BIRMINGHAM, UK – Despite political and business pressure, the environment is still not a major factor for fleet decision-makers across the world when looking at strategic vehicle procurement, according to the latest research from international fleet management company Masterlease. In fact, saving money remains the common language of international fleet management across the globe, although the Italians (53 percent) and the Polish (33 percent) are more turned on to technology, while the UK (two percent) and the Dutch (four percent) are gadget shy, in terms of influencing the buying process, the survey of 2,600 fleet decision-makers revealed.

Almost 60 percent of Belgians put safety near the top of their list of issues concerning fleet management, while the Austrians (two percent) and the Germans (five percent) came bottom of the list of countries driven to improve risk in their fleet strategies. Decision makers in Portugal also put risk high on the agenda (43 percent), with their counterparts in the UK (27 percent) coming in behind Greece (32 percent) in terms of their risk focus.

With just one percent putting the environment as a priority, the Greeks and the Mexicans appear to be the least "green," while at 16 percent, the UK decision-makers come out as championing the eco-cause, although this is still a relatively low priority compared to employee satisfaction, which UK managers scored at 34 percent. In fact, the environment was regarded as a low priority among almost all of those surveyed despite it being currently so high on the political and business agendas around the world.

Masterlease conducted the survey in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK, to discover decision-making drivers across 13 of the 17 countries in which it operates.

At 50 percent, the overall global findings put cost savings as the main concern for fleet managers, with risk coming in as a second priority. The ability to keep the vehicles on the road was the third most important priority, with environmental concerns coming down the list with just six percent.

But the survey revealed some interesting country-by-country variations. More than half of the Italian sample (53 percent) put technology issues as high on their list with cost savings, coming in joint second alongside keeping the vehicle on the road.

The Italians also put employee satisfaction as an important issue (37 percent) while it figured with only five percent of those in the German sample.

"The findings show a lot of expected commonality in terms of the cost saving issue, but the low rating of environmental concerns was a surprising discovery considering the importance being placed on C02-based tax initiatives around the world," said Nick Brownrigg, CEO of Masterlease Group. "Employee satisfaction and risk issues also provided some interesting cultural and geographical variations, which went beyond typical stereotyping and provide fuel for thought for lease companies, such as Masterlease, who need to understand the business imperatives of both global and domestic procurement departments. This is part of our global strategy of thinking globally and acting locally."