In our sustainability strategy, we outline the decisive steps we are taking to deliver What’s next in sustainability, in alignment with the broad environmental, social and governance (ESG) interests of our key stakeholders.
LeasePlan operates in an industry at the crossroads of a rapid and far-reaching transformation. Automotive manufacturers are responding to the challenges of the Paris Agreement and to ever-greater demands for safer, more efficient and cleaner vehicles, while national and local authorities look to enhance mobility, reduce congestion levels and harmful pollutants.
In our sustainability strategy, we outline the decisive steps we are taking to deliver What’s next in sustainability, in alignment with the broad ESG interests of our key stakeholders. Our commitment to sustainability is not an optional add-on to our current business activities but a vital enabler of our overall strategy towards all stakeholder groups.
Central to this strategy is the role we are playing in the transition from internal combustion engines to alternative powertrains in support of the Paris Agreement and the climate-related Sustainable Development Goals. Our commitment is to achieve net zero emissions from our total fleet by 2030 by facilitating the uptake of low and zero-emission vehicles in our customers’ fleets. We are also transitioning LeasePlan’s own employee fleet to an electric vehicle (EV) fleet by 2021.
Disclosure and reporting
We are committed to adopting and maintaining best practices across all areas of our non-financial disclosure. We have begun to prepare the groundwork for reporting according to the guidelines of the General Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the future.
In 2018, we took the important first steps towards this goal, including the creation of a materiality matrix based on input from external stakeholders. We also set up structural and central reporting on topics such as carbon footprint, fleet electrification, diversity and talent development. We created a baseline inventory, defined ambition levels and developed action plans, which we are preparing to roll-out to the countries.
These actions will significantly improve the level and depth of our contributions to the Carbon Disclosure Programme (CDP), in which we have participated since 2010.
We have also improved our disclosures to EcoVadis, the sustainability ratings and scorecard company that helps procurement teams monitor CSR and ESG practices in the supply chain.
Our sustainability strategy
Planting trees to capture carbon with the Land Life Company.
The LeasePlan sustainability strategy is focused on three priorities. We have developed action plans for each focus area, and completed our implementation plan in the first half of 2018. Our strategy now comprises clear targets with clear milestones, resourcing and timelines. The basis of the strategy is clear governance, consistent reporting and an open stakeholder dialogue.
01. Low-emission mobility
LeasePlan is committed to taking a leadership role in the transition from internal combustion engines to alternative powertrains. We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions from our total fleet by 2030.
02. Societal wellbeing
LeasePlan believes that human rights should be considered fundamental and universal as stated in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles of the International Labour Organisation.
03. Reduce environmental impact
LeasePlan wants to lead by example when it comes to reducing our overall environmental impact by increasing the proportion of renewable energy used across the business.
01. Help shape the future of low emission mobility
Access to clean, safe and affordable automotive transportation is essential to the effective functioning of our cities, societies and economies. As a responsible company, LeasePlan is committed to taking a leadership role in the transition from internal combustion engines to alternative powertrains. We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions from our total fleet by 2030, supporting the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and climate-related UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our aim is to help create healthier environments in our towns and cities by promoting cleaner, low-emission vehicles and the infrastructure required to make these cars a viable option for our customers.
Key actions in 2018:
- Rolling out our EV proposition and actively engaging with clients on the subject. Our proposition – which is now available in 10 countries – includes vehicles, charging infrastructure and high-impact carbon offsetting (via our partnership with Land Life Company) to make it as easy as possible for LeasePlan customers to make the switch to low emission mobility.
- Advocating the implementation of policies to encourage the adoption of low-emission mobility via organisations including the World Economic Forum and The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative. In the year, for example, our CEO Tex Gunning became the Automotive Sector Champion for the World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders. He also spoke about LeasePlan’s commitment to zero emission mobility at the Fleet Europe Summit in Barcelona, at which LeasePlan won the second place prize for its EV programme.
- Implementing LeasePlan’s commitment to transition its employee fleet to a 100% EV fleet by 2021.
- Training LeasePlan commercial staff to ensure they can provide up-to-date advice and guidance to customers on What’s next in zero-emission mobility.
- In early 2019 we successfully issued our first-ever Green Bond, a EUR 500 million 5-year fixed rate note. An industry first, the proceeds from the Green Bond will only be used to finance or refinance the purchase of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), speeding up the transition to electric driving and helping to tackle climate change.
