Climate change is a pressing issue in today's world. Governments, individuals, and businesses around the globe are taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint so that they can help to protect the environment.
With some of the world's largest companies announcing targets for their carbon neutrality to help create a greener planet, many smaller companies are wondering how they can also make a difference. We’ve explored how businesses can take steps to make their fleets greener.
Carbon Neutrality is when a business's output results in net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. However, as it's nearly impossible to outright remove all emissions from a business's day-to-day operations, many opt to support initiatives that remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere, ultimately removing more than they put in.
Studies have shown that businesses that employ sustainable practices often see an increase in share prices and business performance. The same goes for fleets; reducing emissions on a vehicle is not only good for the environment, but a cleaner vehicle will also have better performance, increased fuel economy and be cheaper to run.
How can your fleet become carbon neutral?
It's important for businesses to actively take steps towards becoming carbon neutral, as earning a carbon-neutral certification can be used to promote your fleet's green approach. This will also make you more appealing to customers and like-minded businesses. We've broken down the process of becoming carbon neutral into digestible chunks so that you can begin to take the steps towards a greener fleet.
1. Measure your emissions
To offset your emissions successfully, you'll need to know how much you produce. You can easily do this with the help of an independent team who will ask for a variety of data points to calculate your emissions. If data can't be sourced, then estimates can be used to produce an accurate assessment.
2. Reduce your emissions
This is understandably easier said than done, but the upside of cutting your emissions is that there are numerous ways to go about it. Assessing where your emissions originate can make identifying options for change easier. Greener measures can range from the relatively simple such as using energy-saving light bulbs, to introducing new systems designed to prevent waste. In addition, supporting external projects that reduce emissions, such as tree planting or nature conservation, can help reduce your carbon footprint rapidly.
For fleets, green fuels and renewable energy can provide a source of carbon-neutral power. Many businesses that focus on shorter local journeys are now investing in EV vehicles that can be charged overnight to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. Not only does the use of renewable energy help reduce your carbon emissions, but it can also save you money in the long run.
What are green fuels?
Green fuels stem from biomass, which includes plant and animal waste. While using bio-fuel may seem like an unlikely alternative, the UK's recent shift in petrol grade from 95 octanes to E10 uses renewable bio-fuel to make up 10% of the complete fuel. Vehicles in Brazil are designed to rely on up to 100% ethanol, and across the US and Europe, it's not uncommon to find vehicles operating on 85% ethanol mixes. While they're not yet prevalent in the UK, green fuels have been shown to work effectively and reliably.
How an EV fleet can benefit you and the planet
There are many ways to cut your emissions, from ensuring your tyres are inflated correctly to adapting your driving style. Still, one of the most significant ways you can cut your vehicle's emissions is by switching to an electric vehicle.
It's common knowledge that electric vehicles are better for the environment. Even after taking into account their production and electricity generation, they emit fewer greenhouse gases and pollutants when compared to petrol and diesel vehicles.
Electric vehicles have no tailpipe and so can't release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when they're being driven, and this substantially reduces their emissions. Likewise, research by EDF Energy shows that using an electric vehicle for a year can save an average of 1.5 million grams of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of four return flights from London to Barcelona.
The Mayor of London has announced that in the capital, half of the air pollution is caused by traffic alone. With the banning of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2035, it's expected that air pollution will drop significantly. EVs will also be instrumental in reducing noise pollution, especially within cities where speeds are generally lower.
The production of electric cars uses a large amount of energy, but even after taking the components into effect, electric cars are still the greener option. The lithium-ion batteries that are an essential part of an electric vehicle cause the high-emission cost of creating an electric vehicle. However, this also accounts for a third of the car's lifetime emissions because their resulting emissions are comparably so low. As technology improves, the environmental cost of creating a battery for an electric vehicle will continue to drop.
If you're considering saving money by building an EV fleet, you may find that the initial price of purchasing an electric vehicle is much higher than that of an equivalent ICE, however, EV vehicles are much cheaper to maintain which will help you to save money.
Designed to save your business time and money, our range of fuel cards allows you to pick the best one for you and your fleet. If you're unsure which fuel card is for you, you can contact one of our friendly experts today to discuss your options. We are also working on an EV alternative to help ease the transition to electric. You can register your interest in this new product here.
Matt DoddsWith over 14 years of experience across two of the leading fuel card companies in the UK, Matt Dodds joined RFC Edenred to help lead the development of products to support our customer's move to EV and other alternative fuels, a transition he feels passionately about.