UK Businesses Place Priority on EV Sustainability Strategy

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the effects of climate change, the need to adopt sustainable business practices has never been more important.

In recent years, the UK has set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions and reach net zero by 2050. This has put pressure on businesses to play their part in achieving these targets, leading many to adopt sustainability strategies. One of the key areas where businesses are making changes is in their transportation, with a growing number of companies switching to electric vehicles (EVs).

Switching to EVs is not just about reducing carbon emissions, it is also part of a bigger sustainability agenda that can lead to increased sales for B2C companies and a greater number of contracts for B2B companies, according to our research with MetrixLab. What’s more, according to one survey, 76% of consumers expect brands to have sustainable practices, and this is likely to be true of other businesses and government bodies deciding which companies to do business with.

To access these benefits, businesses should take a more holistic approach to sustainability, rather than focussing purely on the financial benefits of EVs.

Public and private pressure to be more sustainable

In addition to the internal sustainability goals of companies, external pressures are also driving the uptake of EVs. Governments are increasingly asking for carbon neutrality as part of tenders, with many public sector contracts now requiring bidders to provide evidence of their commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Consumers are arguably also playing a role in the adoption of EVs. As awareness of environmental issues grows, we see across many industries that the public are increasingly choosing brands for their ethical behaviour or buying from companies with strong sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) credentials (where possible). This trend is particularly prevalent among younger consumers, who are more likely to choose brands that align with their values. This means that companies that are slow to adopt sustainable practices risk losing customers to more environmentally conscious competitors. According to a survey by Deloitte, 40% of consumers have chosen brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and 30% have opted for low-carbon emission transport.

While the initial investment in EVs may seem expensive, sustainability could reduce costs in the long term. EVs are cheaper to run than traditional petrol or diesel vehicles, with lower fuel costs and reduced maintenance requirements. In addition, many businesses are taking advantage of government grants and incentives to help offset the cost of purchasing EVs. By reducing their carbon footprint, companies can also benefit from improved brand reputation and increased customer loyalty.

Given the increasing importance of sustainability to businesses, it is vital that companies devote time, effort and personnel to developing and implementing a sustainability strategy. This can start a focus on transportation, with businesses considering the feasibility of switching to EVs, but doesn’t have to end there.

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 companies 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 companies at the other end of the spectrum (small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)) 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 companies 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 companies 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. Companies 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.

Tom Rowlands is Managing Director, Global EV Solutions at Allstar.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top