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August 2021

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#SustyTalk: Seizing the clean transport opportunities of 2021

edie’s #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive panel discussion, held to take stock of the biggest opportunities and challenges for low-carbon transport in the context of Covid-19 and the climate crisis.

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#SustyTalk is all about keeping edie’s loyal readers connected to sustainable business leaders across the world, whilst reminding us all that sustainability and climate action must go on through the current Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

The video interview series was launched in spring 2020, when England was in its first national lockdown, as a series of 1:1 discussions.

Now, as part of edie’s ongoing Countdown to COP26 Festival, the edie team are hosting exclusive panel talks on the topics chosen by the UK’s COP26 Unit as key focuses for the conference: Clean Energy, Clean Transport, Green Finance, Nature-Based Solutions and Climate Adaptation.

This panel, kindly sponsored by Siemens Mobility* and chaired by edie’s senior reporter Sarah George, convenes five experts on clean transport, each from a different part of the sector’s value chain. They are:

  • Siemens Mobility’s head of business development & strategy Ruth Humphrey

  • Transport & Environment’s UK director Greg Archer

  • Beryl’s co-founder and chief executive Philip Ellis

  • Transport Knowledge Hub’s executive director Claire Haigh (also chief executive at Greener Transport Solutions)

  • Porterbrook’s head of strategy and sustainability Bruno Muller

Together, the panel outline the work that must be done ahead of COP26, in terms of policy action that can support businesses to accelerate transport decarbonisation. Transport is notably the UK’s most emitting sector.

“As a country, we need to go further and faster to meet our decarbonisation targets,” Humphrey said.

“Siemens Mobility is at the forefront of driving this change in the transport sector and we already have the proven technologies and products that will do this. In fact, we’re committed to achieving net-zero as an organisation by 2030. What we need now is investment by Government across the country to help meet these national targets and we stand ready to do all we can to help.”

Our panellists chiefly take a UK focus and there is much discussion of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

Click here to see our catalogue of #SustyTalk video interviews.

Want to be featured on a future episode of #SustyTalk? Email newsdesk@fav-house.com. Please bear in mind that our calendar typically fills up several weeks in advance.   

edie Staff 


* As a leader in transport solutions for more than 160 years, Siemens Mobility is at the forefront in driving decarbonisation throughout the rail industry. We’re constantly innovating our portfolio in core areas of rolling stock, rail automation and electrification, turnkey systems, as well as related services.


News

Blue Carbon – Ireland

Seagrass beds need to be specifically protected in new maritime planning legislation, an environmental group has told the government. Zostera marina, a type of seagrass, is the inshore equivalent of coral reefs or tropical rainforests in nurturing habitats for diverse species. It also helps to filter sediments and keep shorelines stable. However, several Irish seagrass habitats are threatened by an invasive species known as “wire weed” or Sargassum muticum, Coastwatch said. Karin Dubsky, a co-ordinator with Coastwatch and a marine biologist at Trinity College Dublin, said they were “ some of our most valuable blue carbon habitats”.

Times 30th Aug 2021 read more »

News

City of London Corporation issues contract to reduce energy costs by £500,000 annually

The City of London Corporation has awarded a contract to Vital Energi to carry out energy-related retrofits of iconic buildings such as the Barbican Centre and Guildhall School of Music and Drama that will save almost £500,000 each year.

Last year, the City of London Corporation committed to reaching net-zero across its investments and supply chain by 2040

Last year, the City of London Corporation committed to reaching net-zero across its investments and supply chain by 2040

The contract will see Vital Energi carry out retrofits within five well-known London buildings including the Barbican Centre, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the City Corporation’s Guildhall headquarters. The contract will deliver energy savings of £480,000 and carbon savings of more than 1,000 tonnes each year.

The project will be delivered through the Greater London Authority’s Retrofit Accelerator framework designed to help make London’s non-domestic public buildings and assets more energy efficient, and the works will be funded via the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS).

Solutions will include pipe distribution repairs, ventilation distribution repairs, pipe insulation, Air Handling Unit EC fan retrofit, LED lighting, and metering to reduce energy consumption and heat loss. An upgraded Building Management Systems (BMS) will also be introduced across the sites.

Last year, the City of London Corporation committed to reaching net-zero across its investments and supply chain by 2040, with an interim ambition to generate net-zero operational emissions by 2027.

The Corporation, which acts as the municipal governing body of the historic centre of London, made the commitments through a new climate action strategy.

