Why We’ve Gone Electric
Dominic Ponniah, CEO of UK cleaning and facilities management provider Cleanology, explains why his company has taken delivery of a new all-electric Nissan vehicle fleet in London.
There are so many advantages in swapping over to a fully electric fleet, from environmental gains to costs savings, but it’s also about how our clients see us – and their expectation that we will demonstrate best practice in everything we do. Ultimately, it’s about taking a leadership position and setting a good example.
The recent move reduces emissions and lowers our carbon footprint, significantly improving our environmental sustainability credentials, and the financial savings really add up. We save over £3,000 a year per vehicle on fuel, there’s no road tax to pay, and there’s no London congestion charge, which saves close to another £5,500 a year per vehicle. That’s a massive £8,500 a year cost reduction per vehicle.
Cleanology has managed the change to electric vehicles without any real issues, with staff reporting the new vehicles are quieter and smoother to drive.
Five years ago, these vehicles simply did not have the range to make their use viable. But now that aspect is considerably improved, and I would recommend any business which operates vehicles across London 24/7 to look into changing over to electric.
The range for cars has improved dramatically, but less so for vans and there is a lot less choice when it comes to commercial vehicles, which are still at an early stage of development. That seems odd to me, as commercial vehicles are on the road more than cars. Although I can see that range and options are only going to get better.
We recharge back at base, but also make use of street-side charging points across the city. In Westminster and central London there are plenty of charging points, but in the outskirts, while the infrastructure is still developing, many supermarkets provide a good service.
One thing that makes it unnecessarily complicated is that there are too many different types of charger. When it comes to paying for parking, there are only one or two different apps, but when it comes to recharging there are around ten different companies providing the service and we need accounts with all of them. If electric vehicles are really going to become the future, this needs to be simplified.
Delivering a sustainable future
This is just the latest move in Cleanology’s ongoing environmental sustainability journey. Moving over to a fully electric fleet for its London operations reduces emissions and lowers the company’s carbon footprint. Over 5,000 litres of diesel per vehicle each year is saved which is equal to 13.5 tonnes of CO2.
Cleanology achieved a European-first with its portion-controlled biological cleaning sachets which save 16,092 litres of cleaning solution and cut plastic bottle use from 21,600 to 600 every year.
We have advocated chemical-free cleaning for over 10 years and are now almost chemical-free across our entire portfolio. The impact of portion control is also hugely significant and would have global impact were our reduction of chemical usage by 99.4 per cent to be repeated across the world.
In another UK-industry first, our cleaning operatives now wear sustainable uniforms made from a total of 7,000 recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton. Combined with the savings from using portion-controlled sachets, the company saves 28,000 plastic bottles from landfill every year.
There has also been a focus on reducing paper use, resulting in a dramatic fall of 33,000 sheets of paper each year, by switching to e-invoices for clients, and e-payslips for staff.
Cleanology aspires to be a truly sustainable business, innovating and considering the whole lifecycle of every product, material or fuel it uses, while ensuring that employees follow its environmental practices and policies. The move to electric vehicles is just one more piece in our environmental sustainability puzzle.
Seeking sustainable solutions, from recycled uniforms to electric vehicles, produces immediate and visible gains which not only benefit the planet but also sets a good example and reassures our customers.