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Shaun Barritt's blog: Why now is there such momentum towards the green agenda?

Date: 24 August 2017

Do you ever look at news reports about the air quality in places like Beijing or Mexico City and think, 'pollution is nothing like that in the UK, so what are we worrying about?'

Well, lets look at some statistics.

The UK is second only to Italy in Europe for the highest number of annual deaths from nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a toxic gas mostly caused by diesel vehicles.

More than 40 cities and towns across the UK are breaching safe limits with such dangerously high levels that they could be causing serious illnesses, according to the World Health Organisation.

In January this year, London's Mayor warned that people should stay indoors when possible, and not allow children outside unnecessarily due to, "the shameful state of London's toxic air."   

Still breathing easily? Well if that doesn't convince you, maybe the financial argument will.

The way taxation is heading, companies who do not act very soon will be hit very hard with rising costs that could have a serious impact on their bottom line.

Clean air zones have been planned for 5 cities in addition to London (although recent draft consultation proposes increasing this to 27 cities), which means that after 2020 the 'most polluting' buses, taxis, coaches and lorries will be financially discouraged from driving in areas of Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton where air quality problems are seen to be 'most serious'.

There's also pressure on the motor manufacturers. The EU has set a target that by 2021 they will be achieving 95g/km for the cars that they produce, with financial penalties if they don't, and this is being phased in from 2020.

This is not going to be achieved through traditional internal combustion engine cars, resulting in a very dramatic push in the coming years towards ULEVs and EVs.

It's for this reason why Grosvenor Leasing launched 0Zone, a service to help fleets with the process of moving towards EVs and ULEVs.

Its also why we're advising our clients to think twice before adding yet another high emission vehicle to their fleet for the next 3 to 4 years.

The bottom line is, you don't need to be an eco-warrior anymore to be taking the environment seriously. Your finance and fleet teams should have it as one of their key priorities!

Shaun Barritt is CEO of Grosvenor Leasing.



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