02. Strengthen our contribution to societal wellbeing
As one of the world’s largest Car as-a-Service companies and as an employer of approximately 7,000 people, LeasePlan has an important responsibility to strengthen the wellbeing of both its employees and the communities it serves. While many of our country operations have long been active in social and community developments, we are planning to introduce a number of new global programmes and initiatives in this area.
LeasePlan believes that human rights should be considered fundamental and universal as stated in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles of the International Labour Organisation. It therefore avoids being complicit in human rights abuses of any kind. It does not use forced or compulsory labour and nor do it employ child labour. Human rights are also part of the LeasePlan Supplier Code of Conduct.
Key actions in 2018:
- Strengthened the LeasePlan culture of service, engagement and care via our Leadership Journeys, which continued in 2018.
- Developed road safety programmes for customers and employees via our Active Prevention five-step approach. We are currently piloting the programme with three international clients.
- Reviewed the Supplier Code of Conduct, which helps us to ensure all our suppliers act in accordance with our high ethical standards and all applicable law. LeasePlan will now structurally add its Supplier Code of Conduct to all (bigger direct spend) contracts going forward and will monitor the portion of spend that this covers.
- Supported the development of a diverse and inclusive workplace via the implementation of a company-wide Diversity & Inclusion policy. This included the adoption of a recruitment strategy for employees with diverse backgrounds, plans for feedback training for non-biased behaviour and communication.
- Continued to enhance our talent management and succession planning activities to ensure our people can learn and grow on the job and are promoted to bigger roles or special assignments as appropriate. Our activities here include the enhancement of the LeasePlan Academy and the roll out of the Digital People Strategy to ensure our people have the skills to thrive in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
- Ensured the consistent implementation of our Occupational Health & Safety policy across LeasePlan globally.
03. Reduce our overall environmental impact
LeasePlan wants to lead by example when it comes to reducing our overall environmental impact, by increasing the proportion of renewable energy used across all LeasePlan operations by at least 10% in 2022, while reducing our overall consumption of energy by at least 10% by that same year. At the same time, we will reduce waste and water consumption wherever possible.
Key actions in 2018:
- Began to assess energy consumption in our office buildings, ICT and other facilities (e.g., CarNext.com Experience Centres) with a view to establishing baseline metrics and transitioning to suppliers of renewable energy wherever possible. Our progress here will be reported and aligned with the Carbon Disclosure Programme (CDP).
- Reduced waste and water consumption wherever possible in LeasePlan buildings.
- Internally reviewed the UN’s Task Force Climate Related Financial Disclosure guidelines. For LeasePlan, this means we have to assess the impact of the transition to a low carbon economy. We are in the process of creating a cross-functional team (Commerce, Risk, CSR and Finance) to have a better understanding of the size and impact of the risks and opportunities.
Assessing materiality make us aware of the topics that stakeholders deem relevant, where we have the most impact and how we can add focus to our efforts and report on them.
The relevant stakeholder groups for this exercise were LeasePlan employees worldwide, suppliers and international clients. Our materiality process consisted of three steps:
01. Identifying relevant topics
We assessed the non-financial topics most relevant to our sector. Taking into account various frameworks, input from our customers, supply chain partners and our strategy. We shortlisted a selection of these, which we validated via an internal consultation.
02. Determine priorities
We assessed the relative impact that LeasePlan can have on society in each of these topics.
The results of this analysis are presented in the materiality matrix. This involved an internal consultation with LeasePlan employees and an online survey to external stakeholders. A total of 289 stakeholders, including customers, suppliers and employees, completed our online survey.
Based on the outcome we determined the 10 highest scoring topics as most material topics to be addressed in our reporting. All 19 topics proved to be highly relevant and high in impact and ended in the upper right quartile if plotted on a scale of 1-10. The matrix as depicted is a zoom-in and shows the relevant positioning of the topics to one another.
This matrix therefore becomes the basis for our implementation of relevant policies, target setting and defining of KPIs to monitor and report on progress in the future. It is our intention that, over time, more non-financial information will also be incorporated into our overall risk assessment process.
Materiality Matrix LeasePlan
The combination of the horizontal and vertical axis determines the degree of impact that LeasePlan has on society with each topic. LeasePlan divides these results into two categories; high material topics in which we aim to fulfil a leading role, and low material topics which we monitor, but do not necessarily report on.
