Maxol setting out plans to green its forecourts: CEO Brian Donaldson
Maxol Group is drawing up plans to cut its carbon footprint on forecourts across Ireland – not just in terms of its fuel offer, but everything else as well.
Speaking to IF&CR, CEO Brian Donaldson said the company has just marked the first year of its carbon offsetting programme, aiming to offset 100% of carbon emissions with its Premium fuel range, which has fewer pollutants and is now available at 40 Maxol sites.
The programme also supports green initiatives such as the planting of 10,000 trees in Ireland, local community projects and global projects designed to offset carbon emissions.
“The Maxol Group is very transparent and also very serious about its commitment to the environment and investing in ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” Mr Donaldson said.
“We do not pretend to be something that we are not. We sell diesel and we sell petrol and will continue to do so as long as these fuels are needed.
“There’s no silver bullet that will suddenly transform the automotive market overnight, but we are looking at all of the ways that our business can change and make better, greener choices.
“Every investment and every decision begins with an examination of the impact it will have on the environment – we take a ‘sustainable first’ approach to every operational decision.”
Meanwhile, the fuel company has now teamed up with KPMG on a programme to benchmark and measure its carbon savings year-on-year.
“It’s about how we power and develop our service stations looking at renewable energy, LEDs and battery storage,” Mr Donaldson said.
“How do we use all this to reduce our carbon footprint? How do we heat and run our stores? How do we work with our supply chain to reduce their carbon footprint?”
“Consumers are very savvy and they want to be seen to be supportive and loyal to companies that take the right approach.
“We need to bring our customers with us on the sustainability journey, constantly looking at ways to make the greener option the easier option for all. Sustainability has become a critical imperative for businesses and consumers and it is now firmly embedded in the company’s DNA.”
Part of that sustainability effort comes via the car wash. More than 600,000 vehicles will pass through a Maxol car wash this year, with 36% of all car washes taking place at the weekend, and the company invested €600,000 in rebranding and upgrading Maxol car wash facilities in 2021.
“As we transition to alternative fuelled vehicles, we can’t forget that they too will need to be washed. And, by making our car washes more environmentally friendly, using recycled rainwater wherever possible, we are future-proofing a key, sustainable service offering that is really important to our business,” Mr Donaldson says.
The forecourt is expected to undergo major changes in future, not just in terms of the range of energy and fuel products it supplies but how it is designed and laid out, Mr Donaldson said.
“Our view is that there is still a large business in selling petrol and diesel for the next 10 years and beyond. But by the midpoint of this decade you will see more charging points for electric vehicles as more are sold in the market,” he said.
“We also see green hydrogen as being the right fuel for HGVs and commercial vehicles, but that is still very much in development. You only have to look at what Wrightbus is doing with some of the councils on hydrogen buses to get an insight into what’s possible.
“In the future we see a wider range of energies and fuels being sold from our sites, but to accommodate all of that, you need a bigger footprint and bigger sites.”