Merchants Fleet announced the publication of its annual Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report outlining its 2022 ESG journey, performance, and initiatives.
“As a leading fleet management company, we have a responsibility to prioritize ESG initiatives that are paramount to our stakeholders and industry,” said Brendan P. Keegan, Merchants CEO. “From helping our clients reach their sustainability goals with innovative electrification products and services, to providing our employees with opportunities to make meaningful impacts on our business, our planet, our people and our communities, ESG is foundational to who we are as a company. This sense of responsibility continues to shape our decisions, business strategy and commitments.”
Merchants has invested in and secured reservations for 40,000 electric vehicles.
“In the past, the topics of sustainability and business were often viewed as adversarial to one another, a ‘this or that’ subject,” said Ted Lague, director of ESG and sustainability. “Today, that belief is being challenged by board members, management, and employees, and to truly unlock long-term enterprise value at scale, companies must build cultures, services, and products that benefit the environmental and social causes that stakeholders demand. Underscoring this, is that more than 55% of RFPs Merchants received in 2022 included a question relating to ESG, whether focused on EVs, supplier diversity, sustainability initiatives or corporate social responsibility. The demand for socially responsible business partners has never been so relevant.”
Merchants Fleet ESG initiatives
- Fleet Electrification: In 2022, millions of miles were driven in EVs by Merchants and its clients, and hundreds of EVs were deployed, ranging from small sedans to Class 5 box trucks, enabled by Merchants’ EV Database and despite global supply chain constraints. With the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, Merchants transformed its EV team to identify incentives for clients and also apply and secure credits on their behalf.
- Supplier Diversity: Merchants spent more than $32 million with diverse suppliers in 2022, with nearly $100 million spent since 2019. In 2022, the company created a Corporate Vendor Database, which enables employees to identify vetted vendors that are local small businesses, diversely owned, and/or promote socially responsible business practices.
- The Environment: Merchants’ 2022 ESG Challenge to its employees resulted in 53% company participation; more than 500 volunteer hours; 1,400 employee celebrations; and 35 new ESG innovations proposed. Merchants’ tree planting program planted more than 5,000 trees in 2022 across eight countries. In 2023, Merchants has committed to planting 10 trees for every new employee hired. Merchants also launched a Smart Commuting pilot, and over three months employees logged more than 3,300 miles (about the width of the United States) using alternative transportation during their commute.
- Renewable Energy Credits: In 2022 Merchants used solar renewable energy credits (SRECS) to match the electricity usage for every EV charger at its campus for the entire year, in addition to matching the electricity usage for the whole month of September at its headquarters. In total 150 SRECs were purchased and retired.