Features
18 Nov 22

5 different faces of Fleet Sustainability at the Fleet Europe Village

Key trends like sustainability don’t come in a one-size-fits-all but rock the fleet boat in many ways. With almost 50 exhibitors, The Village at the Fleet Europe Summit in Dublin is a gathering ground for decision-makers and business experts to collect the visions and innovations of suppliers who are reshaping the fleet sector by decarbonization.

Is sustainability solely about electrifying a car park? What's the mind shift telematics companies are detecting in customer motivation? And which featured fleet car at the 2022 Fleet Europe Summit is an exemplar in cutting emissions along its value chain? We took these questions, and then some more, through the suppliers' aisles at the conference hall in Dublin.

1. THE LEASING COMPANY

Sustainability is not only about reducing emissions by electrifying the car park. At leasing company Athlon, CEO Christian Schüler, points to the overlaps: “Yes, it is about sustainability but it is also about flexibility and safety. When customers choose flexibility, they also make a sustainable choice.” What he’s referring to are subscription models and the integration of multi-modal offerings that help get more mileage out of cars, prolonging their use.

2. THE AUTOMOTIVE OEM

For car makers, decarbonizing is a goal with a wide-range scope, ranging from product development and technological innovation to cleaning up their value chain. Volvo wants to step up on the speed of action as a founding member of the Acceleration to Zero coalition, which was officially launched at COP27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

The challenge of setting targets for recycled plastics, developing circular materials, and greening its steel brings an image to the forefront that Volvo must assimilate with its older and iron-strong reputation for safety. “We have now expanded the view of safety and included sustainability in all that we do,” says Fleet and Business Sales Launch and Lifecycle at Volvo, Helena Östlund.

3. THE TELEMATICS COMPANY

The only telematics company on The Village floor carrying its sustainability engagement overtly in its slogan is Mix. The principle of fuel reduction by data harvesting and monitoring driver behavior is common ground for all telematics companies. But Mix confirms that fleet clients are increasingly driven by sustainability next to cost.

“One of our clients, SAV, a waste company from Valencia, get engaged in our telematics tools out of a direct concern for CO2 reduction. They won a Sustainable City Award. But for us, it’s basically an approach along the same methodology as for safety and driver coaching. It also helps them to have their vehicles last longer. Wear and tear is sustainability, too.”, acknowledges the marketing manager for Mix, Jonathan Bates. 

4. THE TYRE MANUFACTURER

Tires are set to undergo the same material revolution as electric cars. While these companies are also converting the production and value chain to renewable energy sources, the green or biological tyre still is very much a product of the future, albeit a relatively near one. Think in years.

Listed by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices World, tire manufacturer Hankook steers an R&D department that bets on technology for raw materials to classify tires under the definition of sustainable materials. It’s not only about responsibly sourced rubber, making compounds from rice husk, and reintroducing end-of-life tires in production. “It’s also about consistently bringing the weight down of the tyee, as we have been doing from generation to generation.”, says marketing manager Christian Büttner of Hankook.

5. THE CAR

A fine selection of fleet models hosted the Fleet Europe Summit, from the futuristically shaped Nissan Ariya over the elegant BMW i4 and even the still pristine Nio ET5. All the cars on show are TCO busters, upping their fleet credentials.

But it’s hard to beat the Mercedes EQE in its endeavors for sustainability. The production sites for the battery and the car are converted to renewable sources, the raw materials used come from certified mining, the bodyshell is made from 100% recycled steel, and charging during use is CO2-compensated. It’s an ecological trailblazer ticking all the boxes needed to develop, manufacture and use a green car.  

Images: Benjamin Brolin

Authored by: Piet Andries