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Food deliveries by electric vehicle

04 March 2010

Bunzl Catering Supplies and Sodexo have launched a new electric vehicle which will deliver food and non-food supplies to a number of key sites in London – the first agreement of its kind in this market place.

Launched at City of London Police, Wood Street, where Sodexo provides food and facilities management services, the CO2 emissions-free and noise-free vehicle is part of continued sustainable distribution initiatives developed by the two companies.
The 7.5 tonne light-goods vehicle, which will make its first official delivery on March 1st 2010, will have a range of up to 130 miles and a top speed of around 50mph.
Drivers will be able to ‘refuel’ by recharging the vehicle at any standard three-phase socket. A day’s usage will cost ten per cent of the cost of fuel used by a conventional vehicle covering the same distance. The main base for the vehicle will be at a Bunzl branch in Charlton, allowing easy access to significant parts of London.
The vehicle was officially launched by Jim Haywood, Director of Environment Impact at Business in the Community (BITC), alongside Michelle Hanson, Commercial Director Sodexo UK and Ireland, and Max Harris, Operations & Regional Sales Director at Bunzl Catering Supplies. Both Sodexo and Bunzl are both members of the BITC’s Mayday Network on Climate Change, the UK’s largest coalition of businesses that have committed to take action on climate change.
Harris said: "We are delighted to unveil our first electric vehicle to service the catering and hospitality industry in London and feel proud to be the first UK distributor within our sector to do so. Our environmental strategy is multifaceted. Our objective is to further reduce our environmental impact and look for new ways to improve our performance and therefore reduce our carbon footprint. We are committed to switching to electric light goods vehicles for distribution in urban areas.”
Hanson said: “We are pleased to be the first company in our sector to take part in this initiative. Investing in this vehicle is part of our wider commitment to sustainability. Increasingly, this is about engaging with our supply chain partners as the complexity of environmental challenges means that action is most effective when consistent across businesses.”
The introduction of the vehicle forms an integral part of Sodexo and Bunzl’s ‘Better Tomorrow Plan’ and ‘BeGreen’ strategies respectively. Sodexo’s ‘Better Tomorrow Plan’ is a sustainability roadmap to 2020 that addresses the sustainability issues identified with stakeholders as being material to the business.
The introduction of the electric vehicle supports the ‘We Do’ pillar of the plan which includes a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, and the ‘We Engage’ pillar which includes a commitment to work with suppliers to achieve sustainable development ambitions.
Bunzl Catering Supplies’ BeGreen policy works to set standards and measure operating improvements in order to reduce its environmental impact. From increasing recycling programmes to reducing fuel usage to sourcing green products, the company constantly looks for new ways to improve its performance. Its environmental strategy is multifaceted. It provides environmentally friendly services and products to its customers to assist them in reducing their global footprint and communicate what they’ve learned to both employees and customers.

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