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Transport | Veterinary

Striving for more Sustainable Transport – How Vetoquinol achieved the Sustainable Transport award in 2021

Each year at the iiE awards, a few organisations are recognised for going above and beyond in several categories. At the 2021 awards, Vetoquinol set themselves apart with a range of initiatives to encourage the transition to a predominantly electric fleet, earning them the Sustainable Transport Champion award.

Vetoquinol UK Limited is an affiliate of Vetoquinol, the eighth largest animal health pharmaceutical company in the world, specialising in producing animal medicines and healthcare solutions. As a Bronze iiE accredited organisation, they have proven their commitment to respecting the environment, and take pride in analysing their activity to protect natural resources and limit the pollution generated by their business.

A significant contributor to Vetoquinol’s carbon footprint was identified as field sales activities (e.g. driving to client sites), therefore this was made an area of particular interest throughout their sustainability journey.

Their efforts were realised and in 2021, they were the winners of the iiE Sustainable Transport Champion award, due to their dedication to reducing their travel carbon footprint.

Key Highlights

  • Within a year, Vetoquinol more than doubled the plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles within their fleet (59% in September 2021 vs 24% in Nov 2020)
  • As of Summer 2021, 33% of all Vetoquinol UK field sales new car orders were fully electric vehicles and 66% were plug-in hybrid
  • In 2021, a 63% reduction in petrol and a 68% reduction in diesel was achieved against the previous year

Overall, Vetoquinol saved a massive 75 tonnes of CO2e. Whilst some of this can be attributed to business disruption caused by the pandemic, it was also a reflection of the large scale changes to their company car policy through introducing electric vehicles into the company fleet.

How did they do it?

Following changes in legislation concerning the testing of CO₂ emissions in all new vehicles, Vetoquinol found a high number of the vehicles available to their company car drivers were over the limit of 130 CO₂, leading to a reduction in the car options available.

A full review of the organisation’s Motor Fleet Policy was undertaken to encourage company car drivers to be more environmentally friendly and make the most of the Benefit in Kind changes for hybrid and electric vehicles[1]. Vetoquinol took the decision to reduce the standard contract mileage so that it reflected more accurately the average mileage driven by company car drivers. They also offered longer-term contract options to enable a greater choice of vehicles within the 130CO₂ cap for both combustion and hybrid vehicles.

Drivers were incentivised to make the transition to electric vehicles, with the organisation reviewing the monthly allowances based on Whole Life Cost instead of Effective Rental and providing drivers with a ‘Personal Contribution Scheme’. This allowed electric vehicles that would previously have been unaffordable for use within the fleet to become available for staff.

The transition to electric vehicles may seem daunting to some drivers and so Vetoquinol set up an internal communication channel to allow employees to share experiences/tips/questions in relation to their vehicles. Their communications also included the development of an employee digital handbook which provided more information on their motor policy initiative and their other sustainability efforts.

‘’We’re incredibly pleased that we were able to collaboratively find a solution that not only improved the vehicle selection for our drivers, but in an area that can often be the highest contributing CO₂ factor for companies… we were able to take a huge step forward in reducing our environmental footprint,’’ said Rachel Paxton (Office Manager) who brought about the Motor Fleet Policy changes with the help of Business Support Coordinator, Holly Robinson.

In the Future

Vetoquinol has further plans in place to support the continued reduction of their motor fleet’s environmental impact including eco-friendly driving training for the field team and additional external support from electric vehicle manufacturers.

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[1] More information on why your business should plan to invest in electric vehicles and changes to Benefit in Kind