Swansea Labour are the driving force behind the city council’s fleet of vehicles becoming one of the ‘greenest’ fleet operators in the country.
And this has taken a further step forward after it recently approved a new ‘Green Fleet Policy’. The aim of the new policy is to reduce the impact on the environment of its 750-strong fleet of council vehicles.
It is estimated that all vehicles operated by the Labour-led Council cover around eight million miles each year.
In a bid to reduce emission levels from its fleet, the Council will be looking at all options to operate its fleet including biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells and fully electric methods.
Support and training will also be provided to council staff so they can operate vehicles as efficiently as possible. Route planning software will also be used maximise efficiencies and reduce fuel consumption.
Labour Councillor Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy, said: “I’m proud to have played a role in developing and approving our Green Fleet Policy.
“As a council, we operate a high volume of vehicles on roads across the city every day and this new policy sets out our intention to lead by example with our fleet wherever possible.
“The impact of carbon emissions on our air quality is something we all need to be concerned about so we can improve our local environment.”
The Council recently invested in a fleet of 40 electric vans which are being used by a variety of council-services across the city.
The investment makes Swansea the largest owner of an electric fleet in Wales and has resulted in Swansea Council being named Public Sector Fleet of the Year at the Green Fleet Awards which took place in November.
Labour Councillor Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management, said: “Swansea is a large city and our staff travel many miles using council vehicles. It’s only right that we look seriously at newer technology being used to power the different types of vehicles we use.
“Gaining the recognition for our efforts so early on in our plans for a green fleet is very rewarding and shows our intentions for the future.”
Cllr Lewis added: “Technology has improved significantly in recent years, enabling us to enter into an agreement with a vehicle manufacturer that can provide us with a fleet of 100% electric vehicles. This means we can continue serving residents in the city and be much kinder on the environment.
“Following the approval of our green fleet policy we will also be looking at infrastructure for publicly accessible charging points so privately owned electric vehicles can increase in Swansea and assist us reducing our carbon footprint city-wide.”