Fleet reduction leads to national environment award for DHHS

Tasmania's Department of Health and Human Services has won a prestigious national award for its success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its vehicle fleet.

The DHHS has been awarded the 2013 Fleet Environment Award from the Australasian Fleet Management Association.

The DHHS had been working on a number of strategies to better manage its vehicle fleet and CO2 emissions since undertaking a fleet review in early 2009.

An improved car-pooling system across the Department and Tasmanian Health Organisations has seen the fleet reduced by just under 10 per cent, a reduction in fuel use by 16 per cent and reduction in CO2 emissions by 708 504 kg or just over 15 per cent in the two years to June 2013.

This is a huge achievement for the DHHS which is the largest Tasmanian public sector employer, with the largest vehicle fleet.

In addition to the car pooling system, the DHHS has been moving towards greener vehicles, has reduced its use of rental vehicles and has been using GPS tracking units to determine usage patterns in vehicles and make reductions where possible.

All these efforts have resulted in a total CO2 reduction over just over 15 per cent and a cost reduction of more than $1.6 million over two financial years.

The use of vehicles is an essential element in many areas of the DHHS which work 24 hours, 7 days a week including in child protection, primary and community health. However, with minimal investment, cost savings and a more sustainable fleet has been achieved.

 The Australasian Fleet Management Association or AfMA is a not-for-profit organisation with over 550 members covering industry as well as federal, state and local Government.  Combined, its members are responsible for the management of approximately 800 000 fleet vehicles.