As an accredited Low Carbon consultant and environment friendly contractor, one conscientious South Tyneside business has recently practised what it preaches when it comes to helping the environment.
Castle Building Services (Castle), one of the region’s leading independent building services design and installation contractors, has installed energy efficient electric rapid charging points across its regional offices in Hebburn, Tyne & Wear and East Kilbride, Glasgow as well as site set ups to promote the use of hybrid/electric cars across its growing team of employees.
Castle has also contributed financially to the installation of charging points at employees houses to enable them to charge their vehicles at home.
Whilst the financial investment required to install the charging points has not been overly significant, for Castle, much time and effort has been spent on developing the list of approved company cars and writing the policy to meet the investment.
Since implementing the new company car policy in April 2017, already, 20% of Castle’s employees drive hybrid cars and can charge their cars for free while at work, meaning that the commute home at least costs them nothing.
Speaking about Castle’s latest innovative move to promote energy efficiency and provide valued employees with a further in-work perk, commercial director, Andrew Dawson, said the company is not making it compulsory for employees with company cars to opt for a hybrid vehicle. However, in his opinion, the benefits attached to driving such a car are, a no-brainer. He commented:
“We work with clients daily, designing and installing fantastically energy efficient mechanical and electrical services to ensure their buildings have the smallest carbon footprint and as such, we are keen to practice what we preach. It seemed obvious that the next best step for us to take as a business would be to encourage staff to drive hybrid cars and what better way to do that than installing free to use charging points at the workplace.
“I’m delighted to say we’ve had a very positive response to this initiative and 20% of employees now drive hybrids, with many more saying they will seriously consider the vehicles when they are next looking to change cars, even those without company vehicles. Apart from free electricity, because these cars have such low emissions, staff also benefit from lower tax payments associated with company car schemes, and of course the ongoing benefits to the environment are significant.”
Finally, Dawson added:
“It costs us £1.20 per charge per vehicle, so with this small cost and major benefit to both employees and the planet in mind, I’d urge other businesses to seriously consider installing charging points at their premises.”
Applauding Castle on its decision to install the charging points, Councillor Allan West, South Tyneside Council’s Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said:
“As a council we are committed to creating a low carbon economy and we have a network of electric charging points at strategic locations across the Borough.
“It is great to see a local business introducing measures like these to encourage and incentivise employees to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Under the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the government provides grant funding via the Workplace Charging Scheme. Castle has applied for the grant and is awaiting a decision.