Equipment rental specialist ramps up net zero aspirations

EQUIPMENT rental group Vp plc marked the recent Earth Day by officially launching its Short Term Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050.

The roadmap was actually initiated in 2021 and has already celebrated a number of milestones, including reviewing and modifying data capture procedures for greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water, committing and developing Science-based Targets for all scopes, and implementing actions from a water audit.

Vp plc revealed it has also collated group-wide environmental initiatives and promoted its sustainability report to stakeholders, switched to 100% REGO-backed renewable electricity that has reduced Scope 2 emissions by 70%, and is conducting a Scope 3 inventory.

Between 2022 and 2023, Vp plc has pledged to optimise its fleet management by introducing PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) and EVs (electric vehicles) into the fleet where appropriate.

A behavioural change programme will see green driver training, travel reduced, the introduction of environmental and waste champions, and environmental toolbox talks. Last year, the firm said diversion from landfill stood at 94%, compared to 93% in 2020 and 80% in 2019.

ISO 50001 is on course to be achieved by September at all the group’s UK sites and divisions, with three of the divisions – Brandon Hire Station, MEP Hire and ESS – having already achieved this.

Diesel alternatives will be sourced by exploring the market for larger EV fleet options and HVO fuel is available to customers at all branches.

To build on its work last year, Vp said it is now looking to partner with wildlife and rivers trusts around the country with ‘exemplary’ nature conservation and restoration projects. The firm is also pursuing a partnership with the Wildlife Trusts – the national umbrella organisation.

Between 2023 and 2025, the company added that it will support trials and encourage the adoption of hydrogen combustion engines and actively engage its supply chain in their own Net Zero agenda.

Group sustainability programme manager Fred Pilkington said, “Our roadmap strikes a balance between ambition and realism but what makes it distinguished is we have commitment from the very top of the organisation. Added to that has been the encouragement and motivation we have received from colleagues and suppliers who are putting some real time and effort behind it. We are now grabbing the bull by the horns and shouting about it.”