LV= GI launches new ethical standard for its branded bodyshop repair network

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LV= General Insurance (LV= GI) has launched a new ethical standard for its branded bodyshop repair network.

As the first of its kind in the car insurance industry, the Green Heart Standard has been established to ensure that suppliers within the LV= GI network meet the company’s corporate social responsibility goals and also become a ‘greener’ supplier.

As part of the new initiative, which has been in development for almost a year, LV= GI has been working in partnership with all 22 branded bodyshops around the UK to implement six new principles, aligned to the insurer’s social purpose pillars of environment and sustainability, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing and responsible business.

The six principles of the Green Heart Standard are:

Carbon neutral and PAS 2060: sites will need to achieve carbon neutral status and receive a PAS 2060 certification. Developed by the British Standards Institution, this certification sets out the requirements for achieving and demonstrating carbon neutrality.

Electric vehicles (EV): LV= GI launched the UK’s first bespoke electric vehicle insurance policy two years ago, and to help increase the adoption of EVs, LV= GI-branded bodyshops will offer customers who drive petrol or diesel cars the opportunity to drive an EV courtesy car while their car is being repaired. LV= GI will provide financial support to branded bodyshops that achieve PAS 2060 and the Green Heart Standard in delivering this.

Green parts: the use of green and safe, traceable, recycled parts as part of an environmentally aware repair service—as long as the customer is happy—as well as paint and materials that are classified as sustainable products. LV= GI is currently running a pilot with Synetiq, a UK salvage and green parts provider, to develop this service.

Diversity and equality in the workforce: the development of programmes to promote and ensure diversity and inclusion, ensuring all employees are treated equally and fairly. This could include a gender and ethnicity employee ratio, aligned diversity and inclusion training, and bespoke employee policies and processes.

Mental health awareness: all sites to have structured employee policies, involve external companies for mental health support and training, provide the opportunity for employees to sign up to healthcare schemes, and appoint mental health champions.

Apprenticeships: a set of requirements to be in place that outlines a clear structure for apprentice training. Examples of this could be an alignment to a regulated training school or an agreed target for the ratio of employed apprentices in the sites.

LV= GI will help its branded bodyshops along the journey to achieving the Green Heart Standard, and on reaching it will receive a plaque to recognise their approval rating across the six social purpose pillars. 

Michael Golding, network manager at LV= GI, said: “We’ve been working on creating this standard for almost a year, so it’s great to now see it launch and be shared with our branded bodyshops repair network. We know that customers increasingly want to buy products and services from companies that have a positive influence on society, and with the Green Heart Standard we want to make sure that our customers know that the sites are looking after their cars and the environment at the same time.”

“This includes access to electric vehicles as courtesy cars, green parts, as well as paint and materials that are sustainable products. It’s also incredibly important to us that our branded bodyshops are looking after their people, especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion, mental health and wellbeing and apprenticeships.”

“So far it’s been really well received and we look forward to working with our branded bodyshops to help them achieve the standard over the coming months.”

Earlier this year, ABL Redhill became the first LV= GI sole site to achieve PAS 2060, followed by AW Repair in March, which became the first bodyshop group in the UK to achieve the carbon neutral standard.

The Vella Group and Halo have also achieved this status, bringing the total number of LV= GI carbon neutral branded bodyshops to seven.

Others, including Gemini and Rye Group, are on course to achieve the PAS 2060 at their LV= GI-branded bodyshops before the end of June 2021, with Bennetts, Apollo and Artis expected to follow later this year.

By the end of 2022, all 22 branded bodyshops should be able to achieve the carbon neutral standard.

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk