Lotus has launched ‘Driving Change’, its new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Charter. Its four core commitments will pave the way for the car maker’s future success as a responsible global business.
The four core commitments are:
- All new mainstream vehicles from Lotus from 2023 will be fully electric
- Lotus will be certified as a net-zero business through a commitment to become a SBTi (Science-Based Target initiative) organisation
- The global community of Lotus colleagues – US LOT – will be at heart of global sustainable growth, ensuring all those inside the business are ‘called to action’ on the ESG priorities
- Lotus is fully committed to inspiring the next generation through education and global communities’ outreach
Highlighting how Lotus will become the first established sports car maker in the world to have a fully electric product range, the charter is a key part of the Vision80 strategy which is guiding the transformation of Lotus, from a UK sports car company to a truly global performance car business and brand ahead of its 80th anniversary in 2028.
A strong ESG proposition promotes business efficiency, employee engagement and productivity, investment and asset optimisation. It also ensures Lotus is always aligned to its external regulatory commitments, driving innovation and competitiveness across all aspects of the business.
Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars, said: “Our new ESG Charter formalises many activities that we have been carrying out for a number of years. Lotus as a business has always been agile, efficient and impactful within the automotive industry. Now, more than ever, as we transform rapidly to become a global pioneer of electric performance vehicles, we recognise our responsibility to do so in ways that lead our industry in minimising its impact on the environment, benefitting society and the planet as a whole.”
All new mainstream vehicles from Lotus from 2023 will be fully electric
The first of the four core ESG commitments is through the Lotus product line-up; all future new mainstream vehicles from Lotus will be fully electric. It’s a move inspired by the Lotus Evija – the world’s most powerful production car – launched in 2019 as the first British electric hypercar. Customer deliveries begin later this year.
The Evija was followed by the Emira sports car launched in 2021. It is not an EV but was designed using the same aerodynamic and efficiency principles, and is the last internal combustion engine-powered production car from Lotus. The Emira has also been designed and engineered to be more than 95% recoverable and more than 85% recyclable.
The latest of Lotus’ new generation of cars is the Eletre, launched earlier this year. It marks the company’s transition to a full line-up of electric vehicles and seals the brand’s place in history as the world’s first established sports car maker to go fully electric. The Eletre is a bold new hyper-SUV and sees the iconic Lotus sports car DNA evolved for a new generation of customers.
These new Lotus models will be joined by three more EVs in the next four years – a four-door sports sedan (the Type 133, which launches in 2023), a second SUV (Type 134, in 2025) and a lightweight next-generation sports car (Type 135, in 2026).
Lotus is also supporting other businesses in their desire to move to an all-electric future. The company’s Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture (LEVA) is the innovative new technology underpinning the Type 135 for Lotus, and is also commercially available through Lotus Engineering, the consultancy division of the business.
The passion that Lotus owners have for the brand is also part of the sustainability story. Since 1948, when the first Lotus car was born, more than 105,000 have been built and Lotus estimates up to 70% are still in use.
Lotus will become a net zero company through a commitment to become a Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi) organisation
The ESG Charter commits Lotus to become a SBTi organisation. Using an SBTi provides guidance and methods to companies to set science-based targets in line with the latest climate science.
The ultimate goal for Lotus is for certification as a net-zero company. This will be achieved through sustainability in the design of its products and the way they are manufactured, and is well underway today. The Driving Change commitment includes significant reduction in carbon emissions throughout the business; substantial elimination of waste; driving efficient and sustainable use of resources in both operations and supply chains; and protecting and preserving natural environments.
Much of this work is already in progress. For example, Lotus is a proud signatory of the COP26 zero emissions vehicle declaration, uses a REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) energy tariff to power all UK sites, has installed energy sensors to monitor and analyse energy consumption and a solar array is in development to provide up to 30% of the total requirement. In addition, all human waste from the site is recycled and used to support local agriculture.
The global community of Lotus colleagues – US LOT – will be at heart of global sustainable growth, ensuring all those inside the business are ‘called to action’ on the ESG priorities
Lotus is and always will be a ‘people business’, constantly recognising teams of colleagues around the world. The global community of Lotus colleagues – collectively known as US LOT – will be at heart of its sustainable growth. Priority is given to the health and well-being of the entire Lotus community – both inside (employees and business partners) and outside the business (customers and fans) and this is key to the success of the business as it grows.
The Driving Change ESG Charter also ensures that diversity, equality and inclusion continue to be aligned to the core culture of respect; these are the fundamentals which have been passed down through the last 74 years, from when founders Colin and Hazel Chapman built the first Lotus car in 1948.
Lotus is fully committed to inspiring the next generation through education and global communities’ outreach programmes
To help inspire the next generation of Lotus colleagues, the business is leveraging its unique global appeal to stimulate the ambitions of young people, especially in the creative STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics). Educational outreach programmes, including school visits to Lotus manufacturing facilities and the Lotus Learning Academy, have proved popular with local communities, and will continue and evolve.
Linked to this is how the company recognises that the Lotus family thrives beyond its site boundaries. It is already working with its communities outside the core business to provide support and stability within its environments.
To underpin the new ESG Charter, Lotus is adopting and aligning its strategy to external frameworks including the UN Global Compact. These frameworks follow recognised and accepted best practice for like-minded organisations. They include commitments to transparent, responsible and ethical business management with complete compliance to all legislation, yet allow Lotus as it grows to remain nimble so governance processes can expand and evolve.