Sponsored by Citroen

Big Issue partner with Citroën to go green and cut emissions

Big Issue Group and Citroën announce three-year green partnership which will see a fleet of ë-Berlingo and ë-Dispatch vans distribute magazines across the UK

Sponsor from Citroen

Today (Monday, 15th August) Big Issue Group (BIG) and Citroën UK have announced a three-year partnership which will see Citroën provide BIG with a fleet of electric light commercial vehicles (e-LCVs). From the full fleet of 16 vans, a quarter will be on the road from today.

The Big Issue fleet currently covers 350,000 miles annually, transporting over 2 million magazines to 3,300 vendors in a year, from Ullapool through Newcastle, to Lowestoft, London and Birmingham, and over to Penzance and Fishguard.

In the first phase of going electric, Big Issue Group are working with Citroën UK to roll out electric vans in Bristol and Bath for the South-West, Bournemouth covering Dorset, Norwich for East Anglia, and Newcastle for the North-East, adding more over the next three years.

The new electric Citroën vans will make the delivery process more sustainable and will help BIG tackle its carbon emissions – which is a key aim of the Group in the face of the worsening climate crisis.

With many cities now becoming Clean Air Zones and charging older vehicles for travelling in city centres to reduce pollution, this partnership has come at a vital time.

Due to its zero tailpipe emissions, the new electric fleet will be exempt from most congestion and low-emission zone charges – so Big Issue staff can navigate through busy urban centres without worrying about extra costs. The Connected Navigation will also simplify the delivery process, helping staff reach more vendors, more smoothly.

As well as enabling staff to get cleanly and efficiently around pitches, it helps mitigate soaring costs at the pumps. According to the ONS the cost of fuel rose more than 42 per cent in the year to June – for BIG, that means a hike from £46,992 to £66,728 a year. The less the Group spend on diesel, the more it can direct these funds toward supporting vendors.

Laurentiu Lukacs, Big Issue vendor who sells outside the Mercure Brigstow in Bristol, said: “It’s good that the company is starting to go greener for the planet. It’s a good idea. My customers like it when the magazine covers political issues – so I think they will be happy that we are starting to use electric vehicles.”

Russell Blackman, Big Issue Group Managing Director of Commercial, said: “Citroën’s market-leading approach to innovation and affordability of electric vehicles is the exact reason why they are the ideal partner to work with Big Issue Group.

“Our partnership will allow us to make even greater strides in the support and services we provide for the most marginalised across the country. In cities and remote, rural locations, we will be able to respond quickly when our vendors need us the most.

“This is a great demonstration of how two leading brands are working together, driving change for good.”

Eurig Druce, Citroën’s UK Managing Director, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Big Issue Group in their important work ‘changing lives through enterprise’, and in particular to support their transition to electric vehicles so they can become more sustainable.

“Big Issue Group is a fantastic organisation that has been working to improve people’s lives for over 30 years by providing work opportunities – a hand up, not a hand out is a philosophy we can definitely get behind.

“I can’t wait to see these vans out on the road, being used as sustainable electric workhorses in support of the Big Issue workforce.”

Big Issue South-West Frontline Manager, Hattie Greenyer, said: “Having reliable vans is so important to us, and getting these e-LCVs as part of our new lease partnership with Citroën will help us to reach more pitches for support services and increase the number of pitches we can get to in a day. That means we’re helping more vendors to sell more magazines, and able to provide more day-to-day support that they need.”

The special issue covering the new partnership, and including a special Future of Transport supplement inside, is out now, please go out and buy from your local vendor or get a subscription here.

To join Big Issue Group and be part of the solution to change lives, visit: https://www.bigissue.com/changing-lives-through-enterprise

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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