UK – Unilever has set itself an ambitious goal of achieving 100% electric vehicles coverage of its entire fleet by 2030, becoming the first FMCG company to do so.
The company has joined the Climate Group’s EV 100 global initiative that aims to bring together forward-looking companies to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles by 2030.
The EV 100 initiative encourages global business commitments on electric transport, where members use electric, hybrid or fuel cell vehicles to replace petrol and diesel fleets.
Unilever, a global leader in sustainability, is one of the founding members of the program that sends a strong signal that there will be a mass demand for electric vehicles in the near future.
“By reducing our vehicle carbon emissions, we’re contributing to a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable environment. Technology in this field is advancing rapidly with ever-increasing mileage ranges and into the future, fully electric self-driving vehicles”, explains the Global Fleet Services Manager, Lee Warner.
The transport sector is the fastest growing global contributor to climate change due to the constant emissions of all the registered vehicles on the roads, notes Unilever.
As part of EV100 Unilever has committed to a phased integration of electric vehicles into the fleets that we directly control – the ones we own or lease. We are aiming for these fleets to be 25% EV/hybrid by 2020, 50% by 2025 and 100% by 2030.
“We have a fleet of approximately 13,300 company cars. For the immediate future, our aim is to ensure that hybrid vehicles – those that combine traditional fuel and electric power – as well as fully electric cars, are made available to Unilever company car drivers. This will happen globally as contracts with suppliers come up for renewal,” says the global giant.
“In addition, we will choose to partner with car hire and taxi companies who offer or use electric vehicles. We are also looking to negotiate discounts with car leasing companies for employees who want to lease electric cars for personal use. And we are currently drawing up plans to install charging points at Unilever buildings.”
EV100 works to ensure the future is protected. It plans on reducing the costs of electric cars so they can be affordable to everyone around the earth.
According to Unilever, transitioning to electric transport makes environmental and business sense.
“The pledge supports our Sustainable Living Plan targets to reduce the environmental impact of our business by half. It will also help us save money – in terms of fuel costs versus cheaper electricity spend, as well as tax benefits – and future-proof our operations.”
Work on making the company’s vehicles carbon-neutral are also underway after it introduced the first Global Fleet Policy for tool cars (used for work) and benefit cars (which form part of employee reward package); where it mandated new CO2 emission caps of 120 for tool cars and 140 for benefit cars.
The electric vehicles initiative joins a list of climate action initiatives and programmes that have been introduced by Unilever.
The company has an ambition to become carbon positive in its operations around the World by 2030, with 100% of its energy coming from renewable sources, among other initiatives and goals.