Majestic, the wine retail specialist, is expediting its transition to sustainability by upgrading its delivery fleet to fully electric vehicles. This move is a significant step in the company’s environmental strategy, aiming to reduce its carbon footprint substantially.

By the conclusion of its current financial year in March, Majestic will introduce 35 new electric vans, specifically the Citroen eBerlingo and eDispatch models, into its operations. This number surpasses the initial target of 16 electric vans for the year 2023/24. The deployment of these vehicles is expected to eliminate over 700,000 miles of diesel-powered transportation annually, which translates to a reduction of approximately 170,000 kg in CO2 emissions.

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The company’s overarching commitment to replace all 216 vans in its fleet with electric alternatives is projected to cut 5 million miles of diesel-powered journeys each year, effectively reducing CO2 emissions by 1.2 million kg. This initiative places Majestic on track to achieve this goal by 2030, outpacing the UK Government’s own timeline for banning the sale of new diesel vehicles.

The retail industry is at a pivotal juncture, with the World Economic Forum estimating a 30% increase in emissions from last-mile deliveries by 2030 if current online shopping trends persist. Majestic’s shift to electric vehicles is a testament to the industry’s potential to adopt more eco-friendly practices.

Majestic’s fleet is integral to fulfilling the growing number of online orders and servicing its expanding B2B portfolio, which includes over 3,000 on-trade venues throughout the UK. Each of Majestic’s 207 stores operates with a dedicated delivery van, and 60% of orders placed on its website are dispatched from these local stores. The Shop Local service, which accounts for a third of online orders, offers customers the convenience of shopping from their local store’s inventory with options for free collection within four hours or next-day delivery.

The investment in electric vehicles coincides with Majestic’s growth strategy, supported by Fortress Investment Group, which acquired the retailer in December 2019. Since the acquisition, Majestic has launched 14 new stores, refurbished existing ones, and expanded its Majestic Commercial division. The company’s commitment to growth is matched by its dedication to environmental responsibility, aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050.

All new stores since 2020 feature energy-efficient LED lighting, and Majestic’s energy procurement is predominantly from renewable sources, backed by Renewable Electricity Guarantees of Origin (REGO). The company has also recycled over 3 million tonnes of corks in the past two years, contributing to sustainability projects like The Eden Project.

Majestic’s focus on sustainability extends to its product offerings, with an increased emphasis on sustainable, organic, and vegan wines. The Chosen By Majestic range, launched in June, includes 17 vegan-friendly wines in lightweight glass bottles to minimize transportation emissions.

Majestic CEO John Colley said: “Majestic’s fleet of vans is among the busiest in retail, so we are acutely conscious of their carbon footprint and the need to go greener. As a business, we are determined to grow in an environmentally responsible manner and the transformation of our fleet to fully electric vehicles will slash our carbon emissions by more than 1.2 million kilograms every year.

“We are committed to driving positive change for our customers, colleagues and the planet. Removing all diesel vans from our fleet by 2030 – ahead of the Government’s delayed ban on the sale of new diesel vehicles – is a key part of that plan. But we can only do that with the right infrastructure of electric vehicle chargers in place across the UK, and with cooperation from our landlords to help us to install charging points across our portfolio of stores.”

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