Business travel and the environment

Finding ways to reduce business travel can help not only your business but also your local area and the wider environment.

You can also reduce your transport costs, such as fuel bills and vehicle tax, by choosing vehicles that are more environmentally friendly and using them more efficiently.

Choosing fuel-efficient vehicles

Generally, newer and smaller vehicles use less fuel and emit fewer harmful emissions.

Petrol and diesel engines have different effects on the environment.

Diesel engines generally:

  • produce less carbon dioxide
  • emit more air pollutants than petrol engines.

As a rule, if you plan to drive long distances or on the motorway, a disel vehicle is likely to be best for fuel efficiency. If the vehicle will be used more in urban areas, where air quality is more important, consider a fuel-efficient petrol engine or an electric vehicle.

Choosing vehicles with lower emissions will not only save money on fuel costs but will also allow you to take advantage of tax breaks. Use GOV.UK to check the fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and tax bands for cars . You can also find information about fuel consumption and emissions for cars, vans and light commercial vehicles on vehicle manufacturers’ websites.

Electric vehicles

Electric vehicles:

  • do not emit carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • are usually cheaper to run and maintain
  • are generally more expensive to purchase than petrol and diesel powered vehicles
  • have a limited range due to the battery capacity.

Find out more about the grants available towards new electric and hybrid (plug-in) cars and vans on GOV.UK. You can also check for news and updates on the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles website.

Creating a workplace travel plan

A workplace travel plan is a good way to reduce the overall need for travel. A travel plan can have benefits for your employees and for your business, including:

  • reducing the cost of travel to work
  • reducing journey times to work
  • providing a better work–life balance through flexible working and less need to travel on business
  • reducing the cost of providing parking spaces
  • cutting mileage claims and other business travel costs
  • improving your image with employees, customers and neighbours
  • improving staff health and reducing absenteeism.

The key features of a successful travel plan include:

  • a long-term strategic approach to changing the culture of your business
  • dedicating time to setting up and running the travel plan
  • money for items such as travel surveys and publicity materials
  • local alliances, such as getting support from your local authority, which may be able to offer practical tips or grants.

You can use this online tool to search for your local authority.

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