LowCVP changes name to Zemo Partnership

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) has changed its name to Zemo Partnership to reflect the fact that UK road transport emissions will have to be zero by 2050.

From today (18 February) the non-profit, government-linked, 200+ member-backed organisation will be known as Zemo Partnership.

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) – which was set-up in 2003 to accelerate a sustainable shift to lower carbon, cleaner vehicles and fuels – is embracing the new net zero target and changing its name as a direct and powerful demonstration that the world has changed and that the climate emergency means that ‘low’ is no longer enough.

18 years ago, when LowCVP was formed, road transport emitted 118 Mt of greenhouse gases (GHG) a year. Since then, despite road miles increasing by 20%, overall emissions have fallen 5%, driven by low carbon policy and developing technology. Today, however, transport is the UK’s largest GHG-emitting sector, responsible for about 28% of emissions. ‘Low carbon’ is no longer good enough and a step-change in progress is needed.

In 2019 the UK became the first major economy to pass a law requiring the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Zemo Partnership will build on years of successful collaboration with members, focusing on the aims and ambitions of Government, to ensure that transport is a key enabler of our net zero future.

To support the introduction of the new name a Zemo Partnership website, visual identity and other communications materials are introduced today. 

Zemo Partnership’s 200+ member organisations will be asked to commit to a new ‘Partnership Charter’ supporting the objective of accelerating the transition in transport to zero emissions.

Speaking at the Partnership’s 2020 virtual annual conference, Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP highlighted the turning point, saying: “We stand on the verge of a new revolution; a green transport revolution, driven by the Partnership.

“We can achieve nothing without collaboration, without the extraordinary array of businesses, academics, environmental institutions that make up the Partnership.”

Zemo Partnership’s Managing Director Andy Eastlake said: “For the past 18 years LowCVP has played a pivotal role in helping to deliver the UK’s low emission transport targets.

“In 2020, over 10% of all new cars sold were ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), surpassing the target set out at the LowCVP’s inception in 2003.

“But today low is no longer enough and we must reset our targets, roll up our sleeves and focus on the road to zero.

“Re-born, as Zemo Partnership, we are strengthening our commitment to make change happen faster and accelerate the transport transition to zero emissions.”

Jason Doran, Head of Marketing, added: “The Partnership’s new name and positioning reflects this organisation’s agility and proactivity, plus its determination to protect our environment, improve the quality of the air we breathe and continue driving down transport emissions by every means possible.

“The launch of our new name is being supported by our members and a concerted campaign across social media and other communications channels.”

Philip Sellwood CBE, Zemo Partnership’s Chair, commented: “We are very aware that changing our name means nothing if it is not backed-up by tangible actions. We should not lose sight of the fact that the Partnership and its members have built invaluable skills and knowledge over the past 18 years and, together, we are uniquely placed to support the achievement of Government’s leading-edge policy on net zero.

“Consequently, later this year, a new ‘Zemo Acceleration Programme’ of stand-out initiatives will be announced to demonstrate Zemo Partnership’s purpose and positioning to all our stakeholders.”

The new name was agreed following an extensive consultation process with the Board and representatives of the Partnership’s 200+ member organisations.

Further reaction from other Zemo Partnership members and stakeholders:

Cllr Rishi Madlani, Head of Sustainable Finance & Just Transition, NatWest Group: “We are delighted to work with the Zemo Partnership building on the strong foundations established over 18 years. The Partnership’s new name reflects the continued acceleration of activity in the sector following the UK’s Net Zero target and the Government’s 10-point plan. We look forward to working with the Partnership to support our customers in decarbonising their vehicles and fleets.”

Graeme Cooper, Project Director Transport Decarbonisation, National Grid: “National Grid welcomes the Partnership’s change of name. This reflects the increasing urgency to fully decarbonise transport in order to meet our climate ambitions and improve our air quality. We look forward to continuing to work with Zemo Partnership to enable a fully decarbonised transport system.”

John Lippe, Director, City Engagement, Ford Mobility said: “The time is right to accelerate the pace of progress on the road to zero. Ford has been a long-time supporter of LowCVP and looks forward to continue working with Zemo Partnership and other members and stakeholders to support the net zero transition in transport.”

Greg Archer, UK Director, Transport and Environment (T&E): “The rebranding and refocusing of the LowCVP to become Zemo Partnership is illustrative of the urgency of the climate challenge and recognition that surface transport must be zero emission by 2050 if the UK is to meet its climate goals. Transport and Environment looks forward to working closely with Zemo Partnership on our common goal to shift to zero emission vehicles.”

Justin Laney, General Manager-Fleet, John Lewis Partnership: “This change is a true milestone: a recognition that all of us can target eliminating all carbon emissions from our vehicles rather than simply reducing them.”

Tanya Neech, UK Sustainability Officer, Scania GB: “Scania has been an active member and supporter of LowCVP for many years. We welcome this exciting new name and focus for the Partnership, further aligning with the UK’s net zero ambition. Our ambition for the future is to launch a new electric product every year and we look forward to working alongside Zemo Partnership to continue to drive the shift and decarbonise road transport.”

Gerry Keaney, Chief Executive, British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA): “This rebrand signifies more than a name change. It reflects our collective commitment to driving the decarbonisation of road transport and delivering the UK’s zero emission goals. Zemo Partnership will ensure that the great work done under LowCVP during the past two decades is continued with the fundamental step-change of focusing on zero emission. An essential shift to remain fit-for-purpose in the decades ahead.”

Roger Hunter, Vice President, Electric Mobility – Shell New Energies: “Since the inception of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, we have seen tangible progress in the reduction of CO2 from transport. Now, is the right time to reset our goals and focus on reaching net zero. With road miles continuing to increase this will take a collective effort but with the right policy, infrastructure development and ambition, I am confident that we can meet our ambition of net zero emissions by 2050.”

Martin Dean, Business Development Director, Go-Ahead said: “To address global warming, we need to achieve the biggest shift in transport technology and travel habits for a century. In addition to decarbonising vehicles, that means encouraging people to walk, cycle or use low-emission forms of public transport wherever possible. As Britain’s biggest operator of electric buses, Go-Ahead is pleased to be part of this partnership. We look forward to sharing knowledge and expertise to accelerate our collective journey.”

David Hurren, UK CEO, Air Liquide: “I welcome the announcement from the Zemo Partnership today. I totally agree we need accelerated change to reduce emissions now with a trajectory that brings an increase of deliverable benefits today and at the same time is consistent with the 2050 ambition of zero emissions transport.”

Greg Marsden, Professor of Transport Governance, Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds: “The urgency of managing the transition to zero emissions means the work of the Partnership has never been more relevant. There are undoubtedly tough policy choices ahead and being clear about the end goal can only help bring people together on that journey.”

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