Switching To The Right Approach
The recent appointment of Dr. Miranda Brawn to the position of Independent Non-Executive Director (iNED) at Switch Mobility’s Corporate Board brings together these interlinked strands: carbon-neutral transport solutions, corporate governance, regulatory and risk management, and DE&I and ESG agendas.
In a freewheeling discussion, Dr. Brawn shared her views on how the electric vehicle industry can spearhead DE&I and ESG agendas as part of the larger sustainability charter. She emphasized that electric vehicles, which are inherently carbon-neutral, are the future of mobility and will be key to combating climate change challenges. That said, the mobility ecosystem will need to embrace every aspect of sustainability in order to realize socially, economically and environmentally coherent practices and create real, long-term value.
Talking of the importance of embracing sustainability from a holistic perspective, Dr. Brawn highlighted that ESG-driven investments into clean technology solutions and environmentally conscious practices represent only one side of the sustainability coin. The other is DE&I which leads with socially inclusive and equitable approaches, backed by governance commitments.
Elaborating on this idea, she added that actively encouraging work force diversity –whether in terms of gender or race, disability or sexual orientation – across all levels of the organization, particularly at top decision-making levels, can strengthen resilient & responsible, collaborative & creative, inclusive & innovative growth.
For Dr. Brawn, the idea of inclusiveness extends even further to developing products and services that are suitable for all. This could, for example, inform the designs of next generation vans and buses that can be driven by both men and women and by both old and young. For the perennially driver strapped commercial fleet industry, new vehicle design and technology could encourage a new legion of drivers, young and old, to get behind the wheel. Switch is already working towards this goal with the new vehicle design & engineering of its next generation vans.
Dr. Brawn sees technology as catalyzing other positive social impacts in the form of in-vehicle advanced driver assistance systems and health, wellness and wellbeing features that targeted greater comfort, convenience and safety for vehicle occupants/drivers based on their individual, rather than any perceived collective, needs.