The strategy commits the organisation to invest £68m in climate adaptation and mitigation over the next six years – a sum it claims will support the creation of 800 jobs. Of the funding, at least £15m will be spent to improve flood resilience. Pots will also be allocated to renewable energy, low-carbon heating and cooling, energy efficiency and nature-based solutions. On the latter, £2m will be spent on transforming some of the 11,000 acres of parks and open spaces owned by the Corporation to sequester carbon.

City of London Corporation Finance Committee Chairman, Jamie Ingham Clark, said: “This partnership with Vital Energi will enable us to take practical, positive, sustainable steps to make our buildings more energy efficient, delivering the twin benefits of reducing carbon emissions and saving money.

“The project will play a significant role in enabling us to achieve the ambitious targets set out in our Climate Action Strategy, which commits us to achieving net-zero carbon status in our buildings by 2027 and across our investments and supply chain by 2040.”

In related news, Wye Valley NHS Trust has also announced a major retrofit upgrade as a result of the PSDS. The Trust has issued a £4.7m energy upgrade at the Hereford County Hospital site, which is due to be completed this year.

Centrica Business Solutions will provide an array of low-carbon solutions across the Hospital and six other older buildings on the site, including the Education and Development Centre, Post Graduate Medical Centre, Longfield House staff accommodation and Lionel Green building.

Work has commenced on the installation of more than 3,000 low-energy lights, while more than 300 rooftop solar panels, modern switching mechanisms, 1,163 pipework insulation jackets and 263 metres of pipework lagging are to be introduced to improve clean energy generation and reduce heat loss.

A new ground source heat pump network will also be introduced to pump water and convert it into heat across the six buildings.

Wye Valley NHS Trust’s director of strategy and planning Alan Dawson said: “We’re very pleased to receive this grant to enable us to undertake this exciting and significant move forward to help reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environmental sustainability.

 “We have already taken a number of steps to reduce our carbon footprint at our community hospitals and this builds upon that progress. We are committed to reducing the impact our activities have on the environment by introducing these new technologies, which will reduce our carbon emissions at this site by 510 carbon tonnes per year and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for a greener future.”


Mission Possible: Achieving a green recovery for the public sector

As part of edie’s brand-new Mission Possible: Green Recovery campaign – which supports sustainability, energy and CSR professionals on our collective mission to drive a green recovery across all major industries in the UK – this latest series of reports will explore why a green recovery is so important for the respective industries being analysed; what a green recovery actually looks like for businesses large and small within those industries; and how sustainability and energy professionals can drive a green recovery from within.

The report has been created in assistance with Centrica Business Solutions and uses exclusive results from edie’s green recovery survey of 243 sustainability and energy professionals. This public sector report has also been produced with guidance from in-depth discussions with a steering panel of sustainability experts from some of the world’s most respected public sector firms in the vanguard of sustainability leadership, featuring representatives from councils and the NHS.

Download the report here.

Matt Mace

News

PepsiCo starts work on its ‘most sustainable’ European manufacturing plant

PepsiCo has held a foundation laying ceremony for a new PLN 1bn (£188m) food manufacturing plant in Poland, which it claims will be its most sustainable facility in Europe.

Heating, cooling and water at the site will be reused, while rainwater will be collected and used onsite

Heating, cooling and water at the site will be reused, while rainwater will be collected and used onsite

The new project is set to create a new food manufacturing facility on a 30-hectare plot located in Swiete close to Sroda Slaska within the Legnica Special Economic Zone in Poland.

A foundation laying ceremony has now taken place, and the £188m plant will be PepsiCo’s fifth in Poland, with construction set to be completed by 2025.

PepsiCo claims this new facility will be its “most sustainable” foods manufacturing plant in Europe. All of the company’s Polish plants are powered by 100% renewable electricity and the new plant will incorporate energy efficiency improvements and an onsite solar farm to generate its own clean energy. Plans have not been disclosed as to the size or output of the solar farm.

Additionally, heating, cooling and water at the site will be reused, while rainwater will be collected and used onsite. Waste from manufacturing processes, including potatoes, will also be reused. Leftover peelings from potatoes, for example, will be converted into low-carbon fertilizer to help farmers with crops.

Crops for the plant will be supplied from Polish farmers enrolled under the Polish Sustainable Farming Program in collaboration with PepsiCo. The company currently sources more than 230,000 tonnes of potatoes annually from the initiative and the new plant is expected to add an additional 60,000 tonnes annually by 2023.

