From zero emission EVs to net zero humans

From zero emission EVs to net zero humans

Posted by

Andy Bruce

December 2021

Let’s start with some good, green stats.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), September and October battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales accounted for more than 15% of the total UK car market. In Europe, a recent analysis by Schmidt Automotive Research revealed that during the first 10 months of 2021, one in 10 new cars going on the road has been an EV on an annualised basis

The shift towards electrification is reflected in the Fleet Alliance staff fleet which is now 100% whilst 55% of the vehicles ordered by our clients in October were electrified.

So four great reasons to think that the COP26 effect is rippling through society in general (while helped by some beneficial taxation breaks it must be said).

But before we start patting ourselves on the back, thinking what a great green job has been done, let’s stop a minute and consider if this is all that needs to be achieved.

Going green is part of a bigger picture, a jigsaw of parts that can often seem kaleidoscopic. But let’s take the bigger picture first. The UK is on the road to net zero by 2050, which is essential if we are going to play our part in reducing temperature change to within 1.5 degrees C, otherwise, climate change will be, in all probability, quite catastrophic.

Net zero is a term that’s often used but possibly not always fully understood. In essence, it means balancing the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere with the carbon removed. In other words, our actions must not increase the volume of carbon going into the atmosphere.

Which actually means we need to cut the amount of carbon we produce. In all areas. In our homes, in transport, in our farming, in industry and in our businesses. These are the parts of the jigsaw.

Where we work are places that emit plenty of carbon – we probably don’t think about it too much. To be fair, it’s not something that we had considered much at Fleet Alliance until we started our own journey towards net zero, part of which is the switching of our corporate customers to EVs, which we are planning to do by 2030. Having started on the electrification plan, it soon became obvious that we needed to do more. So we’ve asked the ECO3 Partnership for a carbon audit.

They’ve crunched the numbers, and as a business, we output 0.98 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per employee. The plan, clearly, is to reduce this amount substantially.

So while the corporate cars on the Fleet Alliance fleet are now all fully zero-emission, to bring down that 0.98 figure per person requires some individual actions. Think of it as really tiny pieces of the jigsaw.

We’ll be setting out and quantifying a series of targets with ECO3 for implementation, to help us plan our path towards net zero. This will focus on reduction, removal, offset and elimination.

It may consider:

  • Review of utilities and water procurement strategy, considering new contracts from 100% green sources (renewables for electricity and biomethane in lieu of gas).
  • Improving the disposal of our waste value chain.
  • Renewables installation on sites.
  • Energy efficiency initiatives for our M&E building services plant.
  • Investing in renewable energy and verified carbon offset projects locally and globally.
  • Review building stock efficiency and consider alternative premises.
  • Increasing access to public and/or alternative transportation (like cycling) and reducing emissions from private transportation through lower usage linked to a hybrid working culture. As the business grows a continuing commitment to an EV Company Fleet Policy, improved logistics and journey planning.
  • Targeting carbon neutrality through appropriate offsets after reduction and elimination.
  • Gaining a better understanding of our Scope 3 Indirect emissions upstream and downstream in the company’s value chain.

We’ll be looking to our staff, as always, for new ideas and suggestions as part of our Environmental Ambitions Programme. But we’re serious in our aim. We want our business to be net zero by 2030. And that means we need net zero emission humans, too.

That way we’ll have even greater green stats.

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