Green – what does it mean?

Green – what does it mean?

Posted by

Martin Brown

September 2021

Good news. We’ve been shortlisted in the Green Initiative Award, run by trade title BusinessCar. It’s the first time we have entered the award, so getting on the shortlist is terrific. Step one completed, then; step two – winning, against some stiff opposition – might be more difficult, of course…

So I’m very pleased, but I have questions. Questions, such as – what is green motoring? Is it just going electric? Or is it a conflagration of ideas marshalled under a number of different titles: mobility for example; or subscriptions; perhaps flexible leasing; fleet electrification. Well, yes, all of these.

But I’m going to home in on mobility – because it confers the idea of sustainability across a number of disciplines, ranging from electrified car and van fleets, e-scooters and e-bikes to electric vehicle hire and trains.

Greenness can be all of these things, because there are no hard and fast rules, no definite answers as we feel our way to the new transport demands of 2022 and beyond.

What’s not negotiable, however, is the desire to minimise and eliminate CO2 emissions at the point of use.

I’ve just read, for example, that NHS Lanarkshire – covering both the North and South counties bordering Glasgow – has recently introduced ways to improve and encourage active travel by its staff, with better walkways, improved cycling routes and a set of tools to measure progress. It’s a highly commendable move.

We have our own green initiatives that support our awards entry: we have electrified our own company fleet at the same time as promoting the benefits of ‘going green’ to our clients, explaining electrification and the process of fleet electrification. Often this doesn’t happen in one go, but in stages; always a useful transition method with any fleet to address any issues that arise and provide the appropriate solutions. Our customers are responding, too, as they consider and then implement the steps that are required for fleet electrification.

We are also members of EV100, a global group of businesses dedicated to moving the vehicles they manage to zero emissions by 2030. In the case of Fleet Alliance that’s 30,000 vehicles that we manage. Other members include Centrica, owners of British Gas, which is transitioning its fleet of engineers’ vans to electric. Last week the company received its 500th electric van out of the 3000 it has ordered so far. It’s a major task, certainly, but indicative of UK plc’s willingness to go green.

Going green

Another example is our deep dive into our own business processes. Are we just green on the surface? To a certain extent, the answer has to be yes, because the deeper you look, the more you realise that requires addressing. So we are undertaking a strategic plan that will make the business carbon neutral.

But what does green mean and look like in the future? In a post-pandemic world, what sort of travel strategies are required from a workforce that suddenly has different needs, changed requirements, different working patterns?

We don’t know for sure.

But mobility will, in the many guises that I’ve already outlined, play an increasingly significant role as we strive to become greener still.

If you’re looking to make your business greener then our new salary sacrifice product is the perfect place to start. It allows fleets of all sizes to cut their carbon footprint by offering their employees – or those who have opted out in favour of a cash allowance – zero-emission electric cars at highly attractive rates. Download our latest white paper to discover the benefits it offers.

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