Global industrial property developer Goodman Group has established a $10m fund to assist more than 900 staff buy electric vehicles over the next five years.
Goodman wants its staff around the world to switch to EVs as part of its environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) measures.
“We’re committed to providing solutions that reduce emissions and we want to enable our people to make a difference as individuals,” said Goodman Group chief executive Greg Goodman. “Electric cars align with our sustainable philosophy and our focus on economic, environmental and social outcomes.”
He said Goodman’s EV grant, which works out to about $11,000 to $15,000 per person, would make EV ownership possible for many when coupled with government rebates and incentives.
Goodman also will transition its own global vehicle fleet to EVs. Its current Australian fleet of 55 hybrid vehicles will be updated to fully electric vehicles by 2025, and all new Goodman development projects worldwide will feature dedicated electric vehicle bays and EV charging.
“We’re making sure that all our industrial facilities around the world have EV charging for trucks and vans.”
Goodman’s operation includes building and managing warehouses, large scale logistics facilities, business and office parks globally.”
Delivering the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicles is also critical and has become a fundamental component of warehouse and office car park design across our portfolio,” he said.
When asked whether other companies should take Goodman’s lead, Mr Goodman said: “We’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do for our people and investors, not because we think others will necessarily follow. We hope they do.
“We’re making a big statement about who we want to be and where we want to be on this topic.
“We’re going to use carbon offsets to make sure we’re building in a carbon neutral fashion. It’s making sure you are walking the talk.”
Mr Goodman said the infrastructure building business had boomed during the pandemic. “Our big customers are people like the DHL and Amazons of the world, so we build the infrastructure … for our customers who are the big e-commerce delivery agents.
“During the pandemic, there’s been a surge in regard to industrial being required for essential services.”
He said supermarket and online sales had been very busy and customers required more infrastructure.
He said Goodman currently had $10bn of building work around the world which was double 12 month ago. It included warehouses and “last-mile” e-commerce operators delivering to consumers around big cities.
“Most countries in the world haven‘t stopped construction of essential infrastructure required for the smooth running of our cities and delivering goods.” He said the company had $57-58bn of assets globally.
Mr Goodman said the EV fund had already begun operating in some countries. There had been a 30-40 per cent uptake in the UK already.
“We’re already seeing that pick up and people are actually making positive moves, so we think it’ll be very successful, certainly over five years.”
Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari backed Goodman’s move. He knew of some employer-initiated EV subsidy schemes overseas but not in Australia previously.
“What a fantastic way to show your own commitment to the cause of zero emissions by helping your employees.”
He said companies should also offer charging at the workplace and buying cars for their own fleet.
“In places where the electric vehicle market is mature, quite often the second most regular place where people change is at work.”
Extracted from The Australian