Climate Change Summit: Transport industry can drive net zero bid in Yorkshire, says Zenith
Mark Wilson, Sustainability Manager at Zenith, explained all in the article below ahead of the company’s headline sponsorship of tomorrow’s return of The Yorkshire Post Climate Change Summit.
The event gives businesses the chance to come together to understand more about what can be done to reduce carbon consumption and be part of the climate emergency action plan.
Events like this encourage collaboration and learning between industries, which is vital if the UK is to achieve its net zero ambitions, writes Mark.
At Zenith, we’re proud to be headline sponsors at the event, highlighting our commitment for change – especially in the Yorkshire region – and we have a good reason to drive this.
Unsurprisingly, the transport industry has been the UK’s highest carbon emitting sector since 2016, accounting for an estimated 26% (109.5MtCO2e) of the total emissions in 2021.
Road transport, such as passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles, are responsible for the vast majority of this, and across transport as a whole, the use of petrol and diesel are the main source of emissions.
Zenith is the UK’s leading independent vehicle leasing and fleet management provider and one of Yorkshire’s largest businesses. With almost 170,000 vehicles under management, we understand the need to lower emissions in the transport sector and are we’re actively working to drive this change – for both our own business, and for many household names across the country. We’re committed to eliminating tailpipe emissions, and as a carbon neutral business, we have pledged to reach net zero by 2050 at the latest.
We’ve already made great strides towards achieving this goal. In 2021, we launched our first-ever Green Bond, securing £475m of finance for qualifying vehicles over two years. We reached the target in May 2023, seven months ahead of schedule, and have so far invested £620m in electric vehicles (EVs).
We are also taking action to reduce the emissions we have control over, such as those produced by our own employee company car scheme. So far, we’ve reduced our direct emissions by 29% through transitioning our own company car fleet to EV. Our fleet currently stands at 89% electric and will be 100% by 2025.
We’re working to take our customers on that journey, too. While the road to net zero will be clear and simple for some, for others, it will be more complex, but it’s important we don’t shy away from the issues. Pleasingly, the change has, so far, been embraced by our customers. 48% of the vehicles we have delivered from October 2020 to now have been battery electric vehicles – a transition which has seen us avoid 34,743 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Of course, many businesses are well underway when it comes to their own decarbonisation journey. The Yorkshire region alone reduced its total emissions by 36% from 2005 to 2021, with the transport sector carbon emissions dropping by 16% in the same timeframe.
These carbon emissions will continue to quickly drop as the enthusiasm towards electric vehicles continues to grow. According to our own EVXperience report, which surveyed more than 3,100 EV drivers, 86% of those questioned said they would not go back to petrol or diesel vehicle – a hugely impressive figure. This, combined with continued government support and ever improving vehicle infrastructure, will help to make the UK a true leader in EV transition while having a positive impact on the world we live in – and that’s the goal we must strive towards.
This is why we’re excited to once again sponsor and attend the Climate Change Summit, where we can learn from each other, discuss climate-related issues within the region, and ultimately help us reach the goal of making Yorkshire a truly decarbonised region and one of the most attractive in the UK for investment.
The event also gives us the chance to ensure momentum – especially in the transport sector – maintains. The road to net zero is a collaborative effort, and it’s up to us all to contribute, discuss, and learn from each other to accelerate our own journeys.
For more information on the Yorkshire Post Climate Change Summit, visit: www.nationalworldevents.com/ypcs-2023.