Deloitte plough pounds into social enterprise Co-Wheels
Car sharing social enterprise Co-wheels have successfully been introduced as Social Innovation Pioneers this year, under Deloitte's third year scheme
Starting their search in January 2014, Deloitte has selected car sharing social enterprise Co-Wheels as one of twelve business pioneers who provide a clear and measurable social impact. Converting how commuters consider carbon and transport is not an easy message to convey when most crave convenience over ecology, but Co-Wheels are operational the length and breadth of England and Scotland, with plans to extend further
Pierre Fox, Director of the social enterprise, commented: “Co-Wheels is delighted to be a Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneer. Co-Wheels was created in order to reduce the dependence on the car ownership by providing a practical alternative. With the funding and expertise Deloitte plan to support us with, we will see a significant reduction in carbon emissions and in car use as a focus."
Deloitte’s programme, which was recognised with a Big Society Award in 2013, has been a huge success for the enterprises involved. Since transport equates to over 30% of CO2 emissions, the additional input Deloitte can give the enterprise ensures a move to a more sustainable future, whilst providing community engagement. On average one Co-wheels shared vehicle results in removing around 15 private cars and their emissions from the roads.
Minister Nick Hurd, said: “The growth of social enterprises, who now employ over 2 million people in the UK, is a success story for both business and government. Not only do they create jobs, but many are set up in disadvantaged areas and help us to tackle difficult social issues such as homelessness and youth unemployment." Co-wheels' members not only save on carbon emissions, but in some cases more importantly provide people who don’t need a car everyday an opportunity to save money by giving up (or not buying) their own car and using Co-wheels instead.
Members can save up to £1000 per year, based on average running costs detailed by the AA and using a car club car twice a week at £17.50. Additionally, users are reducing carbon emissions by around 10-33% due to less trips and miles travelled as members' behaviour towards journeys changes.
It's this change in attitude that leads them as innovation pioneers. Co-wheels not only support lower income groups by facilitating access to cars - by making them more cost-effective - but also embed a culture of resourceful mobility. This means people think about their transport options: seeking alternatives to using cars. With car club owners getting back on their feet and wheels to cycle and walk, the enterprise builds cohesive communities, whilst advocating fitness.
Their fleet management and business options create sustainability within the transport sectors of organisations such as the NHs, Universities and other businesses; further impacting on sustainability goals.
To find out more or become a member of Co-Wheels, please visit http://www.co-wheels.org.uk/ and to see the Deloitte list of pioneers please see http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_GB/uk/about/community-investment/social-innovation/