A perennial challenge for any business aiming to drive Sustainability relates in part to the cost of change. For Citycare Property, for example, with a substantial white fleet operating nationally, there is no magic commercial solution to pushing to ‘go green’, especially whilst the cost of electric vehicles (EVs) generally remains higher from a cost/performance perspective than their petrol counterparts.
But the case for EVs is fuelled more by an Integrated Thinking mindset – recognising that Value Creation for today’s businesses looks more at the holistic value capital across a business: for example, the ability to attract and retain quality people, a business’s appetite for innovation and its impact on the environment. And in this case, a desire to always aim to ‘do our bit’ when it comes to environmental action for good.
So thanks to some clever and persistent procurement folk and a groundswell of positive energy emanating in the Citycare Property business around driving Sustainability, hot on the heels of its electric bike purchases and delivery last year of the first electric inspection van of its type to be used in NZ, Citycare has once again flexed its EV muscles with the purchase of five more Nissan Leafs (and another one on its way shortly) to meet the growing demand of our Christchurch-based Citycare Property team.
There is more than one unusual aspect to this purchase…the new EVs being bought are sourced from the second-hand Japanese domestic market!
“Surprisingly, the commercial aspects of this deal stacked up really well,” explains Citycare Procurement Manager, Rusty Mackay. “Our buying partner, Turners, do a fair amount of import business with Japan, so there is very little excise weighting. And supply of pre-owned EVs is currently healthy in Japan’s private second-hand market , which ensures attractive pricing compared to purchasing new vehicles.”
In the last few years, Citycare Property has definitely stolen a march on its competitors when it comes to demonstrating its Sustainability drive. A few years ago, it commenced the steady introduction into commercial use of battery powered greenspace tools in favour of comparable fuel-driven tools, and its busy open spaces maintenance business arm now proudly showcases a mower fleet that includes remote control (Spider) mowers, the use of fully electric ride-on mowers and the pioneering use of electric robotic mowers (Mowbots).
Rusty continues: “Each of these initiatives has been implemented with the view that they must not only contribute environmentally but they must stack up commercially as well. These are smart options that are great for our environment, good for our staff who operate them and good for our bottom line.”
Monday, 1 August marks the exciting start of Citycare Property’s five-year Parks and Gardens Maintenance Contract with Whangārei District Council (WDC). The contract includes the ongoing management of more than 300 hectares of parks across the district. The WDC awarded the contract back in February.
On Monday, 25 July, Citycare Property joined four other council contractors in partnering with Christchurch City Council to operate a battery electric specialist truck within their businesses — part of a broader project by council to help it achieve its goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.