Microsoft has held a pilot driver training event as part of its programme to encourage fuel economy, reduce carbon emissions, improve driver safety and reduce wear on vehicles.
The company invited 100 employees to take part in the event at its Reading campus last month.
Staff first went out for a driving session, and their fuel economy was measured. They were given training on how to adapt their driving style to become more fuel efficient, and then repeated the first drive so their fuel efficiency could be measured again. The employee with the best percentage improvement on the day was declared the winner.
The latest fuel-efficient cars from BMW, Ford, Mercedes, Mini and Peugeot were there for staff to inspect and test-drive. Simon Heath, HR vendor services manager, said: “We wanted staff to consider whether more fuel-efficient vehicles might suit them.”
Microsoft’s Wellbeing Centre was available to advise on health issues such as posture, eyesight and the effects of alcohol, and Kwik-Fit checked tyres on site.
Participation in the event was optional, but staff who were known to have a high fuel spend were urged to attend. “When we have tangible evidence of the difference training has made, it will help keep up the engagement of drivers,” said Heath. “This isn’t a one-off event. We will see the effect it has in fuel efficiency, emissions and safer driving, and consider rolling it out.”
Provider Fleet Operations, which helped to organise the event, said a change in driving techniques could result in a 15% saving in fuel costs – worth about £300,000 to Microsoft.