Flick the switch on your fleet from red to green.

Flick the switch on your fleet from red to green.

Posted by

Andy Bruce

July 2022

Red hot.

Wherever you looked on a weather map last week, Europe was either an intense orange or a bright red. Worse, much of Europe and the UK was literally on fire.

It was a truly terrifying ordeal for many and we must not forget those firefighters who struggled to douse the flames – let alone those who unfortunately succumbed to the devastating infernos or tragically lost their homes in the terrifying conflagration.

It was a stark reminder of how dramatically the weather has changed thanks to the effects of global warming.

Last year we had the opposite, if you recall. There was dramatic flooding in the UK, affecting areas as diverse as London and Manchester while there was also torrential rain in Germany that caused utter devastation.

What’s sobering is that these changes are happening when global  warming is at 1.1 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. If you recall, the aim of COP26, held last year in Glasgow just around the corner from Fleet Alliance, was to galvanise action to limit further global warming to 1.5 degrees C – at the current rate of progress it’s heading towards 2 degrees C.

What sort of catastrophic weather conditions will we experience at those global temperatures? I’m not sure there will be many good outcomes.

Against that background, there is no escaping the uncomfortable reality that the more fossil fuels we burn, the more accelerant we add to the fires of global warming.

So it’s imperative that fleets begin to decarbonise – and that means changing to zero emission electric vehicles, both cars and vans. We’ve plenty of advice on our website to help you start that journey on our EV Hub.

I’m not suggesting that switching from internal combustion engine cars and vans to electric versions will immediately stop global warming. But it will help arrest the speed of its build up and contribute to its future reversal.

As a business we’re heavily invested in this as part of our extensive Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) programme.  Our own company car fleet is fully electric. In fact, we’re already into the second lifecycle of EVs for some of our early adopter staff.

The company is also committed to EV100, a global group of businesses signed up to zero emissions by 2030.

But we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint further. We recognise that EVs are the start. But actions need to go further. Often small actions, multiplied many times over, can deliver a significant reduction.

Reducing carbon beyond our electric company car fleet

In partnership with the Eco3 consultancy, we are running an internal audit to reduce our carbon footprint. Since we started the programme, we have eliminated 20% of our carbon output. This includes switching lighting to low carbon LEDs, abandoning the old oil burning heating system in our southern office and encouraging our staff to consider active travel, such as walking and cycling.

Active travel, which has £2bn support from the government, is the most carbon efficient method of travel – it’s emission free and doesn’t require input energy in the first place. The government has recently appointed Olympian Chris Boardman as its permanent National Active Travel Commissioner with the aim of making all short journeys active.

What role does active travel play in mobility management?

So here’s another question. Is active travel part of your mobility management? We certainly think it should be considered, and are beginning to advise our clients wishing to decarbonise on which vehicles could actually be replaced by driver mobility schemes that use trains, car sharing, car clubs, taxis and active travel.

But there’s no question the biggest change fleets can make is to switch company cars and vans from petrol or diesel to electric.

With no tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles are actively helping to reduce urban pollution. Look at the success of the controversial Birmingham Clean Air Zone. Loved by some, hated by others, its effects cannot be ignored: in the first six months of operation, nitrogen oxide levels fell by 13% as the number of polluting vehicles dropped.

But just imagine what could be achieved in terms of urban air quality if all the cars that went through the Birmingham Clean Air Zone were electric. While it would certainly do away with the necessity for a Clean Air Zone,  it would also help cool the earth’s dangerously accelerating temperature.

If you would like a fleet consultancy on electrification, then we have experienced EV experts – many of whom run their own electric cars – to help you start the process.

And with our SME focused tax-effective EV salary sacrifice scheme, you can extend the benefits of electric vehicles to all you staff as part of a developing ESG programme.

Call 0345 601 8407 and we’ll get you started on the journey from red to green.


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