Interview with Carsten Kwirandt
In this day and age, sustainability must be on the agenda of every organisation – particularly when it comes to their mobility needs. Below, Alphabet International’s Head of Marketing and Business Development, Carsten Kwirandt, shares unique insight into the company’s approach to helping organisations decrease their carbon emissions.
Why is sustainability a key topic at Alphabet?
Particularly in Business Mobility, sustainability has established itself as more than just a short-lived trend. Because the topic is so important to us and our customers, Alphabet is taking concrete, long-term action to incorporate additional greener practices into our solutions. Our comprehensive sustainability approach – avoid, reduce, compensate – provides customers with clear, flexible measures for reducing their carbon footprints.
[su_pullquote]AlphaCity decreases CO2 emissions by facilitating optimum pool car utilisation: employees can flexibly use them for daily business as well as for private purposes at the weekends. [/su_pullquote]
How specifically does Alphabet address the issue?
Because each company has varying sustainability needs and targets, Alphabet first consults with the customer to identify its priorities. From our so-called consultancy approach, we develop a tailored solution that reflects that company’s goals, and make suggestions on how to integrate all or part of our sustainability approach. In contrast to a one-size-fits-all solution, a tailor-made one from Alphabet allows customers to integrate eco-friendly mobility solutions into their fleets in a cost-efficient, convenient way.
Tell us more about the first part, avoid.
Companies can easily avoid emissions with Business Mobility products like our Corporate CarSharing solution, AlphaCity, and our holistic eMobility solution, AlphaElectric. For example, AlphaCity decreases CO2 emissions by facilitating optimum pool car utilisation: employees can flexibly use them for daily business as well as for private purposes at the weekends.
What about innovative technologies? Do they also help Alphabet customers avoid emissions?
Yes, we provide the latest cars equipped with fuel-saving technologies, which produce significantly less CO2 emissions than older vehicles. Also, AlphaElectric’s electric vehicles (EVs) can significantly reduce carbon emissions – especially when a company charges them with 100% green electricity.
How do you determine if EVs fulfil a company’s mobility needs?
As part of our consultancy approach, Alphabet completes an Electrification Potential Analysis (EPA) to determine if EVs suit a company and if so to what extent. Using metrics such as speed, distance travelled, acceleration behaviour and parking, the EPA enables us to create
a unique driving profile for each customer.
What’s done with the data to develop an AlphaElectric solution?
We crunch the information to calculate a company’s current total fleet energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The highly accurate fleet driving profiles are the basis for the proposed eMobility solution, including the optimum number of EVs and the according charging infrastructure.
[su_pullquote]‘In contrast to a one-size-fits-all solution, a tailor-made one from Alphabet allows customers to integrate eco-friendly mobility solutions into their fleets in a cost-efficient, convenient way.’ – Carsten Kwirandt [/su_pullquote]
Reduce is another part of Alphabet’s sustainability approach. What does this mean exactly?
Our consultancy approach allows us to individually advise each customer. We examine a company’s car policy and offer suggestions on how to optimise it in terms of CO2 emissions reduction. We select fleet vehicles based on a company’s individual Business Mobility requirements and sustainability targets. Depending on customer needs, electric vehicles, hybrids and traditional combustion vehicles may be chosen from.
Any other tips on how to reduce emissions?
One obvious, but sometimes overlooked part of reduction is driving style. At Alphabet we offer customers driver eco-training courses, which show employees practical ways to drive more fuel-efficiently, and thereby reduce carbon emissions.
What does the third part, compensate, entail?
While we encourage customers to focus on the avoid and reduce aspects, we recognise that emitting CO2 is sometimes inevitable in Business Mobility. Compensation in the form of carbon offsets renders these instances more eco-friendly. Alphabet supports its customers in compensation through its CO2 offset programme, which is managed by the specialists at First Climate. Based on the amount of CO2 a fleet emits, companies can purchase carbon credit certificates to support environmental projects, such as the construction of a renewable energy power plant. The cost for companies is only around 1% of their fuel expenses.
About Alphabet International
Since 1997, leading Business Mobility provider Alphabet has helped companies manage their corporate mobility in an economical and sustainable way. In 18 markets, it uses extensive knowledge in fleet management and leasing to provide customers with innovative, tailor-made solutions. Alphabet International has currently more than 536,000 cars under management. Carsten Kwirandt has served as the company’s Head of Marketing and Business Development since January 2014. More information at www.alphabet.com.