For several years, Business Lease has offered its car leasing customers an interesting product called Blue Care, which aims to help reduce the impact of motoring on the environment. At the same time, this product brings significant savings to corporate fleet owners, both in terms of fuel consumption and in connection with the loss of insurance claims on vehicles. Therefore, many firms are interested in Blue Care from Business Lease.
Blue Care’s basic tool is training fleet drivers so they know that their driving behavior directly affects how much car exhaust is produced. This training consists of a full day course with theoretical and practical parts, in which drivers not only learn how to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel, but also how to drive safely. “Eco-driving should be smooth, with great foresight, and free from sudden acceleration and sudden braking. These are also the requirements of safe driving. So those who drive ecologically at the same time increase their traffic safety,” explains Robert Kotál of Traffic Academy, which prepared the training for Business Lease. In practice, this means fewer insurance claims, and therefore lower costs from participation in claims.
In 2013, this training was used by NET4GAS, an operator of gas pipelines and carriers in the Czech Republic. The company fleet is comprised of 350 vehicles of various types – from personal to off-road to trucks - with which 200 drivers cover a distance of 6.5 million kilometers each year, or almost 3000 km per month per driver. NET4GAS is always looking for ways to reduce the costs of operating the fleet, and therefore decided to implement the product from Blue Care Business Lease.
For maximum effect, they linked Blue Care’s company training with an employee motivation program - internal competitions for the driver with the lowest consumption. In order to show drivers that it works, NET4GAS fleet manager Jan Betko sent corporate vehicle drivers to take part in this training. “After the announcement of the competition, we watched the drivers and saw that some were able to achieve savings by themselves, but not many. Therefore, we decided on the course. Just one month after its completion, we were already starting to see some improvement. For some drivers, consumption decreased from 120 percent of the allocation to 100 percent, and for some, down to 90 percent of the original consumption,” says Betko.
According to him, savings were already visible last year, but the investment in drivers is obviously a matter for the long-term.
Our goal is not to strictly prohibit and impose, but to work with the drivers, because they influence fleet costs to a great extent, says Betko. The company has achieved further cost reductions by decreasing the accident rate and reducing damage connected with ignorance about vehicle control. These reductions were brought about by training drivers of trucks and off-road vehicles, as well as safe driving practice on the test circuit. The training even allowed the company to develop driver audits. “Every year we invest in drivers, and we know that the investment will return to us in the future,” Betko says. He admits that, despite initial skepticism, the drivers themselves eventually recognized that this training makes sense – plus, it can also be used privately.
As part of Blue Care Business Lease, clients can get advice on how to maximize savings in the fleet - for example, by choosing energy-saving tires, accessories, and other environmental measures. Clients can also monitor online the actual cost of a CO2 leak and look for other possible savings. They then have the alternative of offsetting all
CO2 emissions through the purchase of Certificates of compensation. More information about the program can be found at www.bluecare.info.