Lindab's focus on sustainability and energy efficiency has taken a new turn now that the group has begun the transition to plug-in hybrids within its own corporate fleet. "Driving around in conventional vehicles powered by fossil fuels doesn't fit well with our message around the value of clean air and energy efficiency with minimal environmental impact," says Lindab's Fredrik Liedholm. "We are now acting sustainably both through our solutions and through our means of transport."
Lindab's first plug-in hybrids have been on the roads for just over a month now. The driving force behind the project, which involves replacing Lindab's conventional fossil fuel driven fleet with plug-in hybrids, is Fredrik Liedholm, General Counsel, M&A and HR director at Lindab.
"We deliberately strive to develop and market systems and products which give our users clean air, better energy efficiency and sustainable solutions," says Fredrik Liedholm, "so what could be more natural than demonstrating our commitment to the environment by choosing plug-in hybrids for our own fleet of vehicles. It's easy to do wonderful PowerPoint presentations on the environment and sustainability but sometimes it's harder to actively take decisions and actually practise what you preach. We constantly keep our ears to the ground when it comes to new or improved technology, and the transition to plug-in hybrids definitely fits the bill! As far as I know, Lindab is one of the first large companies to take an active stand for sustainability in this field, which is something I think all of us at Lindab can feel proud of."
Gradual transition to 700 plug-in hybrids
Lindab has some 700 diesel and petrol-driven vehicles in its fleet, 200 of which are in Sweden. The decision to gradually replace these with plug-in hybrids, which emit a maximum of 50 g of carbon dioxide per kilometre (far less than conventional fossil-fuelled vehicles), has been in the pipeline for a long time.
"The rollout here in Sweden is now under way and some 70 of our VW Passat GTE/Hybrids will grace Sweden's roads in the near future," continues Fredrik. "We expect to have completed the transition in Sweden within three to four years, and clearly it includes all of Lindab's markets. We must have a little patience and respect for this process however, because the regulations for both businesses and users vary greatly from one European country to another."
Volkswagen has worked closely with Lindab to achieve a solution which is commercially viable for both parties. This has resulted in an initiative which demonstrates the company's active decision to support a sustainable society. Other manufacturers have also shown a keen interest in being part of this exciting development.
Pioneering thinking on the right road
Lindab's new investment in plug-in hybrids has created a positive impression both on the radio and in the national press and, not unexpectedly, has been welcomed internally within the business. "In my view, this step towards an environmentally friendly way of thinking and taking a holistic approach when it comes to our own vehicles too is important in terms of its symbolic value," says Bengt Andersson, Product and Market Director at Lindab and one of the first to drive a plug-in hybrid. "On a purely personal note, it's a really great feeling to drive around knowing that you're having the minimum possible impact on the environment. No noise, a pleasure to drive and sustainable!"