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Green transport project of the year

Green transport project of the year – In 2016, London exceeded annual acceptable pollution levels in just one week.  CO2 and nitrogen pollutants were directly linked to the deaths of 40 thousand deaths a year in London.  This was our cue to accelerate an environmental strategy to scale back the impact of our business. At Colyer’s, we believe you are what you breathe. We want our community to breathe clean air. To this end, we’re doing everything we can to minimize our impact on the environment and be part of the solution for a cleaner city.

Our business goal was to find an environmentally sound way of maintaining our same-day delivery service, while not compromising it.  To this end, we began researching the switch to electric vans on the streets of London.  However, before making the significant investment of buying all new electric vans, we decided to try one first to test it out.  The results were so immediately successful that within 6 weeks we migrated our entire fleet to electric.  There were no commercial or environmental downsides.

Our delivery team now zip about town in 100% zero-emission vans, turning the heads of all they pass with their easily recognisable, shocking pink paint job. In the 15 months since our vans first hit the streets, we have been able to evaluate the difference that this has made.  We estimate that we have saved a huge 158g of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere with each kilometre spent behind the wheel. In just under a year, we have calculated that by removing CO2 emissions, we have prevented 3.9 metric tons of CO2 particles from entering the atmosphere.  This is equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 102 tree seedlings grown for 10 years, or 442 gallons of petrol consumed.

What can other businesses learn from our experience?

We hope to reassure other companies that electric vans are a viable option for their delivery service.  On one hand, the drive time between top-up charges is more than sufficient to last the day, and on the other, the vans themselves are not significantly more expensive – coupled with a reduction in Operating Expenditure as we no longer fill the vans with diesel, this also means less downtime at the petrol station.   Finally, our vans are fitted with smart tracking systems so our drivers can optimize the charge and ensure effective use of energy.

The vans are one thing – our “boots on the ground” and we are very proud of them.  But it is still not enough.  We ensure that our deliveries are grouped together by postcode with the simple aim of optimizing time on the road.  The sooner our drivers get back, the sooner they can get to the next delivery. It’s worth noting that the vans are part of the wider environmental wave taking place at Colyer’s.  ISO14001 Environmental Standard compliant, we are also proud to follow the WEEE regulations for recycling as we care about our legacy, the sustainability of the company and the planet.  Check out our overall green strategy in our submission for Small Business of the Year award where we outline our “Self-environmental claims & environment management policy” to ensure environmental impact thinking at every step of the production process, from client brief to delivery.

Thuy Nguyen

Author Thuy Nguyen

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