Why organisational sustainability strategies must include EVs

Tom Rowlands, Managing Director of EV Solutions at Allstar, explains why organisations should be prioritising the switch to electric vehicles as part of wider sustainability strategies.

black and white usb cable plugged in black device

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the effects of climate change, the need to adopt sustainable business practices has never been more important. The argument for it isn’t purely moral – far from ‘greenwashing’, organisations can unlock new opportunities at a time when customers are increasingly mindful of ethical principles.

In recent years, the UK has set ambitious goals to decrease carbon emissions and reach net zero by 2050, which has prompted businesses to participate in achieving these objectives. This pressure has led to the adoption of sustainable practices by many organisations, with transportation being a significant area of focus. An increasing number of businesses are transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs), recognising that this move is not just about reducing carbon emissions but is also a part of a broader sustainability agenda.

Our research with MetrixLab shows that switching to EVs can result in increased sales for B2C organisations and a higher number of contracts for B2B organisations. Furthermore, a separate survey revealed that 76% of consumers believe that brands should have sustainable practices, which is likely true for other businesses and government entities deciding which organisations to do business with. The public sector has a lot to gain from similar investments – at a time when public funds are declining and fuel costs remain high there is a strong argument for public bodies to transition to a fleet of EV as soon as they can.

To reap these benefits, businesses must adopt a more comprehensive approach to sustainability rather than concentrating solely on the financial benefits of EVs.

Public and private sectors: Sustainability pressures

Apart from internal sustainability objectives, the adoption of EVs is also driven by external factors. Governments are increasingly including carbon neutrality requirements in their tenders, with public sector contracts mandating bidders to provide proof of their dedication to reducing carbon emissions.

Consumers are also contributing to the uptake of EVs. As environmental awareness grows, consumers are opting for brands with strong sustainability and ESG credentials. This trend is especially significant among younger consumers, who are more likely to choose brands that align with their values. Organisations that are slow to adopt sustainable practices risk losing customers to more environmentally aware competitors. A Deloitte survey indicates that 40% of consumers choose environmentally sustainable brands, and 30% opt for low-carbon emission transportation.

a car with a charging cable

Although EVs’ initial investment may appear costly, they can reduce expenses in the long run by being cheaper to run than traditional petrol or diesel vehicles. Lower fuel expenses and reduced maintenance requirements are among the cost-saving benefits. Additionally, many organisations are taking advantage of government grants and incentives to help offset the cost of EV purchases. By lowering their carbon footprint, organisations can also enhance their brand reputation and increase customer loyalty.

Given the increasing importance of sustainability to businesses, it is critical that they allocate time, effort, and resources to develop and implement a sustainability strategy. This can begin with a focus on transportation and exploring the feasibility of transitioning to EVs but need not stop there. It doesn’t even need to stop at using renewable energy as opposed to fossil fuels – the idea of a company’s ‘carbon footprint’ is a limited metric when looking at the total impact that a business can have. Reducing carbon emissions is of course critically important, but everything from microplastic waste to dust and the rubber used in tyres contributes to overall pollution.

The importance of creating a sustainability strategy

In addition to switching to EVs, there are many other ways that businesses can improve their sustainability credentials. This may include reducing energy consumption through energy-efficient equipment and building management systems, as well as implementing waste reduction measures. Larger organisations can also consider offsetting their carbon emissions through schemes such as tree planting or renewable energy projects.

Developing a sustainability strategy may seem daunting for organisations at the other end of the spectrum with limited resources. However, there are many resources available to help businesses get started. The government’s SME Energy Efficiency Scheme, for example, provides free energy efficiency assessments and funding towards energy-saving equipment for SMEs. There are also a growing number of sustainability consultancies that can help businesses develop and implement a sustainability strategy.

Implementing a strategy doesn’t have to be expensive, but your business will get out what it puts in. Some smaller organisations may need staff to take time out of their regular duties to put together a strategy as best they can without training, others may hire consultancies to help them through the transition, and larger organisations might be able to hire trained staff to form a dedicated sustainability team. Currently, only 7% of UK businesses have a significant sustainability teams, so being ahead of the curve on this could be extremely beneficial.

The adoption of EVs by businesses is one part of a wider sustainability agenda, driven by both internal and external pressures. Organisations that are slow to adopt sustainable practices risk losing out on government contracts and customers who increasingly prioritize environmental issues. While the initial investment in EVs may seem expensive, sustainability could reduce costs in the long term, as part of their overall strategy to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the UK’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050.


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