Thursday, January 04, 2007

Do They Really Believe It?

Company cars are often a financially valuable part of a benefits package, but something is very wrong with they way they are handed out...

Importantly, where I work the scale is DEFINED by CO2 emissions.

Say there are 5 levels of company car grades, A, B, C, D, E.
"A" is for the CEO & directors cars, and "E" is for the trainees and new starter's cars.

Entry level grade "E" is restricted to company cars up to 130 g/km and are typically the smaller, lighter cars such as Vauxhall Corsa, Toyota Yaris, etc.

But what strikes a disharmonic chord, is that as each level increases, the emissions permitted increases too. So;
E = Up to 130g/km,
D = Up to170 g/km,
and so on, until
A = Over 240g/km

Effectively this is categorising career path success as an entitlement to pollute more.

What!?! Surely as business people become promoted in to the ranks of directorship and above, they are seen as embodying the company values?

And since it’s this hierarchical level from which much of the sustainable / corporate responsiblity policies come from, isn't it MASSIVELY hypocritical for a some top dog CEO to be signing commitment to the latest green initiative one minute, then hauling their lard-arse in to a 4 Litre 240g/km mobile power station for the journey home!

This poses a further question – Do corporate leaders actually believe in the green policies they create? Do they live according to the same demands they expect of their staff? E.g. recycling, using renewable energies, using sustainable transport, cutting their personal carbon footprint, not wasting water and electricity, etc. I wonder.

Anyway, many big-wig / top-dogs / (CEO's etc) are knocking on a bit. One assumes any offspring would have left the family home by now, so they don't need a people carrier. Perhaps CEO's only need a small car to transport their partner, their golf clubs and their shopping. A Vauxhall Corsa works... ;-)

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kimbofo said...

Interesting point, but until we stop collectively associating bigger cars with prestige then I'm afraid this isn't going to change. What I'd like to see is the introduction of company bikes!!

sportcrazy said...

Wow, that's interesting. I've been giving this issue a lot of thought recently - I don't drive because I live in the city and environmental factors are a huge concern of mine.

I've been thinking about moving to one of two potential employers, both of whom have a company car as a "bonus" (in reality, a necessity for the job). I've been seriously considering applying to one or both of these companies lately.

The first offers an Audi A4, the second a BMW 3 series (probably 320). Both are beautiful and powerful cars, not the worst polluters in the world either.

But I've wondered how they'd each view a request for a Prius. I'm quite principled so it'd probably be as a condition of employment (and lose me the offer? Possibly).

To me the Prius appears to be the greenest usable car on the market at the moment and I'd hope that they'd be interested enough to consider changing their fleet management policy.

One step at a time, as they say! :)


Urban Commuter said...

Any big company with half an idea about corporate responsibility has already added the Toyota Prius to the company car list.

Not because the Prius is the ultimate planet-saving vehicle - it isn't. More that it has the image of being the ultimate planet saving vehicle, and scores a lot of PR points which is fair enough, because it does raise awareness of the green issue just by having one.

For example the Prius fuel economy is claimed around 65mpg (many new diesels are 55 - 60mpg) yet here:
Channel4 / 4Car
shows real life mpg's in the region of 45 - 50mpg

James said...

Very good point this is something that should be brought up. I often see businessmen driving around in their big cars causing more than their share of pollution.

Big car manufacturers such as Vauxhall parts makers should help also by finding a more environmentally friendly way of making their parts it isnt just the vehicles that cause the pollution after all.

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