A range of electric vans and cars has been added to believe housing’s fleet as it continues to find ways to reduce its carbon footprint.
The County Durham-based housing association, which manages more than 19,000 affordable homes, now has three Vauxhall Combo-e Life and 11 Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans and two Nissan Leaf cars in its fleet of 165 vehicles.
Last year believe housing moved from a flexi-lease arrangement to a sole contract vehicle hire company, Alphabet, and took the opportunity to downsize some of its vans and switch to 10 per cent of electric vehicles (EVs), which will increase in coming years.
The move was in line with believe housing’s environmental pledge to take significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint, which includes reducing fuel consumption.
Nik Turner, believe housing’s Executive Director Communities and Customer Services, said: “We are committed to reducing our impact on the planet and with lots of our people on the road every day, looking after customers and their homes, it was important that we cut carbon emissions from our fleet.
“As we learn how best to use the EVs, we hope to increase the percentage of them within our fleet and go even further to minimise our carbon footprint.
“Our electric vans are cost effective to run in the long term, saving us money to invest in homes and housing services, and they’re also quiet and easy to drive so we hope colleagues and customers will appreciate the move.”
To support the operation of EVs, extra charging points have been installed at believe housing’s offices in Seaham and Bishop Auckland.
And employees, such as trade operatives in the Property Repairs Team, are being encouraged to use the vehicles, with incentives such as the installation of EV charging points at home.
In 2021 believe housing achieved net zero for its business activities and became the first housing association to achieve the Carbon Neutral International Standard and United Nations Climate Neutral Now initiative participation.
It was named Green Business of the Year at the North East England Chamber Business Awards 2022.