Earth Day is both a cause for celebration and a reminder about the need for us all to take climate action and help invest in our planet’s future, says Zoe Maitland, head of corporate social responsibility at Arval UK.

April 22 serves as the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, with the aim of engaging individuals, governments, institutions and businesses to recognise our collective responsibility and accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous and sustainable economy for all. In total, more than one billion people in more than 190 countries are involved.

As a sustainable vehicle leasing company, we believe it is essential to take seriously the issues that Earth Day highlights – such as increasing climate and environmental literacy, conservation and restoration of our environment, and acting on climate change – and consider how these concepts can be incorporated into mobility strategies in an effective manner.

Zoe Maitland, head of CSR for Arval UK

For us, this means the manner in which these environmental ideas and others are woven into our core Arval Beyond corporate strategy, which provides a roadmap that aims to ensure we act as a progressive leader in sustainable mobility. This three-step process outlines our approach:

  • Strategy and mission: We aim to be a leader in sustainable mobility, ensuring we facilitate and meet our customers’ transport needs sustainably. 
  • Innovation: We use innovation to help our customers to make sustainable choices, for example, our connected vehicles technology can help fleet managers determine which vehicles are suitable to electrify. Our customer offers also enable us to deliver an integrated mobility experience and to provide support during the energy transition using flexible leasing and rental arrangements to enable customers to try electric vehicles. 
  • Implementation: We believe that engaging people is key to achieving environmental objectives, raising awareness and helping them to set their own achievable goals. Actions we implement in this manner match our CSR commitments, which in turn influence our long term sustainability, as part of this we aim to lease 700,000 electrified vehicles by 2025 and are already offering an entire range of products that encourage sustainability – such as enabling employees to lease e-Bikes and initiatives to support the transition to electrified vehicles by planting a tree for each electrified vehicle leased from us. 

Earth Day serves as a reminder that, in many ways, we are at the outset of our journey, but the actions we are taking and plans we have in place will make a genuine contribution to a more sustainable future.

21,000 trees planted in biodiversity initiative

More than 21,000 trees have been planted by Arval UK during the 2021/22 planting season in an initiative created to drive the adoption of electrified vehicles and support biodiversity.

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The “1 Electrified Vehicle = 1 Tree” project has already resulted in one tree being planted at locations in the North York Moors, Leicestershire and Bedfordshire for each electrified vehicle the company has delivered. A further site is soon to be added in Oxfordshire.

The initiative will see carbon captured in the native varieties planted, which include oak, silver birch and rowan. These have been selected to match the soil in each area as part of a sustainable management plan. As they mature, biodiversity will be increased, helping to prevent erosion and providing a shelter for wildlife, as well as creating employment.

Reforest’Action – a B Corp-certified company that preserves, restores and creates forests in response to the climate emergency and biodiversity loss – is Arval’s partner for the scheme.