Route 2030: electrification of our fleet
B.I.G. is on course to achieve a zero environmental footprint by 2030. That is right, zero. To make this journey more tangible, we would like to offer you a passenger’s seat from which you will be able to really get up close and immerse yourself in our various sustainability projects. In this edition: the electrification of our fleet leads to a sustainable future.
By switching to electric company cars, and ensuring these are charged with renewable electricity, companies can reduce their environmental footprint and contribute to the fight against climate change, while also contributing to reducing air pollution. Moreover, electric vehicles have higher energy efficiency and consume less energy per kilometer compared to vehicles powered by fossil fuels. The total cost of ownership (TCO) of a vehicle also plays a role. When energy or fuel, and maintenance costs are taken into account, the overall picture shows that an electric car is more advantageous, because it has fewer wear and tear parts and that also helps to support the future mobility vision.
The ambition of B.I.G. is clear: we aim for a zero environmental footprint by 2030. Therefore, the electrification of our fleet is essential. Since 2022, B.I.G. has been working on the rollout of an electric vehicle fleet to support our sustainability goals.
"In 2022, our Executive Committee and Board decided to move towards a fully electric vehicle fleet by 2026. And with our Route 2030 in mind, that decision was a no-brainer for our governing bodies," says Kathleen D'Haene, Fleet Manager at Beaulieu International Group. From that decision, there has been a lot of work done on this topic, and everything is starting to get off the ground since the start of 2023. And although people are creatures of habit, when it comes to mobility, many B.I.G. employees are open to a new type of mobility. " I dare to say that 9 out of 10 employees who recently had to choose a new car already picked the full electric option. It’s stimulating to know that many employees already fully embrace the opportunity to go electric."
One of those early adopters is Kevin Ampe, Head of our Needle Felt Department in Oostrozebeke. When he had the opportunity to drive electric, he didn't hesitate. "The sustainability story is very close to my heart and the wise use of energy and consumption has always been important to me," says Kevin. He had an Energy Management System installed at home that allows him to monitor his solar panels, heat pump, and electric car perfectly. "That system will limit the power going to my car and spread it out over a slightly longer charging time. And so far, so good, this is a perfect way to manage energy efficiently and be able to drive comfortable distances."
Due to the high demand for electric mobility in Belgium, the rollout is still somewhat challenging. The government is promoting the transition to a greener vehicle fleet, however, due to the sudden and high demand for infrastructure, the partners involved are being caught off guard, making a smooth rollout challenging. "Our partner who provides the charging infrastructure is struggling to meet the high demand. But we are eager to build a solid charging infrastructure as soon as possible. In the end, it’s our goal to power our employees’ vehicles with the green energy that B.I.G. produces on its sites”, says Kathleen.
Every little bit helps
The emissions generated by our vehicle fleet are just a fraction of B.I.G.'s total emissions, but it is a pillar that we can address consciously and relatively quickly compared to other activities. Kathleen concludes: “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out. That's why this is high on the agenda, and we are doing everything we can to make it a success!”