Training employees to be more fuel efficient has the aim of improving drivers’ MPG, and therefore reduce fuel costs and associated carbon emissions.
Several NHS trusts have run courses for staff who regularly use their cars for work, as well as ambulance drivers. Costs of running these courses along with expected improvement in MPG were used to calculate the benefit firstly to the 17,800 ambulance drivers in England, before being scaled up for the whole of NHS and Public Health England.
Savings were calculated assuming that diesel costs of £1 per litre and that the training resulted in a 3% improvement in driver efficiency (approximately mid-range of the 1- 6% expected for maintained annual savings).
A cost of £100 per driver was assumed, which would pay for a driver training session. This was scaled according to the number of ambulance drivers (approx. 17,800).
The emissions associated with business travel for ambulance trusts (66kTCO2 annually) were used to find the likely annual diesel consumption via the carbon intensity factor for diesel. Other approaches to calculate diesel consumption are possible, such as using the number of ambulance journeys, average number of miles travelled for each journey and estimated MPG for ambulances. However, using the reported emissions for business travel gives a more conservative value, so this approach was chosen above others. It was assumed that driver training enables a saving of 3% of fuel consumption sustained annually.
The key assumption is that a saving of 3% is applicable across the different NHS sectors, acknowledging that the nature of business travel is quite different from one sector to another.
To scale for an individual organisation, the figures above have been divided by the total number of staff who drive so that a given organisation can input the number of staff relevant for them.