Putting the E into ESG

Putting the E into ESG

Posted by

Andy Bruce

October 2022

Acronyms are the language of the automotive industry. Who doesn’t like an EV, a PHEV, and an ICE? Or how about an ECOS, or an AMAP?

Wherever you turn in the automotive industry, there is always a new acronym waiting to surprise you.

One acronym, though, is transcending the automotive industry: ESG. It’s coursing through business.

ESG – or Environmental, Social and Governance – is resident in corporate central. If you don’t have ESG policies in place, your business looks something of an outlier.

I wouldn’t ascribe to ESG being a fancy new management consultancy ‘trend’, either. ESG is more serious, and more grounded.

It allows an enterprise to define its role within society that extends beyond the obvious requirement to generate financial returns. It offers companies the opportunity to provide a positive contribution to both society and to the environment.

So I welcome ESG, not least because it offers a definition of value beyond the share price, the earnings ratio or the dividend potential.

It provides a reason for the existence of a business, a reason that is clear to potential investors, and a reason for consumers to buy from you. Just as importantly,  it is an increasingly critical element in attracting and retaining the best employees, offering a clear demonstration to your staff as to why they should invest themselves in your business.

It is also a significant factor in winning tenders for future business.

I cannot remember the last time a fleet tender we were involved in that didn’t address our own ESG agenda and how we would contribute positively to the client’s ESG programme if we won the tender.

I think we are strong across all three areas of ESG – although we are always striving to be better of course – but particularly around the environment. I believe Fleet Alliance has strong credentials in an area where we have been ahead of the curve for some time.

Being a car company, the environment is a cornerstone for us and we recognise that we need to play our part. As vehicles are a major contributor to greenhouse gases we want to do what we can to help our customers transition across to electric vehicles.

It’s one of the reasons why we joined EV100, which has recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.

If you’ve not heard of EV100 before, it’s a collection of forward-looking companies – now totalling 128 – that are committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.

Among the companies that are EV100 members are similar leasing companies to us, such as LeasePlan, Lex Autolease as part of Lloyds Banking Group, and Ogilvie, as well as well-known businesses such as Aviva, Centrica, GlaxoSmithKline and Heathrow Airport.

Together such companies are sending a powerful signal that the future of transportation is electric.

So far over 200,000 EVs are already on the road thanks in part to EV100 members, and by 2030 over 5.5 million fleet vehicles will be zero emission.

Fleet Alliance is playing a significant part in this. Year to date, 33% of vehicles we’ve supplied are EVs and a similar number again are PHEVs. And that’s up 50% on the previous year and three times what we were doing in 2020.

All our staff company cars are electric vehicles and have been since 2021, while we are also encouraging our non-company car qualifying employees to go electric via our salary sacrifice scheme.

We think this is critical for us as a business and those businesses we serve.

Caring for the environment has never been more important. And we hope that by helping our customers go electric and demonstrating our commitment to this with membership of EV100, we are really helping put the environment at the front of any ESG agenda.

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