A sustainable start to their careers: delaware newcomers receive full electric Volvo

Sep 07, 2022
  • press release

delaware reduces fleet’s carbon footprint with the support of Volvo, Novabil and Westlease

On Monday 5 September, more than 150 juniors started their first day at delaware. They gathered at sustainable innovation hub Snowball in Harelbeke to embark on a new journey – the start of their career at delaware. Eager to learn from senior colleagues, the starters kicked off the Analyst Bootcamp with a welcome speech from Managing Director Jan De Bock. They also received their company car: a full electric and Belgian-made Volvo XC40 Recharge.

“It makes me incredibly proud to be able to, once again, welcome a large group of new joiners. I fully trust that this new generation of talent will do their utmost to help build our dream,” says Jan De Bock, Managing Director at delaware Belux. “We are building an organization to last, and to be able to achieve that dream we need to respect the world we live in. Taking care of our people and having a positive impact on our environment are essential elements of what we wish to accomplish.” 

Therefore, delaware is willing to make what some might call disruptive changes in order to reach its sustainability goals. “We have been taking on a more conscious approach to mobility and sustainability, and have been greening our fleet for a few years now. 90% of the company cars that we leased in 2022, were fully electric vehicles,” Jan continues. 

This year, delaware decided to take a strong stance on how to make its fleet more sustainable, which is why they partnered with Volvo, Novabil and Westlease: the 150 starters receive a full electric and Belgian-made Volvo XC40 Recharge. 

Cars parked beneath trees

© Lennen Descamps

A match made in Belgium

Pieter Sanders, Fleet and Facility Manager at delaware Belux says“It wasn’t until our collaboration with Volvo and Novabil, that we found a full electric vehicle that answers our needs. The Volvo XC40 Recharge has a range of more than 400 km, which puts our employees’ mind at ease. Used right, this car can bring our consultants from customer A to B, a delaware office and back home, safely. We will, of course, guide our employees in their transition to electric driving and show them where to find superchargers such as Fastned and IONITY,” Pieter says. 

“In December 2021, Volvo was invited to submit a tender in response to our call for starter cars. The main reasons why we chose Volvo, Novabil and Westlease are (1) because they made a great offer, (2) because they build their cars in Belgium, allowing for a shorter and more sustainable supply chain, and (3) because they can provide certainty in a volatile automotive market,” Pieter continues. The worldwide chip shortage, car parts shortage and associated risk of longer delivery times did not pose a problem to Volvo.

“This is the biggest one-day delivery of full electric cars,” says Wim Soenens, Commercial Director at Novabil. “All partners have done their utmost to meet the expected delivery date. The Volvo XC40 Recharge is the first full electric vehicle made by Volvo and we are incredibly proud to be able to distribute it. I can confirm that delaware is one of the few organizations in Belgium to go full electric for its starters.”  

Westlease, part of the Van Mossel Automotive Groep and delaware’s current lease partner in this collaboration with Volvo and Novabil, shares that vision. “We’re happy to see this partnership expanding. We see huge potential in electric vehicles and fully align with delaware's ambitions to make mobility more sustainable," says Benoit Carrette, Sales Manager at Westlease.

Group of 150 young people, starting at delaware

© Lennen Descamps

“I am particularly proud that 150 new joiners are now starting their careers with a full electric vehicle made by Volvo. Volvo is committed to sustainability: we take our responsibility for our environment, and for our people. It is wonderful to see that delaware attaches the same importance to this matter, and I believe we share common values: we care for our people and our environment,” says Elfi Janssens, Managing Director at Volvo Car Belux.

“The XC40 is one of our most popular cars - it might be one of our 'smallest’ SUVs, but still fits 4 adults and is equipped with the latest technological advancements known in the automotive industry," Elfi continues. “Its strong points are its comfortable seating, its safety features, infotainment, and elegant design.” 

“The collaboration with delaware and Novabil has been nothing but wonderful. I believe that is because we all speak the same language: innovation, sustainability, and people at the center of our activities. The partnership with delaware and Novabil is proof that (branches of) Belgian organizations can strengthen each other in their pursuits,” Elfi adds.

delaware’s journey towards a more sustainable future

delaware introduced a renewed mobility policy in 2020, with a strong emphasis on electric vehicles. Pieter explains: “The transition to electric vehicles is an important part of our fleet strategy, which is built on three pillars: (1) reducing our travel, (2) reducing our carbon footprint and (3) increasing the efficiency of the transport options we offer.”

Pieter adds: “Our employees could select a more affordable, eco-friendlier company car and spend their remaining mobility budget on other transport options, such as public transport or bicycle-sharing. The other option was for them to choose a full electric vehicle or a diesel vehicle (with the intention of phasing those out). Today, already 12% of our total fleet is electrified. As a consequence, our fleet’s average emission level is at 95g CO2/km. I expect our average emission level to drop between 80g and 90g CO2/km by the end of 2022.”  

Jan concludes: “This collaboration was the logical next step in the execution of our mobility policy and sustainability strategy. It is just one of the many initiatives we have launched over the years to show our commitment to building a more sustainable future.”

building an organization that lasts