Guest article by Charlotte Davis
As increasing numbers of businesses become aware of climate change and what it takes for them to limit its effects on the world around us, sustainability is becoming more of a focus. Transport in particular, is something concerning both individuals and companies – in 2019, this sector was responsible for 27% of the UK’s total emissions.
While consumers are more widely embracing the electric vehicle, it also makes sense for businesses too. In this article, we’re going to focus on the ways in which companies can utilise EVs as part of their overall sustainability strategy, while helping employees and customers alike understand how electric cars are good for the environment.
Why EV charging points make sense from a business perspective
Increasing numbers of workplaces are installing electric vehicle charging points at their facilities, for personal use by employees and for the charging of commercial fleet vehicles. Part of the sustainability efforts of any business should be to consider the wider picture of how carbon emissions impact the environment. With this in mind, the installation of EV charging points, or the allocation of part of a business estate as part of the increasingly required EV charging network, can contribute to carbon reduction.
It also helps to encourage workers to make the switch by allowing them to take advantage of electric charging while at work. Additionally, by charging fleet vehicles at EV charging points installed in the workplace, businesses can make the switch to more eco-friendly logistics and avoid the rising costs at the fuel pumps.
Business owners may also find that they can benefit from installing EV charging stations even if they don’t yet have any EVs in their fleet. It’s possible for small business owners to add their EV point to tools such as the Zap-Work map Charging Points & Electric Vehicles: EV charging stations UK - Zap Map (zap-map.com), so that members of the public can find and use the charging stations. Owners can then choose to set fees – especially in rural areas, where EV points might be in short supply, which can provide the opportunity for another stream of revenue.
Environmental, social and corporate governance
Environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, is a catch-all term which sums up how businesses measure and implement sustainability into their processes. It can include things like company mission statements, the overall purpose of the business, and the values it operates by. Part of this can include a commitment to sustainability.
Enhancing the ESG credentials of your business helps to showcase that you are committed to helping the environment and could help boost perception in the public eye. If consumers notice that your business fleet vehicles are all battery powered EVs, it demonstrates that you care about the environment, and helps to build a level of trust between you and the consumer. Reports suggest that over 80% of consumers prefer to purchase from sustainable businesses. By improving your ESG credentials, you are showcasing that your business is one they can rely on when it comes to sustainability.
Preparing your business for the net-zero agenda
The purpose of the net-zero target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, with the remaining emissions to be re-absorbed by forests, oceans, and the atmosphere. The UK Government has set a target to meet net zero by 2050, with many of the changes required being scheduled for implementation by 2030.
To meet these targets, the government has committed to ending the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by the end of the decade. By getting ahead of the curve now, you can show that your business is seriously committed to reducing the harmful impacts of climate change.
What are the challenges and barriers for businesses switching to EV use?
When lower fuel costs are factored in, it appears the major barrier to businesses is arranging for the correct infrastructure to be in place for vehicles to be charged on-site. This, as well as the initial purchase of the vehicles, can be costly. However, the government is offering grants to support businesses with the cost of this. Owners should also consider that EVs are made up of fewer moving parts, so they’re likely to see fewer bills for repairs compared to a traditional car.
When it comes to concerns around driving, electric vehicles are just as easy – if not easier – to drive than petrol or diesel vehicles. For businesses, who are always looking to be more efficient, this means training to operate them can be kept to a minimum.
To sum up
Ultimately, the future is green for businesses. Now is the time to embrace sustainability and make the switch to company EVs. From both a social and financial perspective, companies that have already made the switch have never looked back – and those who wait too long run the risk of being left behind.
This article was authored by Charlotte Davis from Creative Media. The views expressed are her own but have been edited by Resilience First.