetings at the end and beginning of the day,
o In this way the travel can be tagged on to travel into work or home,
· We changed our policy on how staff could claim their expenses to encourage car sharing
· We changed staff attitudes to business travel through training and continuous monitoring
For help on business travel planning you can find more information and support at: