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April 21, 2022updated 22 Apr 2022 11:05am

Earth Day: A blueprint for transitioning to EV fleets

For Earth Day, Alan Bastey, customer relationship director and electric vehicle (EV) specialist at Zenith, outlines the steps the company took to address the transition to net-zero.

Zenith moved early to address the transition to net-zero and understands that a collaborative approach will drive a faster process. It’s easier to affect change when everybody is on board with the journey to deliver real results.

At the start of the process, an environment, social and governance (ESG) committee was established to support the transition, formed with people from across the business to ensure everyone has a voice.

Alan Bastey of Zenith

One of the ambitions is to target the transition of the existing funded car and LCV fleet to have zero tailpipe emissions by 2030. The strategy aims to deliver both an ESG and a decarbonisation roadmap that is measurable, transparent and establishes best practice.

To support customers in the transition, we provide advice and technical information to promote and incorporate the most environmentally-friendly vehicles and practices within their core fleet policies.

The consultancy team works with customers to advise on policy, helping them transition to cleaner fuel types by assessing daily travel requirements against the range of available EVs and planned future releases.

Earth Day: driver policies

We also found it is essential to develop driver policies on the usage of EVs that include eligibility and in-use responsibilities such as charging provisions and mileage reimbursement, which we identified as a key consideration and challenge. In evolving and developing proposals to move fleets to EV, the barriers are removed.

To showcase best practice and benefit the environment, Zenith achieved carbon neutral status with certification from international environmental consultancy Carbon Footprint.

After calculating its footprint, carbon emissions were offset using globally recognised and verified carbon credits. Everyone at Zenith played a part in hitting this milestone. However, this is just the start, and we’re now engaging across our supply chain to reduce emissions.

The carbon offset strategy included a comprehensive review of company car use, the energy the company’s buildings use, home vehicle charging and a wide range of factors in its supply chain. The strategy will also see more than 800 trees planted in Yorkshire schools, investment in biomass projects in Malawi, reducing deforestation in the Amazon and solar power schemes in Vietnam. 

The move follows the company’s commitment to the global EV100 initiative, which is focused on accelerating the transition to EVs and making electric transport the new normal by 2030. The EV100 initiative, developed by The Climate Group, brings together forward-looking companies to drive the electric transport transition, reduce air pollution and act on climate change.

Additionally, Zenith is switching its own company car fleet to 100% EV by 2025 – five years ahead of the target date required by EV100. Electric transport offers a major environmental solution by cutting millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year.

Zenith joined forces with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), an independent voluntary organisation that shows companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their GHG emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change. The partnership will allow Zenith to report on progress against targets with independent auditing and benchmarking.

Earlier this year, Zenith also raised the UK vehicle leasing sector’s largest green bond at £475m, enabling it to remain at the forefront of sourcing and financing electric vehicles to meet the record levels of demand from UK motorists for low-emission transport.

It’s vital to adopt a rigorous approach to carbon reduction across our sector. Together the fleet sector can make a big impact in reducing carbon across the UK.

Earth Day: how leasing companies can make a difference

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