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Openreach signs COP26 pledge, unveiling electric van fleet

Cop26 16.9.jpg

Openreach has signed up to the COP26 Transport Declaration, committing to transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans by 2030.

The full declaration states that " As business fleet owners and operators, or shared mobility platforms, we will work towards 100% of our car and van fleets being zero emission vehicles by 2030, or earlier where markets allow"

At the same time, Openreach CEO Clive Selley attended the COP26 conference with four-year old Freya Baillie, introduced the company's new generation of electric vehicles (EVs).

“At Openreach, we’re truly committed to reducing our operational impact and transitioning our 28,000 strong commercial fleet – the second largest in the UK – to zero emission by 2030," said Selley.

"I’m pleased to be talking about the opportunities and challenges ahead, in Glasgow, and how we can lead the charge while building and maintaining the UK’s biggest broadband network”.

The company's 28,000-strong fleet, the second largest in the UK, is going zero emissions by 2030 and will be supported by a newly created, dedicated project team focussed on cutting fleet emissions and helping to identify alternative, cleaner technologies.

The news follows on from an announcement made in April this year where Openreach introduced its ‘EV-first’ purchasing policy, resulting in 620 electric vans now in operation.

In addition, to encourage further large-scale investment in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, Openreach recently joined EV100, a global campaign for electric vehicles, to help promote further Government action on things like the provision of widespread public charging infrastructure and ore UK-based manufacturing of electric vans.

At the same time, Virgin Media O2 unveiled 280 of its new EVs, as it aims transition its entire 4,300-strong fleet to EVs by 2030.

In tandem the company has also committed to supporting the rollout of EV charging infrastructure across the country, offering free charging points to its fleet drivers and continuing to deploy charging points alongside its fixed and mobile network rollout across the UK.

“With a fleet of 4,300 vehicles visiting millions of homes and businesses every year, we have a responsibility to swap to cleaner, more sustainable alternatives as soon as possible. I’m proud that we’re introducing the first EVs to our fleet and giving our valued field engineers access to the charge points they need to keep moving," said Tracey Herald, head of corporate responsibility & sustainability at Virgin Media O2.

“The only way to encourage businesses and the public to make the switch to EVs in time for the UK’s 2050 net zero target is by making vehicle charging points widely available and accessible to all. We’re eagerly anticipating the Government’s EV strategy and plans for wider infrastructure rollout, and together with Liberty Charge, we’re committed to using our expanding national network and street furniture to help put charging points where they need to be – and drive the UK towards net zero.”

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