PepsiCo Europe’s chief executive Silviu Popovici said: “We’ve been operating and investing in Poland for 30 years.  It is a great central hub as our food business grows in Central and Eastern Europe. But growth has to be sustainable. We want our plants to be the greenest, not only in Europe, but around the world. At Sroda Slaska we are re-imagining the future of food production.  We want to create a model facility for sustainability in Europe.” 

Net-zero

Earlier this year, PepsiCo committed to reducing emissions across its value chain by 40% by 2030 before reaching net-zero by 2040, as part of new climate plans it claims are Paris-Agreement-aligned.

To deliver the targets, PepsiCo is planning to reduce absolute emissions from direct operations by 75%, against a 2015 baseline. It has already reached 100% renewable electricity at managed facilities across 13 countries, and is aiming for all countries to meet that milestone by 2030 through work with the RE100. Aside from clean electricity, investments will be made in energy efficiency technologies and those which help minimise waste.

Late last year, PepsiCo revealed how it has been investing the funds raised through its inaugural green bond, priced at $1bn.

Multi-million-dollar pots have been earmarked for procuring recycled plastics, switching to low-emission vehicles, improving water efficiency, generating and procuring green energy and bringing a flagship “green R&D facility” to fruition. The facility will feature onsite solar generation and built-in energy and water efficiency features. PepsiCo is aiming to reduce the emissions generated by the campus annually by one-fifth by 2030 and hopes the new facility will provide transferable learnings for other sites.

Matt Mace

News

Geoengineering

he realities of climate change are front-page news every day. Temperature records are being smashed. Wildfires are raging. There is no sign of things going back to “normal”. If anything, they will only get worse. Last year, when the planet was convulsing with the arrival of a pandemic, we pinned our hopes on technology – in the form of an mRNA vaccine – getting us out of our crisis. The vaccine was a technological intervention, injected into the arms of billions of people. Could we (should we?) look to technological solutions to our climate crisis, too? This is the question posed by Holly Jean Buck in her 2019 book After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration. Zooming with me from Buffalo, New York, where she’s a professor of environment at the University of Buffalo, Buck is blunt in her assessment. The pace of climate change, and the insufficiency of humanity’s current response, have effectively already made the choice for us: mankind will have to engage in some kind of “geoengineering” – an umbrella term for various methods of intentional, planetary-scale climate intervention – whether we like it or not.

Guardian 26th Aug 2021 read more »

News

Major fashion brands accused of failing to phase out fossil fuels, despite net-zero pledges

A new index ranking 47 large fashion brands on their efforts to remove fossil fuels from their supply chains and products has given most a failing grade, with the likes of Primark, Uniqlo and Marks & Spencer named as laggards.

The global fashion sector is responsible for around 5-8% of annual emissions - more than aviation

The global fashion sector is responsible for around 5-8% of annual emissions – more than aviation

The ‘Fossil-Free Fashion Scorecard’ has been compiled by non-profit Stand.earth, which has compared each brand’s commitments to decarbonisation with the actions it is already taking to transition away from fossil fuels in operations, the supply chains and in products. To this latter point, global virgin polyester production has doubled since 2000 and is on course to double again, with significant implications for emissions, according to the Changing Markets Foundation.  

Stand.earth gave each of the included brands a grade for their efforts in climate advocacy, low-carbon logistics, low-carbon materials and low-carbon manufacturing. This last category takes into account energy efficiency and renewable energy procurement. An overall grade is also provided for each brand.

Across the board, no brands scored an ‘A’ grade. The highest grade, a ‘B-‘, went to Swiss outdoor wear brand Mammut, while 20 brands received the lowest possible grade, ‘F’. The F-graded brands were American Eagle, Giorgio Armani, Booho, Capri Holdings, Espirit, Everlane, Hugo Boss, Kering, LVMH, Marks & Spencer, MEC, On Running, Pentland, Prada, Primark, Salvatore Ferragamo, SKFK, Under Armour and Uniqlo.

Many of the brands to have received an F grade are signatories of one of the several industry coalitions working towards net-zero. Such initiatives include the UN Fashion Charter, WRAP’s Textiles 2030 scheme and the Fashion Pact, coordinated by Kering.

