Our 100% electric delivery van

We're Running on Electric and Saving a Ton While We Do It!

David CopelandMay 31, 2021

In my previous blogs I described the journey your fresh fish and shellfish takes from sea, farm or river to your plate and what Nutritious Fish is doing to ensure you’re buying the very best, sustainable produce available. I explained how our zero-waste approach to buying, preparation and packaging is helping to reduce the 100,000 tonnes of edible food wasted by UK retailers and food manufacturers each year.

In this third instalment on the theme of running a sustainable business, I’m looking at the final piece of the jigsaw: how Nutritious Fish delivers fresh fish and shellfish to your door using 100% electric vehicles which don’t emit harmful CO2 emissions.

I’m proud to say that, over the past six months, Nutritious Fish has saved over one metric ton of carbon by using 100% Electric Vehicles (EVs) for all of its home deliveries. If you find it hard to visualise what this actually means, imagine charging your mobile phone 121,643 times or compare it to the emissions of one return passenger flight between Paris and New York.

Electric Van Delivery

I believe we’re the only local fresh fish delivery company with a 100% EV fleet. This is where many companies fail in their efforts to run a sustainable and ethical business.

Even if it’s more difficult to influence what’s happening further up the supply chain, it’s the ‘last-mile delivery’ where many local businesses could take the initiative - like Nutritious Fish has done.

We’ve put our money where our mouth is by avoiding using diesel and petrol vehicles altogether. With the price of EVs reducing all the time - and their travel range increasing - there’s really no excuse for all companies to start making this shift.

You, the customer, have the choice to vote with your wallet - switching away from your current fresh fish and shellfish supplier using diesel and petrol vehicles to Nutritious Fish who are 100% electric.

 

In fact, you could go one step further and challenge your existing fish supplier - whether that’s the supermarket or another local business - to a quick “sustainability test”, by asking these three, simple questions:

  1. Do you source your fish sustainably, and only from within the UK, to avoid unnecessary “food miles”?
  2. Do you have a zero-plastic approach to your packaging and use only compostable/recyclable alternatives?
  3. Do you deliver to your customers using 100% electric transport?

If your current supplier can’t answer YES to all three questions, you know they’re not running a sustainable business - and maybe it’s time to switch to Nutritious Fish who can say YES to all three questions!

It’s always been a huge bugbear of mine that many so-called “sustainable” and “ethical” companies pack their sustainably sourced produce into destructive plastic packaging, and then use dirty diesel vans that pollute our towns and countryside to get it to their customers. A few years ago, driven by a personal choice to reduce my own carbon footprint, I started looking at what I consumed in its entirety, rather than simply at the product that ended up in my home.

With so many companies jumping on the eco-friendly bandwagon, I was shocked to discover that the eco-efforts of many often amounted to mere lip-service. Many failed to consider how they transported their goods through the different stages of their lengthy supply chains - and the negative impact this has on our environment. This just doesn’t add up, as it’s often the most destructive part of the whole process.

Around the same time Brighton & Hove Council announced its commitment to become Carbon Neutral by 2030. As a small business that operates predominantly in this wonderful city, I was keen for Nutritious Fish to play its part. So, on a rainy November morning, I welcomed our brand new EV to the team. Later named as ‘Renée the Renault ’ by one of our regular customers, she helps us save 190kg of CO2 every month, compared to delivering using a diesel van.

As Nutritious Fish continues to grow, I’m proud to say that we’re sticking firmly to our green principles, even when it costs us more to do so (just like our decision to use compostable packaging vs. plastic). The reality of choosing to run a sustainable and ethical business is a more costly one because eco-friendly alternatives are currently more expensive than their unfriendly counterparts.

Governments could do more to assist businesses make bolder steps to eradicate plastic packaging and accelerate commercial EV adoption. As an early-adopter of sustainable alternatives, my aim is to show our customers and other local companies that it’s possible to run a business and be sustainable at the same time. We probably make less of a profit margin than our eco-unfriendly competitors, but then we sleep better at night knowing we’re making positive moves to reduce our carbon footprint.

With more and more orders being placed every week, I’ve spent a good deal of time optimising our delivery schedules to ensure we’re not adding extra unnecessary miles. Even though we’re 100% electric, I still keep a close eye on the total mileage to minimise the amount of electricity used.

Our free delivery schedule ensures Nutritious Fish delivers to the same places at the same times each week, using the most efficient routes as possible. This is great for subscribers and regular customers as everyone knows exactly when Nutritious Fish will be in their area each week - and all without the hassle of booking delivery slots or going to queue / click-and-collect at a shop.

To assist us in meeting growing customer demand within Brighton & Hove, Nutritious Fish is also now partnering with Zedify: zero-emission deliveries. Zedify is a local zero-emissions delivery service on a mission to create healthier, more liveable cities of the future. Zedify uses light EVs, Electric Cargo (E-Cargo) Bikes and Electric Trikes to help cut congestion and create safer, quieter streets across the city.

With 64,000 early deaths attributed to dirty air in the UK each year, Zedify is making waves across the transport and delivery industry. Since starting in 2018, it now operates in 8 UK locations and has the nation's largest E-Cargo Bike fleet.

For Nutritious Fish, as a sustainable local business, we feel Zedify aligns completely with our own customer charter and company values and offers an invaluable service. Plus, as a relatively small local company, Nutritious Fish has benefitted from having the agility to start working with Zedify straightaway - ensuring its customers can begin realising these eco-benefits immediately!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank YOU, our customers! Without you choosing to buy your fresh fish and shellfish from us, signing up to our great-value subscription plans and recommending us to your friends, we could not continue offering our free delivery of sustainable fish and shellfish across Brighton & Hove and surrounding areas in Sussex.

As always if you have any questions or fancy finding out more, please drop us a line at hello@nutritiousfish.co.uk or call 01273 658200.

Other blog posts in this series:
Handled with Care: Zero Plastic, Zero Food Waste, 100% Fresh!
Sourced from Sea, Farm or River, Directly to your Plate

Nutritious Fish delivers to homes across Sussex every Thursday & Friday - see when we're next in your area.

 

References and credits: Header image by zedify.co.uk, Carbon Saving Comparisons from epa.gov/energy and energuide.be