TotalEnergies focuses on sustainability

TotalEnergies focuses on sustainability

David Valentyne, Business Development Manager at TotalEnergies Marketing UK discusses how focussing on sustainability can help drive business growth.

As Europe sweltered under near-record temperatures this summer, the impetus for individuals to do their bit to help tackle the climate emergency by reducing their carbon footprint has become ever more compelling. Since transport is responsible for almost a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions according to the Department for Transport, it’s important that drivers take environmental impact into account in their decisions about vehicle purchases and maintenance.

While the adoption of EVs remains a key plank of the government’s net zero policy, the clean mobility agenda also relies on ensuring that the existing combustion-engine vehicles on the road are operating in the most ecoeffective manner. The question for garages is: how keen are motorists to choose more sustainable options where possible? What’s more: are they prepared to pay more for them, especially if the cost-of-living crisis puts pressure on their good intentions? The answer in many cases, according to YouGov research we commissioned, is very much in the affirmative.

Motorists are prepared to spend more to go green

For example, two in five UK drivers surveyed say that they would choose to go back to a garage or mechanic based on environmental factors – even if that meant paying a higher price for their services. A further one in seven would prefer to use a mechanic that was committed to environmental impact if the costs were equal.

What exactly do motorists mean by this? Digging deeper, those drivers indicated they are most interested in garages and mechanics who can recommend ways to improve the environmental impact of motoring, 21 per cent, and almost as many, 20 per cent, said a visible commitment to the environment, such as using renewable energy in the workshop, or recycling, is a factor.

That’s not to say that other considerations such as trust and confidence in the capability and pricing of garages, and their location, don’t remain key. However, it does illustrate that there are many ways for garages to attract more business from discerning customers.

TotalEnergies discusses focusing on sustainability

Sustainability pays long term

One way to enable customers to make positive changes is to offer them simple solutions that are more eco-friendly than the alternatives – for instance by suggesting they switch to more sustainable engine oils. Environment is likely to trump cost here – we found that almost two-thirds of UK car or van owners would pay a higher price for vehicle maintenance products if they delivered environmental or sustainability benefits. Just 11 per cent of drivers said that they would not consider sustainability or environmental impact at all when making purchases for their vehicle.

However, it’s a misconception that better environmental performance costs more overall. In the long run, seeking out products that offer vehicle longevity should have economic and performance – as well as sustainability – benefits. After all, the longer customers can keep their car engines operating in peak condition, the better, and while some products may have a slightly higher upfront price, the long-term savings on maintenance or replacement costs are far greater. No wonder then that drivers indicated that they would be most heavily swayed by products that extend the lifespan of an engine (46 per cent) and improve fuel consumption (45 per cent).

It was with these requirements in mind that we developed our Quartz range of engine lubricants to enhance engine cleanliness (and boost engine protection) while also improving fuel efficiency. It’s also why we designed our new eco-efficient ‘Quartz Box’ packaging to use less plastic and more recyclable cardboard, while reducing volume for optimised logistics.

The case is clear. Motorists want to do what they can to become more environmentally friendly, and workshops have a key role to play in supporting that. Our research shows that delivering more sustainable products and services is often a competitive differentiator between garages, which should drive loyalty and business growth for those who demonstrate eco credentials. Going greener is win-win: not only can it help to save the planet – it can safeguard the viability and strength of your company’s operations too.

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