Stand.earth claims that, beyond the top-line climate commitments – and broadly strong progress in decarbonising direct operations –  many fashion brands are failing to develop targets and strategies that meaningfully address their indirect (Scope 3) emissions. This is worrying because, for most companies with multinational supply chains, Scope 3 emissions will be far higher than those generated from Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) sources. Stand.earth claims the average large fashion brand will see 90% of its total emissions footprint represented by Scope 3 sources.

Only three of the 47 brands assessed – namely Asics, Mammut and REI, have set out targets to reduce Scope 3 emissions by at least 50% by 2030. Climate scientists have repeatedly stated that halving global emissions by 2030 will be necessary to reach net-zero by 2050. Moreover, more than half of the companies assessed exclude shipping from their emissions reduction targets for the supply chain.

Due to this lack of strong target-setting, few of the companies assessed by Stand.earth could provide evidence that they are deploying renewable energy at scale across their supply chains. Only six brands provided that evidence and just six provided details on how they are supporting suppliers to transition away from coal-fired boilers. Progress on energy efficiency was found to be similarly weak.

The scorecard also details poor progress in phasing out polyester and other synthetic fabrics made from fossil fuels. Just one of the 47 brands – Icebreaker – is planning to eliminate all fossil fuel fabrics altogether. It has set a 2023 target for the phase-out. The scorecard does acknowledge, however, that several brands, including Allbirds, Levi Strauss and Kering, use a very small percentage of fossil-based synthetics in their entire fibre mix already, and that some others, including Zara’s parent firm Inditex, are working towards 100% recycled synthetics.

“The runway is getting shorter for companies to move from commitments to actions and take the steps necessary to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade,” Stand.earth’s senior climate campaigner Muhannad Malas said. “If fashion companies truly care about solving the climate crisis, they need to phase out coal power from their supply chains and say goodbye to fossil fuel fabrics like polyester.”

Malas emphasised that climate risk, for fashion firms, is likely to crystallise in terms of financial risk in the coming years, as investors increasingly demand climate action. This pressure is likely to affect activewear and outdoor brands who market themselves as “healthy”, he added.

The findings from Stand.earth’s Scorecard are similar to Fashion Revolution’s transparency index for 2021. Covering 250 large retailers, suppliers and brands, the index found that just 26% of brands disclose emissions from processing and manufacturing. The proportion dropped to just 17% for emissions relating to raw materials.

Sarah George

News

Direct Air Carbon Capture

New $10m agreement will see Climeworks capture and store carbon emissions on behalf of the risk management giant. The fledgling direct air carbon capture sector has this week chalked off another major milestone, as Climeworks announced it has signed the world’s “first and largest” 10-year carbon removal purchase agreement for direct air capture and storage with re-insurance giant Swiss Re. The two Switzerland-based firms confirmed yesterday that they have inked a $10m deal that will see Climeworks use its pioneering direct air capture technology to capture and store carbon dioxide on behalf of Swiss Re in support of its goal to deliver net zero operational emissions by 2030.

Business Green 26th Aug 2021 read more »

News

Decarbonising Homes

A coalition of industry and consumer groups are urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ensure that the upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy and Net-Zero Strategy do not repeat historic mistakes on decarbonising homes. In an open letter sent to Johnson today (25 August), the Aldersgate Group, the Federation of Master Builders, Citizens Advice and Which? are urging the Government to work more closely with consumers and the private sector to develop upcoming policy packages for decarbonising homes in line with the national net-zero target for 2050. The letter has also been sent to COP26 President Alok Sharma and Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng. It outlines some of the most common challenges the groups have seen in improving home energy efficiency and installing low-carbon heating, covering high upfront costs; difficulty accessing information; inadequate consumer protection measures; a lack of low-cost loans and grants and difficulty accessing existing loan and grant schemes. In brief, the groups argue “it is too complicated” for most households to access the technologies they need and “things go wrong too often”.

Edie 25th Aug 2021 read more »

Government plans to decarbonise homes are too complicated and confusing, according to a coalition of consumer and industry groups. They’ve written to the prime minister to say that current schemes to adapt homes go wrong far too often. The open letter, from Citizens Advice and others, calls for more financial support for making changes. Otherwise, they argue, efforts to curb emissions from millions of homes in the UK will be at risk. Tackling energy use in the residential sector is seen as key to the government’s aim of getting to net zero by 2050. Net zero involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and then balancing out any further releases by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere by, for example, planting trees. The carbon generated by home heating amounts to about 20% of all UK emissions. But the government’s current efforts to help householders to adapt their homes are “too complicated”, and too often things go wrong, say industry and consumer groups. The coalition includes Citizens Advice, the Federation of Master Builders, the Aldersgate Group and Which? They argue that the process of installing low-carbon heating, upgrading insulation or putting in smart technologies is “time consuming, confusing and stressful”. They cite the example of the Green Homes Grant, a scheme that was designed to help people insulate their homes. It was scrapped in March this year after reaching just 10% of the houses that the government had promised would be improved.

