Meet Jasper: Jasper De Braekeleer started working as a consultant at Solita (Ferrologic at that time) about 5 years ago. He is specialised in cloud solutions and currently works on a project in the retail sector. During his free time, he likes running and drinking a beer with his friends and colleagues.
How did you become responsible for the selection of the green company cars?
End of 2019 a challenge to the employees was launched to reflect on green initiatives that could improve our way of working. One of the ideas was to review our car park and check if there were alternatives to make it greener. An idea that linked with the big growth ambitions in Belgium, and the values of our company; we wanted to ensure that our growth is sustainable and has a positive impact on society.
During one of the conversations with my people lead we agreed I could investigate further, and before I knew it I was visiting the Brussels motor show together with some colleagues. Then I started doing research from scratch to know everything about the different brands, engines and other important variables.
Which elements were taken into consideration while working on the new selection?
It had to be greener, financially interesting for all parties and cars Solita could directly buy and sell after 4 years, no leasing.
We decided that we did not want to go for a standard car park, with control mechanisms, but choose sustainable and take our employees with us in this journey, by trusting them they will take the right decision for their situation and take responsible actions like charging a hybrid car.
But are greener cars not automatically more expensive?
First of all: it must be a conscious choice as a company to do this investment, it should not be just financially driven with a green flavor into it. If you look at the cost price, green cars are indeed more expensive, but if you look at the total cost of ownership and more specifically the residual value after 4 years, this investment is also financially interesting. You need to look at the whole picture and take the time to do the calculation.
Which selection made it to the final list?
We decided to make 3 categories, each with at least a diesel, hybrid and electric engine choice, with brands like BMW, Mini, Volvo, Tesla and Polestar.
When we inform new hires or employees about the new selection, we mention the impact on the environment, the financial picture, but also on how Solita as a company helps you to make a conscious choice. For hybrid cars we give a smart charger, for electric cars we pay for the installation and the cost price of the charging station and or fuel card allow charging at a public charging station as well. As an employer we want to eliminate barriers for the employees to go greener as much as possible.
In the end you see that our employees reflect more on the right choice, instead of just looking at the biggest or fanciest car.
Are the employees happy with the new list?
Definitely! Out of the 9 cars that have been ordered in the new system, 7 are hybrid or electric. Employees are showing their new cars to each other and sharing tips & tricks on charging.
And how do you see the future?
Constantly changing. The electric cars market is in full expansion, so we’re reviewing our offering every 6 months. By 2026 non-electric company cars are banned by the government, But I think we will already be full electric before that date, because it’s clear we’re getting ahead on the market by learning about the different options, creating durable partnerships and implementing a durable ambition.
And for myself: I hope to keep being involved in this process, because it’s fun to take additional responsibility within the company. I’m also proud that as a small player on the market we had the courage to be a pioneer and show that every company can take this decision.