Boost for clean, healthy air as AstraZeneca electrifies its global vehicle fleet | Climate Group Skip to main content
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Boost for clean, healthy air as AstraZeneca electrifies its global vehicle fleet

16 July 2019, 23:01 UTC 4 min read

  • Link between shifting to electric vehicles and tackling respiratory disease recognised by global pharmaceutical company
  • Announcement sees 16,000 more business vehicles going electric across Europe, Japan and the US - saving more than 80,000 metric tonnes CO2 every year from 2030
  • The Climate Group’s global electric transport initiative EV100 hits 50 large business members as AstraZeneca joins – the first major health company to do so
  • UK Government will become an International Ambassador for EV100, to encourage the world’s largest business to lead the switch to clean transport

London, UK: The Climate Group has announced today that global pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca will join its business leadership initiative on electric vehicles, EV100. AstraZeneca is setting new standards for industry leadership on tackling air pollution and climate change by announcing a switch of its 16,000 strong vehicle fleet to electric to limit the health impacts of air pollution across the globe.

The company, which is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with major corporate sites in the US and Sweden, is the first pharmaceutical company to join the EV100 initiative by The Climate Group, the international non-profit accelerating climate action.

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, said:

“When a pharmaceutical company says we need to go electric to help everyone breathe clean air, every business with a fleet needs to listen. This is great example of a company addressing the global climate and air pollution crisis. As the first global healthcare company to flip its fleet through EV100, and the 50th large business to do so, AstraZeneca is setting a new benchmark in the drive to electric vehicles.”

Katarina Ageborg, EVP, Sustainability and Chief Compliance Officer, AstraZeneca, said:

“Recognising the link between a healthy environment and human health, we believe that by investing in electric vehicles and emissions-reduction initiatives, we can help reduce the burden of respiratory diseases and other air pollution-related conditions. Environmental stewardship will prevent disease as well as protect the planet for future generations. 

“Sustainable business is about addressing the impact of our activities on both the planet and on people’s health and this needs to be a joint effort. We should all work together in partnership on climate action.”

AstraZeneca is the 50th business to join the EV100 initiative overall, signalling the rapid global growth of corporate demand for EVs. Companies representing US$900 billion in annual turnover and 2,8 million employees in total are now committed to electrifying transport through the initiative.

To support the shift to electric vehicles, AstraZeneca will also expand the charging infrastructure at its office sites. The company expects the switch to EVs to save it over 80,000 metric tonnes CO2 every year from 2030.

The company is also a member of The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative, in partnership with CDP, where it is committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020 in Europe and the US and for its global operations by 2025.

UK Government becomes an International Ambassador for EV100

The Climate Group is also pleased to announce that the Government of the United Kingdom will become the first government to act as an International Ambassador for the EV100 initiative. Through this commitment, the Government will encourage all large UK businesses to electrify their fleets, using its international network of embassies to bring that request to businesses across the world.

The UK is the first G7 nation to have formally adopted a net zero emissions target, seeking to eliminate its contribution to global warming by 2050. Its Road to Zero strategy sets out measures to decarbonise road transport by developing, manufacturing and using zero emission road vehicles, with today’s commitment to support the EV100 initiative another step towards that goal.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore, said:

“Cleaning up our transport system is one of the biggest challenges we face in tackling climate change so it’s essential we do everything we can to encourage all sectors of society to rise to the challenge.

“As the first G7 country to legislate to end our contribution to global warming entirely by 2050, I am proud the UK is leading the world again in promoting this important initiative, encouraging businesses to make electric vehicles the new normal.”

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, continued:

I am delighted that the UK Government shares our belief that large businesses moving to zero emission vehicles must be the norm, not the exception. Companies have the responsibility to make good choices about the types of cars they buy and subsidise for their employees - and there are major business benefits from going electric too. With the support of the whole government in the UK and abroad, we can help make the case to many more CEOs that they need to act faster.”