Squire’s Garden Centres has become one of the first garden retailers to introduce electric delivery vehicles to its fleet.
The move sees Squire’s acquire three electric vehicles initially, with these based at the Twickenham, Stanmore and Long Ditton centres, where they will be used primarily for home deliveries to local communities. Complete with redesigned livery, the new vans provide a zero emission home delivery service, to reassure customers that they are shopping in a more sustainable way.
Three further e-vehicles are planned to join Squire’s fleet during 2024.
The new vehicles are designed for use in urban locations, suited to ‘stop-start driving’ conditions. The vehicles will be used by centres included in or close to the expanded ULEZ scheme and in high volume traffic zones where the full benefits of emission free e-vehicles are realized.
The business has adapted to new challenges
Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, comments: “My grandfather, D.J.Squire introduced the first vehicles to a very young business in 1930s. Who could have imagined 87 years later, we would be making deliveries using electricity. Our new electric delivery vehicles perfectly illustrate how the business has adapted to new challenges and how, as a family business, we continue to evolve.
“The introduction of our electric vehicles is the latest initiative to help us be a cleaner, ‘greener’ business. We continue to look at ways we can be more sustainable in many areas across the business – and our move to start introducing e-vehicles is just the latest initiative. Using e-vehicles within our centre network and for home deliveries will make a significant contribution to reducing our carbon footprint, as well as saving fuel costs across the business.”
Ross McEwan, Squire’s Sustainability Manager, comments: “We have made a commitment to accelerate electrifying our fleet of home delivery vehicles, moving from a trial of one van to purchasing three. The introduction of these electric vehicles sees us removing three diesel equivalents from our roads, replacing 1000’s of miles with emission free travel.
“Approximately 10% of our total business emissions come from our own transport, so this has been an important target to address. For the customer, these new e-vehicles mean they can be confident they are shopping in a more sustainable way, helping reduce their own carbon footprint.”
In addition to the new e-vehicles, Squire’s is expanding its network of public electric car charging points to include Stanmore, Hersham, Washington and Frensham this Summer. This brings the total number of e-charging points across the business to 22, at 11 of Squire’s 16 centres.
Other recent initiatives supporting Squire’s sustainability drive include ‘Reuse & Recycle Bin Stations’ which have been positively received by customers. Since launching the bin stations, Squire’s has collected 1000’s of plastic plant pots, trays and compost bags to be prepared for UK recycling - almost filling two 40ft containers. In the group’s two centres with Food Halls (Frensham and Wokingham), there are successful partnerships with local community food banks who regularly collect fruit, vegetables, bakery and store cupboard items not only reducing food waste but helping make a positive difference to local charities.