The Co-op Group has rolled out its first electric vehicles for online home delivery – and announced plans to replace its fleet of fossil-fuel powered home delivery vans by 2025.
The convenience retailer is committed to accelerating zero emission deliveries to further reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions, starting with stores in Hebden Bridge; Holmfirth and Hove from this month, followed by stores in Ryde, Isle of Wight and Whitby which take delivery of electric vehicles early next year.
The drive towards greener vehicles will enable groceries ordered through Group’s online shop to be delivered using electric vehicles.
The Group became the first British retailer to become a signatory of the UN’s ‘Our Only Future’ campaign, and is committed to minimising its environmental impact.
It sources only 100% renewable electricity for all of its food stores, offices and funeral homes. Last year, it confirmed that it had already halved its greenhouse gas emissions in the ten years from 2006, and announced that it has committed to further reductions in its GHG emissions of 50% by 2025.
Head of ecommerce Chris Conway said: “Our focus is to continue to innovate and look for new and better ways to do business in our communities and to expand access to our products and services.
“In addition to offering quality and value quickly, easily and conveniently, we need to do this sustainably, and by replacing all our own home delivery vehicles and working collaboratively with partners with shared values we can ensure we further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, something which is essential if we are to have a healthy and sustainable natural environment to pass on to future generations.”
The Group’s online offer sees stores act as micro-distribution hubs locally, orders are picked from stores in the community so that the High Street benefits from any increase in online demand.
The Group also highlighted its partnership with Deliveroo and robot delivery firm Starship Technologies as examples of its work with low or zero emission businesses.
Another partner, delivery platform Stuart which works with over 180 of the Group’s food stores, has been trialling a range of green delivery vehicles, including e-mopeds and cargo bicycles.
By the end of this year, the Group says it will offer online shopping with home delivery through its own site and with partners – which includes: Deliveroo; Pinga (East London); BuyMie (Bristol) and autonomous robot deliveries with Starship Technologies (Milton Keynes and Northampton) – from more than 1,000 stores.
In another green tech announcement, the Group has adopted Ecosia as the default search engine for its internal operations. It will be installed on laptops, computers and internet-enabled devices used by colleagues.
Ecosia uses the ad revenues from searches to plant trees in order to reduce global carbon emissions, focusing on areas most affected by deforestation and in biodiversity hotspots. So far, it has planted more than 115 million trees in countries including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Brazil, the UK and Spain.