Beyond100: Bentley targets carbon-neutrality by 2030 and ‘climate positivity’ in the long-term

Bentley's factory and HQ in Crewe were certified as carbon neutral last year

At a virtual media briefing today (5 November), the Crewe-based business unveiled a new sustainability and business strategy entitled Beyond100. Its headline commitment is to deliver carbon neutrality by 2030 and for the company to capture and sequester more carbon than it emits after this point.

This commitment, Bentley explained, is “end-to-end”, covering its upstream emissions and those generated by the drivers of its vehicles. The business has reduced its upstream and operational emissions by 30% since 2010 and is targeting a further 25% reduction within five years. It will apply learnings from its carbon-neutral headquarters and factory to achieve this aim. The facility is powered by 100% renewable electricity, largely from onsite solar arrays.

Beyond100 also outlines updated plans for electrifying Bentley’s portfolio to tackle its main source of Scope 3 (indirect) emissions. The brand will launch two new plug-in hybrid electric models in 2021 and will remove petrol engines from its model line-up by 2026. By 2030, it will stop producing petrol and hybrid cars altogether and only offer fully electric models.

Bentley will use offsetting to address residual emissions and will source Gold-Standard-verified carbon credits. These will contribute to forest creation, conservation and restoration schemes and projects bringing clean cooking fuels to those in developing nations.

Before Beyond100 was launched, Bentley had been targeting carbon neutrality by 2050. The firm’s chairman and chief executive Adrian Hallmark said the new strategy will lead to a “reinvention of the company”.

“Driving this change includes, and also goes beyond our products, delivering a paradigm shift throughout our business, with credibility, authenticity and integrity,” Hallmark said. “Within a decade, Bentley will transform from a 100-year-old luxury car company to a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury.”  

The end of the road for the ICE?

New petrol and diesel car sales are currently set to be banned in the UK from 2035. Boris Johnson brought the deadline forward from 2040 but is now facing mounting pressure to bring it forward once more, in light of the UK’s 2050 net-zero target and position as COP26 host.

Johnson was reportedly set to formally announce a 2030 date earlier this autumn, as part of a broader ten-point plan for delivering a green recovery. This was shelved, however, as the Cabinet worked to implement the three-tier system for preventing the spread of Covid-19, and, more recently, the second full national lockdown.

It is hoped that the plan will come back to the table in the coming weeks – particularly as the Agriculture Bill and Environment Bill are now progressing through Parliament. The Financial Times has reported that the plan will cover hydrogen production and infrastructure; carbon capture and storage (CCS); low-carbon synthetic fuels for aviation and small modular reactors. On the latter, the Conservative Party has pledged to create a nuclear fusion facility by 2040. Solar and onshore wind appear to be absent from the plan. 

Sarah George

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