John Lewis to reduce carbon emissions through electric van roll out

The John Lewis Partnership will ramp up the use of electric vans to make deliveries from its John Lewis and Waitrose businesses.

The announcement is part of the partnership’s commitment to end the use of fossil fuels across its entire transport fleet by 2030 as well as its wider pledge to be net zero carbon across its entire operations by 2050. Last month, the partnership announced it is building a dedicated biomethane gas filling station to ensure its largest heavy goods vehicles are able to use a low-carbon alternative to diesel.

In a statement published today, the John Lewis Partnership revealed the “revolutionary” electric vans will be trialled early next year. It added that it “has worked with manufacturers and data scientists to source vehicles that are the most efficient and environmentally-responsible.”

Two designs of vehicle will be used – one for larger Waitrose food deliveries and one for smaller John Lewis deliveries – which the partnership believes will save over 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, equivalent to the amount produced by 2,500 UK households.

Additionally, the vehicles will have more capacity than its current diesel vans, according to the retailer. This will potentially enable it to reduce the amount of vehicles across its fleet, reducing its environmental impact further.

The announcement follows a rapid expansion of Waitrose’s online delivery capacity during the Covid-19 crisis, with this channel seeing a continued surge in demand.

Justin Laney, partner and general manager of central transport at the John Lewis Partnership, commented: “As our online services rapidly expand, we’re working hard to meet our goal of operating a zero fossil fuel in the next ten years. Our new electric vans are an ideal solution for home deliveries; the innovative design means they’re more efficient, but also respectful to the environment and the growing number of neighbourhoods in which we deliver.”

Yesterday, the John Lewis Partnership appointed Nikki Humphrey as its new executive director for people. Humphrey, who is currently chief people officer at Virgin Atlantic, will take up the position from 1 October and will be responsible for developing and delivering a people strategy for the partnership’s 80,000 employees.