BBC 25th Aug 2021 read more »

Previous green-home schemes have been marred by confusion and shoddy workmanship – this must change for net-zero transition is to be successful.

iNews 25th Aug 2021 read more »

Homes are a greater threat to the climate than cars, research has found. There are 25 million homes producing 58.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, according to analysis from the National Housing Federation. The trade body, which represents social landlords in England, compared this with Department for Transport figures to calculate that 27 million cars were emitting 56 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. This means that the average household in England produces more carbon dioxide every year in their home than they do by driving. Gas central heating systems and poor insulation are commonly to blame for heat loss. The Heat and Building Strategy review due next month will suggest homeowners with gas boilers face a levy to fund lower-carbon alternatives, such as hydrogen boilers and heat pumps, if the government is to meet its net-zero emissions target by 2050.

Times 25th Aug 2021 read more »

Coalition of industry and consumer groups warn current consumer protection regime is ‘not ready’ for pace and scale of work needed to upgrade millions of homes. The government must take urgent action to bolster public trust and confidence in the building decarbonisation agenda if it is to stand a chance of bringing the nation’s carbon-intensive housing stock in line with its 2050 net zero emissions goal, a coalition of consumer and industry groups has today warned.

Business Green 25th Aug 2021 read more »

News

Net-Zero Strategy must not repeat past mistakes on low-carbon homes, major groups warn Prime Minister

A coalition of industry and consumer groups are urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ensure that the upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy and Net-Zero Strategy do not repeat historic mistakes on decarbonising homes.

Decarbonising homes has been a hot topic in recent weeks, amid further delays to the Heat and Buildings Strategy

Decarbonising homes has been a hot topic in recent weeks, amid further delays to the Heat and Buildings Strategy

In an open letter sent to Johnson today (25 August), the Aldersgate Group, the Federation of Master Builders, Citizens Advice and Which? are urging the Government to work more closely with consumers and the private sector to develop upcoming policy packages for decarbonising homes in line with the national net-zero target for 2050.

The letter has also been sent to COP26 President Alok Sharma and Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng.

It outlines some of the most common challenges the groups have seen in improving home energy efficiency and installing low-carbon heating, covering high upfront costs; difficulty accessing information; inadequate consumer protection measures; a lack of low-cost loans and grants and difficulty accessing existing loan and grant schemes. In brief, the groups argue “it is too complicated” for most households to access the technologies they need and “things go wrong too often”.

To this latter point, the letter states: “Previous energy efficiency schemes didn’t start out with strong enough quality standards and many people were left struggling with damp and mould due to poorly-installed insulation.

“Others suffered damage to their homes, leaving them with long-term problems that were expensive, disruptive and distressing to resolve. While some improvements to consumer protections have been made since then, they don’t go far enough for the pace and scale of changes to homes needed for net-zero.” 

According to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), direct emissions from buildings accounted for 17% of the UK’s annual national emissions footprint in 2019. Tackling these emissions, the Committee has stated, will be vital for the UK to meet its long-term climate targets.

The letter implores Johnson, Sharma and Kwarteng to ensure that the schemes detailed in the Heat and Buildings Strategy and Net-Zero Strategy are developed in collaboration with industry and consumer bodies. In this manner, key pitfalls will be avoided. The Green Homes Grant, for example, closed with some 10% of the promised £2bn vouchers issued, with the Government citing a lack of tradespeople qualified to deliver works that met the scheme’s requirements.

The letter also emphasises the importance of the Government providing longer-term certainty over its plans for retrofitting. The Green Homes Grant was envisioned as a one or two-year scheme. A longer-term pla2n would “allow industry greater time to upskill, better support implementation and improve the experience for people making changes to their homes”, the letter states.  

“Decarbonising millions of households across the UK is a vital, but complex component of the government’s net-zero strategy, and its success will depend on ensuring consumers are supported in transitioning to low carbon heating systems, which will involve radical changes to their home,” Which?’s director of policy and advocacy Rocio Concha said.

