A partnership set up to tackle Bristol’s social and environmental problems has announced a £100,000 investment in XeroE, a zero-emission delivery service that will create new jobs and reduce air pollution.
City Funds is a partnership between Bristol and Bath Regional Capital, Bristol City Council and Quartet Community Foundation. They invest in organisations with an ambition to deliver positive impact across Bristol.
XeroE provide same-day and next-day delivery services and aim to encourage businesses to switch to sustainable, emission-free deliveries. Launching with existing customers Bloom & Wild and Love Yourself, XeroE expect to make 6,000 deliveries each month and to grow to 50,000 by 2024.
Deliveries made by heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and large goods vehicles (LGVs) make up many trips in the city centre, significantly contributing to poor air quality that affects everyone, particularly vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and those with breathing problems.
Bristol is introducing a Clean Air Zone in the summer of 2022 to remove polluting vehicles from the city and encourage businesses and residents to switch to cleaner vehicles or cleaner ways of travelling. The city also has the ambitious target of 95% of all deliveries within the centre will be made by zero-emission vehicles within 10 years.
It is anticipated that the XeroE investment will remove 144,000 kg of carbon dioxide, 500,000g of nitrogen oxide and 12,500g of particulate matter from Bristol’s streets – 6% of the total emissions of created by deliveries in Bristol. XeroE estimate this represents a saving of £23,000 to the NHS.
Supporting Bristol’s inclusive economic recovery and renewal strategy, XeroE will create two full-time Bristol positions to support an anticipated 125 courier positions. All jobs will be Living Wage, with self-employed or PAYE options providing financial security in a sector often reliant on gig workers.
Steve Evans, CEO of XeroE, said: “We’re seeing a large proportion of companies that want to make their deliveries emission free but can’t because there simply aren’t enough emission-free delivery options. With this investment from City Funds, XeroE is now in a position fill that gap and have a significant contribution to Bristol’s air quality.”
XeroE connects people and businesses needing pre-booked and on-demand delivery with drivers of emission-free vehicles such as bikes, cargo bikes, electric cars and vans. In a unique collaboration, XeroE have worked with Imperial College so they can provide businesses with detailed reports on how their deliveries are contributing to environmental, social and sustainable development goals and NHS savings.
Jari Moate, Investment Manager of City Funds at Bristol & Bath Regional Capital said: “Air quality is a challenging problem in Bristol, but we can do something about corporate deliveries immediately. Not only is XeroE bringing an excellent green delivery service to Bristol, but they’re also collecting the data that incentivises any forward-thinking organisation to shift their supply chain decisions. This addresses both an immediate and systemic crisis and City Funds backs it all the way.”
Tech-for-good venture capital investor Bethnal Green Ventures also participated in the investment round, specifically noting the ethical tech cluster in Bristol.
Paul Miller OBE, Managing Partner and CEO, Bethnal Green Ventures said: “We’re delighted to continue our support for XeroE with this investment and continue working in Bristol where we’ve seen such a strong cluster of tech for good and ethical tech startups. Zero emissions delivery and logistics is a rapidly growing commercial opportunity and vital if we’re to achieve net zero and avert a climate catastrophe.”
One of the first funds of its kind in the UK, City Funds brings together investment, grant and local authority support in a coordinated place-based approach to tackling inequality. With different types of funding under one roof, City Funds will strengthen Bristol-based initiatives that are working to solve some of the biggest social and environmental problems the city faces. The fund can invest from £50,000 to £1 million with flexible terms that support social or environmental aims. City Funds is actively seeking opportunities to invest in organisations that support these aims, through its investment advisor Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC).