How Achieve Together are keeping staff happy en route to carbon net-zero
Achieve Together, a leading UK care provider, were looking to find green tax savings, boost staff retention and stay on course to be carbon net-zero by 2045. They noticed that team commuting was one of the biggest contributors to their carbon emissions.
Adam Hunn, their Head of Financial Reporting, started looking into purchasing electric vehicles as a solution. But Adam spotted some issues with the business purchasing EVs outright. The car was a depreciating asset, risked being unused if a team member left and maintenance could become a drain on resources. This was far from ideal and unless there was a way around these issues, Adam was worried the CEO would forget EVs altogether.
Thankfully, Adam discovered Octopus Electric Vehicles’ salary sacrifice scheme and went back to his CEO armed with the facts.
Why join a salary sacrifice scheme for EVs?
- It costs the company nothing to join and team members can make personal tax savings
- All servicing, maintenance and repairs on the cars is included
- A wide range of cutting-edge EVs, from 5-door to 3, are available on the scheme
- A number of cars can be exchanged without the business paying a penalty
- Corporate carbon emissions are reduced, pushing the business toward their net-zero goal
- The Octopus Electric Universe app gives great guidance on public charging
“Retain staff for longer, reduce carbon emissions and pass on green tax savings to our team - it’s not a difficult sell.” Those were the words of a satisfied Adam, with CEO and leadership on-side.
Keep reading to discover how the Octopus Electric Vehicles salary sacrifice scheme is powering Achieve Together’s green goals and keeping happier staff for longer.
Achieve Together: Learning Disability Care Providers
Adam Hunn is Head of Financial Reporting at Achieve Together, who are one of the UKs leading disability care providers. They’re a business renowned for their outstanding social care work. They’re leading providers of support for people with learning disabilities, autism, PMLD, deafness, hearing loss and associated complex needs.
Achieve Together are delivering amazing social care and shoulder some big social responsibilities. They’re bolstering this with environmental goals that aim to have the company at carbon net-zero by 2045. With 5,000 employees, Achieve Together had forecasted they’d need to roll out 800 electric cars in this timeframe to deliver on their vision.
The company realised team commuting was one of the biggest drivers for their carbon emissions. It was time to take action and explore ways to positively influence their driving emissions.
Switching to EVs from petrol & diesel cars through a the salary sacrifice scheme
Before the scheme, the team at Achieve Together were using petrol and diesel cars for their journeys. Many of the team were visiting UK care homes, or dropping into the central office in Bath. Important journeys that keep the business moving.
But with fuel prices rocketing and pump queues growing, these ‘dirty diesels’ were becoming more of a burden than a bonus. Adam wasn’t commuting everyday, but he knew his monthly care home visits and weekend drives to see family weren't doing his carbon footprint any favours. Add to that rising fuel prices and it was becoming harder to feel good about.
Adam heard that colleagues at Achieve Together were having similar grumbles. With the business looking to achieve carbon net-zero by 2045, the CEO asked him to explore ‘green tax’ initiatives and electric vehicles.
Buying EVs outright can be expensive and risky - leasing isn't
With salary sacrifice, team members pay for their EV via a hassle-free monthly payment. It comes straight from their gross salary and they enjoy personal tax savings on the way. But before finding the scheme, Achieve Together looked into purchasing EVs outright, which raised a few eyebrows.
When purchasing an EV outright, there’s a few issues:
- The car becomes a depreciating asset on the company balance sheet
- If a team member leaves, the vehicle goes unused or needs to be sold
- Either the team or company needs to cover the maintenance costs
- The time and resources needed to deliver vehicle admin such as insurance policies takes up team capacity.
For the Achieve Together CEO, it felt like a list of problems, rather than solutions. They were excited by the idea of going electric but owning a fleet of electric cars felt like a headache. Leadership felt the strain on maintenance could outweigh the benefits and environmental gains.
A salary sacrifice scheme for EVs left Achieve Together’s management with no doubt in switching to electric
Alongside other Directors and members of Senior Leadership, Adam championed the EV salary sacrifice scheme to his CEO. Together, they could see a range of benefits for the team individually and as a company on the whole:
Benefits of the EV scheme for Achieve Together team:
- Driving cutting-edge electric cars including the Audi e-tron GT
- Saving on National Insurance and Income Tax as the car is paid for through their gross salary
- Hassle-free if something goes wrong, with Octopus Electric Vehicles covering any repairs
- The Octopus Electric Universe app makes navigating to the Bath central office easier
- Team members’ credit ratings aren’t affected, which also makes getting an EV more accessible
Benefits of the EV scheme for Achieve Together as a business:
- Team members more likely to stay with the business long-term
- It’s a draw for new talent, as 78% of people say they look for company benefits in a new role
- It costs nothing to set up and is easy to manage with the team HR portal. If they have questions, they can reach out to their dedicated account manager.
- Achieve Together’s emission consultants were pleased to hear about the scheme, as it's a big help towards hitting their net-zero targets
- There are savings for the business too, Achieve Together will pay less National Insurance for every team member that signs up.
It’s safe to say the Achieve Together CEO was aligned to the vision. Green tax savings are being found, team members are choosing from a range of exciting EVs and the company is reducing emissions on their road to net-zero. The blend of team and company benefits left Achieve Together’s management with no doubt that electric was the future.
Happier staff & longer retention - here’s what the team love about the EV scheme
“It’s a smug feeling, knowing you no longer need to line up for petrol”. Everyone enjoys something different about the scheme but for Adam, he finds driving an EV much less stressful than his old diesel. There’s no more ‘5 miles left in the tank’, or time spent filling up. Adam is now planning more road trips and longer journeys. He loves charging his EV at home and with the help of Octopus Electric Universe, he always knows where to charge up next.
As the Achieve Together team heads out on essential monthly care home visits, there’s less stress about filling up, or working out complex mileage claims. There’s no worries about covering any breakdown costs. With every mile, the team is driving down the company's emissions, while chipping away at their personal carbon footprints too.
One care home Service Manager, Kirsty, has been driving her EV enough over the last 3 months to have saved the equivalent of ‘124 trees worth of carbon’, that’s enough to put a spring in anyone's step.
All of these positive feelings help the team feel closer and give them a strong sense of loyalty towards the company. It helps when they are contributing personally to an important cause. Team members will want to get the most out of the scheme, which can last between 2 and 4 years... It’ll become a perk they could expect from every future job!
The road to net-zero with EV salary sacrifice
Understandably, Adam and the team had headaches about purchasing EVs outright. These days, it’s just not necessary with the growth of more flexible company car schemes. Once Adam took the benefits that our salary sacrifice had to offer to his CEO, the rest was plain sailing.
Achieve Together are just getting started, rolling out the first 10 electric vehicles via salary sacrifice. They think they’ll have 60 of their team driving EVs by May ‘23. Thanks to salary sacrifice, the team can switch to cutting-edge EVs faster, reduce personal and corporate carbon emissions and build a stronger sense of loyalty in the long run.
Achieve Together are striving for carbon net-zero by 2045, and they’re accelerating towards 800 electric vehicles for their 5,000 strong team. We’re excited to be on the road trip with them!