“The level of support consumers need must not be underestimated, and we are urging the government to ensure its net-zero policy has provisions to help consumers navigate the heating market, through access to the right information, strong consumer protections, and if needed, financial support.”

Policy update

The Heat and Buildings Strategy was initially promised in late 2020, as two separate Strategies, but the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) chose to combine the two, resulting in the initial delays.

Delays have, of course, been compounded by the Government’s need to prioritise the response to Covid-19.

But, in recent weeks, it has been reported that Conservative Party MPs have been rowing over the specific design of the ‘carrot and stick’ policies designed to decarbonise domestic heating.

Specifically, some MPs are reportedly pushing for a ban on gas boilers in homes to be pushed back to 2040 from 2035 – the date recommended by the Government’s own advisors, the CCC,

The Strategy is now expected shortly after Parliament officially returns from the summer recess on 6 September. MPs were recalled to Parliament recently in light of the crisis in Afghanistan, but this will be the only topic on the agenda until recess officially ends.

The Net-Zero Strategy will come after the Heat and Buildings Strategy. It has been promised ahead of COP26, which begins in Glasgow on 1 November.

Sarah George

News

Banking on electric: NatWest Group to install 600 EV chargers at UK sites

NatWest Group has confirmed plans to install 600 electric vehicle (EV) charging points across its UK office locations by 2023.

Image: GeniePoint

Image: GeniePoint

The banking group confirmed late last week that it has signed a five-year deal to supply, commission and operate the network of EV chargers with Equans, an offshoot of major energy provider Engie.

The first chargers will be installed at NatWest Group’s Donegall Square East offices in Belfast in the coming weeks. From there, a total of 600 charging sockets will be rolled out by 2023.

Chargers will be open to use for NatWest Group’s visitors and customers as well as its staff. They will be connected to the GeniePoint network, which has a pay-as-you-go model that lets motorists pay online, via a smartphone app, or by using an RFID card. The charger model which has been selected is the Alfen Pro-Line 7.4kW dual charger.

NatWest Group is notably striving to reduce its direct emissions by 25% by 2025, against a 2019 baseline, as part of a plan to reduce and offset more emissions than its operations generate.

The business has committed to installing at least 600 EV chargers across its locations in the UK and Republic of Ireland by 2030, and to switching all company cars with electric models by 2025. The company car fleet totals some 300 vehicles. These commitments have been made under Natwest Group’s membership to the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative.

“This partnership demonstrates a clear and strong commitment from NatWest on where it stands on the net-zero transition,” Equans’ managing director for the Futures business in the UK and Ireland, Jerry Moloney, said.

“The only way we will convince a greater proportion of the population to consider EVs is by giving them greater options and better access to chargers.  This investment from NatWest does exactly that.”

Other UK businesses hosting Geniepoint chargers include hotelier Whitbread, which is adding 600 charging points within the next three years, with the option to add up to 400 more in the longer term.

Policy update

The news comes shortly after the UK Government announced how funding from its £91m Collaborative Research and Development competition from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) is being allocated. Projects developing long-range EVs for BMW and batteries that can charge in as little as 12 minutes were among the successful applicants.

The Government’s overarching ambition on EV charging is to ensure that drivers are never more than 30 miles away from a rapid charging point. However, Ministers have faced increasing pressure to improve the Government’s processes for working with local authorities to deliver charging infrastructure – particularly in light of the decision to move the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales forward to 2030.

Back in 2019, a study by The Guardian found that at least one-quarter of councils in England and Wales had no plans to increase the number of charging points in the next 12 months. Funding was cited as the main barrier. More recently, a 2021 study by Centrica found that local authorities across the UK will only host, on average, 35 on-street chargers by 2025.


Could your business win edie’s Transport/ Fleet Management Initiative of the Year Award?

After a tough and extraordinary year, edie’s Sustainability Leaders Awards are back for 2022, bigger and better than ever – celebrating the incredible people, projects and partnerships that are accelerating climate action and transforming business, for good. 

Entries are now OPEN. The submission deadline for the 2022 Sustainability Leaders Awards is Friday 1 October 2021. The Awards is then set to take place as a live ceremony on the night of Wednesday 2 February 2022 at the Park Plaza London, Westminster. 

Our ‘Transport/Fleet Management Initiative of the Year’ category is among the 23 categories to choose from. Make sure you get the recognition you, and your team, deserve. ENTER THE SUSTAINABILITY LEADERS AWARDS 2022 HERE.


Sarah George

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