June 13, 2024
PRESS RELEASES

The DVLA and Thales Cut Carbon Footprint of UK Driving Licence and Residence Cards

The United Kingdom government’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) partners with Thales to reduce the carbon footprint of its driving licences as well as tachograph and residence cards. Since 2018, Thales has cut by over one third the CO2 emissions associated with the 12 million cards it supplies to the DVLA every year, without compromising the outstanding security, durability and value-for-money provided by these products.

The DVLA is responsible for maintaining accurate records of more than 52 million drivers in Great Britain and more than 46 million vehicles across the UK. It is also recognised as a centre of excellence for sourcing and issuing secure national documents. Since 2012, Thales has supplied the DVLA with polycarbonate driving licences, a range of tachograph cards (for operations such as recording and storing the activity of commercial drivers), and residence cards for EU citizens to prove their right to live and work in the UK.

Key initiatives undertaken by Thales include adoption of eco-design principles throughout its identity card portfolio. For example, the size of the contactless microcontrollers embedded in the UK’s tachograph and residence cards has been halved, resulting in an equivalent reduction in CO2 microcontroller emissions while maintaining applications and security features unchanged.

In addition, Thales’ factories manufacturing the cards are accredited to the ISO 50001 standard, which focuses on energy efficiency. All these factories use 100% renewably electricity, accounting for over 70% of their total energy consumption. These improvements resulted in a reduction of over 80% of manufacturing related emissions (scope 1 and 2) since 2018.

For the remaining emissions of DVLA cards and on a yearly basis, Thales invests in high quality carbon offsetting programs with independently recognized carbon compensation organization such as Climate Impact Partners. For the DVLA contract, these include planting forests in the UK, restoring mangroves in Kenya, and distributing clean energy stoves in Bangladesh. In total, Thales has now offset 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions on behalf of the DVLA.

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