Speedy welcomes chancellor to net zero hire centre

Chancellor Rishi Sunak

SPEEDY has welcomed UK chancellor Rishi Sunak to its new net carbon zero innovation centre in Milton Keynes, following the firm’s donation of almost 300 generators to the war effort in Ukraine.

Mr Sunak met with Speedy chief executive Russell Down, before touring the 100,000 sq ft site and holding a Q&A session with employees.

Speedy has supplied generators for use in Eastern Ukraine to help keep essential services running such as relief centres, hospitals, phone masts and water pumping stations.

The innovation centre is supporting contractors building the first phase of HS2, providing low-emission equipment to help meet the project’s sustainability goals, from electric lighting towers to track laying machinery.

The centre, which is powered by 670 solar panels, showcases the latest electric, solar and hydrogen-powered tools and equipment from manufacturers including Hilti and Generac and the MX Fuel range from Milwaukee. All commercial vehicles operating out of the site are either fully electric or fuelled by HVO.

Speedy recently announced that its ECO range of low carbon and carbon zero tools and equipment accounts for 30% of its itemised hire fleet, with the aim for its ECO products to account for the majority of its itemised fleet by 2027.

Rishi Sunak said, “I know that many people have felt anxious in recent months about rising costs and it was great to hear some of the questions from Speedy staff here in Milton Keynes. From next month our cut to National Insurance means that many of the staff here, and millions of others around the UK, will have £330 more a year in their pockets. And our £37 billion package of support is giving £400 off every household’s energy bill and paying £1,200 to the eight million most vulnerable households.

“It was also fantastic to hear about the work Speedy is doing to support people in Ukraine – people all across the UK are doing their part as we stand against Putin’s illegal invasion.”

Russell Down added, “We are humbled that our position as a leading UK tools and equipment provider enabled us to react promptly and assist the UK Government in supporting the Ukrainian people. The chancellor’s visit reflects the importance of the work we are doing in creating carbon savings for major infrastructure projects, such as HS2, and in providing the industry with a blueprint for minimising the environmental impact of supply chain networks across the UK.

“Customers across construction will increasingly need to interrogate the sustainability of their supply chains if we are to achieve carbon zero. We recognise our role and responsibility as a key intermediary for the sector, which is why we are making significant commitments to invest in the equipment and ways of working that will support our customers deliver more sustainable projects.”