Stuart Murphy, head of fleet transformation and integration at Royal Mail, discusses the...

Stuart Murphy, head of fleet transformation and integration at Royal Mail, discusses the changing (green) landscape of fleet operations at the Automotive Fleet Professionals conference in the U.K.

Ralph Morton

“When we get asked about delivery contracts the first thing we get asked is: how green are we?”

That’s the experience of Stuart Murphy, who is head of fleet transformation and integration at the parcel delivery firm Royal Mail.

Speaking at the recent Association of Fleet Professionals’ annual conference as part of an expert fleet panel, Stuart said that it was vital to meet the environmental concerns of potential new clients as part of the increased corporate focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) requirements.

“We put the electric vans in cities because you get the best bang for your buck,” he continued. “But we decided that we would do it for everyone as we are a national delivery company. So that involved getting telematics as we need to understand the profiles of our delivery vans and test what they are doing. Some have to go up and down dale in remote areas.”

Stuart went on to say that there are some routes and depots which cannot be changed to electric - at least not for the moment. “But it’s an evolving process,” he added. “We’re trying to get an EV into each depot.”

Paul Kirby, an eLCV consultant who was moderating the discussion, added that the Government ban on new petrol and diesel vans by 2030 was coming up fast.

“There is greater concern about ESG now. And that means measuring how our businesses score on their environmental processes. But this will include the smaller business suppliers and the subcontractors who supply bigger corporations. Vans are responsible for 16% of city traffic but 32% of the pollution within cities, so improving air quality is vital. Electrification will bounce down the supply chain. It will cascade,” he added.