Lex Autolease helps Star Refrigeration boost sustainability efforts

Lex Autolease, the country’s largest fleet management provider, has been working with Star Refrigeration, the UK’s biggest independent industrial refrigeration engineering company, to design and introduce a brand-new sustainable salary sacrifice scheme for its 400 employees.

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Star Refrigeration will become Lex Autolease’s first customer in Scotland to offer non-fleet colleagues support in helping them switch to eco-friendly vehicles.

Launching in May, Star Refrigeration took the bold decision that only pure EVs will be available through the scheme, such as the Hyundai Kona, Kia E-Niro and Tesla Model 3, in a bid to make all colleague car journeys more sustainable – whether professional or personal.

Fleet Colleagues will also be able to request a second car for partners or family members through the scheme, meaning there is potential for more than 600 EVs to be delivered as the company looks to drive down its emissions although emerging flexible working is being encouraged which may actually reduce households to a single vehicle.

In addition to the new salary sacrifice scheme, Lex Autolease has helped Star Refrigeration switch its fleet to a Whole Life Cost policy – a move that factors in reduced bills thanks to the decreased fuel consumption and lower service and maintenance costs associated with EVs.

Star Refrigeration begun its EV journey last year with an order of eight pure EVs from Lex Autolease. Seven of the Tesla Model 3 vehicles have already been delivered and are driven by senior managers and members of the sales team. Notably, a further 26 of its 88-strong fleet are alternatively-fuelled.

To focus its wider sustainability efforts, Star Refrigeration signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in March, which defines and promotes best practice in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science. The business is currently outlining its emissions reduction targets and is working with Lex Autolease to ensure its fleet can play a major role in its decarbonisation.

Amanda Carson, Customer Relationship Manager at Lex Autolease, said: “Having worked with Star Refrigeration for more than 15 years, we’ve developed a solid working relationship and truly understand the business’s sustainable ambitions.

“Many of its engineers need to travel in built-up areas, so starting the switch to low-emission vehicles will not only help the business meet its green goals but contribute towards improving the air quality in urban areas.

David Pearson, Group Sustainable Development Director at Star Refrigeration, said: “Reducing our customers’ cooling-related emissions has always been vital for us as a business. Now thanks to Lex Autolease, we also have a plan in place to ensure our vehicles are on the right road to net-zero.

“The Lex Autolease team has played an integral role in laying the policy foundations that in time will see 100% of our fleet become fully electric. We recognise the need to make fewer journeys but those we must make will be as clean as possible.

“The Salary Sacrifice scheme helps us broaden this progress to other members of our teams’ families. We’re hoping for a fossil fuel free society as quickly as possible, and by insisting on 100% EV where viable, we’ll do what we can to increase the subsequent second-hand market. Plus, any cost savings mean that we can look to make investments in other sustainable initiatives across the business.”

The new Whole Life Policy follows consultation with Auditel, a leading procurement and supply chain management consultancy, who were brought in by Star Refrigeration to review cost efficiencies across the business.

Lex Autolease worked with Paul Millican and Sean Connaughton from Auditel to develop a commercial proposal that resulted in a four year sole supply fleet contract. Both Paul and Sean played a major role in the delivery of the new fleet agreement, while ensuring everyone involved was on the same page and working towards meeting Star Refrigeration’s objectives.

Sean Connaughton, Procurement & Cost Management Specialist at Auditel, added: “Star Refrigeration brought us on board to review where savings could be delivered business wide, while ensuring any new contracts were aligned with its sustainability goals.

“We’ve been working hand-in-hand with Lex Autolease on improving cash flow and its recommendation of moving towards a Whole Life Cost policy was a solid solution – we look forward to strengthening our relationship during the next four years.”

Star Refrigeration is headquartered in Glasgow with a fleet of over 150 vehicles and nearly 400 employees – all of which are eligible for the new salary sacrifice scheme. The business aims to have all colleagues driving sustainable vehicles by 2030.

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