- 01. Sustainable products & services
- 02. Customer satisfaction
- 03. Privacy & data security
- 04. Product differentiation
- 05. Business ethics & integrity
- 06. Educate customers
- 07. Sustainable growth
- 08. Co-creation through strategic partnerships
- 09. Road safety
- 10. Sustainable procurement
- 11. Reducing climate impact
- 12. Human rights
- 13. Talent management & development
- 14. Diverse & inclusive workforce
- 15. Digital services
- 16. Responsible risk management
- 17. Societal wellbeing
- 18. Occupational health & safety
- 19. Corporate culture & engagement
To help us better guide and monitor sustainability progress, we implemented a new governance structure with cross functional workstreams, task force and a steering committee. This includes the appointment of a dedicated CSR manager reporting to the Chief Risk Officer (CRO), who is the member of the Managing Board responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility. In addition, we have established a global network of coordinators based at each LeasePlan country. The CSR Steering Committee is chaired by the CRO and meets on a quarterly basis. CSR is a recurring item on the agenda of the Managing Board.
Supply chain and clients
The LeasePlan Supplier Code of Conduct was reviewed in 2018. It establishes the minimum standards we expect our suppliers to abide by and reflects the values and behaviours that apply within our organisation. The Code outlines our principles in 10 key areas; honesty & trust, respect for the law, human rights, responsibilities to employees, environmental sustainability, confidentiality and intellectual property, privacy of individuals and data protection, fair competition, conflicts of interest and bribery prevention.
Other than ensuring that the Supplier Code of Conduct will be part new contracts that we sign with suppliers, we are looking for ways to monitor its adoption and compliance in the long term.
LeasePlan recently approved an Observation and Exclusion List that will become the basis for improving our screening of business partners on the basis of environmental, social and governance criteria. With the principles now in place, we will now look at ways to manage its implementation.
We undertook numerous engagements in the public space in 2018 to progress our sustainability ambitions.
Member of WBCSD
In January 2018, we also became a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) – one of nearly 200 forward-thinking companies looking to take a leadership role in the transition to sustainable development.
In June, we issued a whitepaper about the factors still affecting the business case for EVs and the transition to electric mobility. With zero tail pipe emissions, a decreasing total cost of ownership, ever-wider availability and an improved range, the question is not if, but when the time is right to switch.
Silver rating from EcoVadis
Later in June, LeasePlan received a silver rating by EcoVadis, a leading sustainability index, for our sustainability performance. The new rating places us in the top 30% of suppliers rated by EcoVadis and is a clear recognition of our commitment to lead the transition to zero emission mobility.
In July, we announced a new partnership with Allego to provide LeasePlan EV customers with access to personal charge points at home and at work. Under the agreement, LeasePlan’s EV drivers will also receive a charge card giving them access to more than 65,000 charging points across Europe, helping to address driver ‘range anxiety’.
Zero emission vehicle challenge
Also in July, we became a founding partner of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Challenge, a new global coalition organised by The Climate Group and C40. The aim of the ZEV Challenge is to bring together states, regions, cities, businesses and NGOs around policies and solutions that will stimulate increased demand for EVs.
Carbon Disclosure Programme
In August, we participated in the Carbon Disclosure Programme.
In September, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SAIC Mobility Europe, a division of China’s largest vehicle manufacturer to bring the first large full electric Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) to continental Europe. Under the exclusive partnership, LeasePlan will provide operational leasing solutions for SAIC’s Maxus zero emission electric LCVs.
Land Life Company partnership
Also in September we signed an agreement at the Global Climate Action Summit with Land Life Company, a leading nature restoration venture, to help our customers make their trips carbon neutral. Under the partnership, they will be able to offset their fleet emissions through Land Life Company’s innovative reforestation programme.
Electric vehicle award
In November, LeasePlan’s EV programme was awarded a second prize in the Fleet Industry Awards at the Fleet Europe Forum.
EV Readiness Index
In January 2019 we published LeasePlan’s EV Readiness Index 2019, a comprehensive analysis of the preparedness of 22 European countries for the EV revolution. The Index shows that Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria are now the best prepared countries in Europe for the EV revolution, and for the first time, all countries in the Index have shown an improved score compared to last year.
World Economic Forum
Also in January 2019, we participated in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, using the platform of the event to advocate for the adoption of zero emission mobility among the world’s leading companies. The WEF is an International Organisation for Public-Private Cooperation that engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.