AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical giant, has committed to switching its 16,000 strong vehicle fleet to electric by 2030.
Currently 808 of AstraZeneca’s vehicles are electric. In the next step, the company will focus on the roll-out in Europe.
By end of 2019, it will operate 120 EVs in the UK (23 per cent of UK fleet); 213 in Spain (35 per cent of Spanish fleet); 245 in France (over 50 per cent of French fleet); and 230 in Scandinavia (over 50 per cent of Scandinavian fleet).
The company also plans to source all its electricity from renewable sources – at the end of 2018, renewables accounted for 61 per cent of the total.
Katarina Ageborg, EVP, sustainability and chief compliance officer, AstraZeneca, said: “Recognising the link between a healthy environment and human health, we believe that by investing in electric vehicles and emissions-reduction initiatives, we can help reduce the burden of respiratory diseases and other air pollution-related conditions. Environmental stewardship will prevent disease as well as protect the planet for future generations.
To support the shift to electric vehicles, AstraZeneca will also expand the charging infrastructure at its office sites. The company expects the switch to EVs to save it over 80,000 tonnes CO2 every year from 2030.
The company, which is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with sites in the US and Sweden, is the first pharmaceutical company to join the EV100 initiative by The Climate Group, the international non-profit accelerating climate action.
Helen Clarkson, chief executive of The Climate Group, said: “When a pharmaceutical company says we need to go electric to help everyone breathe clean air, every business with a fleet needs to listen. This is great example of a company addressing the global climate and air pollution crisis. As the first global healthcare company to flip its fleet through EV100, and the 50th large business to do so, AstraZeneca is setting a new benchmark in the drive to electric vehicles.”
The UK will become the first government to act as an international ambassador for the EV100 initiative.
Energy and clean growth minister Chris Skidmore said: “Cleaning up our transport system is one of the biggest challenges we face in tackling climate change so it’s essential we do everything we can to encourage all sectors of society to rise to the challenge.
“As the first G7 country to legislate to end our contribution to global warming entirely by 2050, I am proud the UK is leading the world again in promoting this important initiative, encouraging businesses to make electric vehicles the new normal.”