London's black cabs go carbon neutral
The Radio Taxis Group, one of the largest fleets of iconic black cabs in the Capital, has announced that it is going carbon neutral.It will embark on a programme to measure and reduce carbon dioxide emissions throughout its 3,000 cabs, with a number of projects to offset the remaining unavoidable emissions such as renewable energy schemes in Sri Lanka and Bulgaria and sustainable forestry schemes in the UK and Germany.
In total 24,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent will be saved or absorbed. In addition, the group has committed to cover not only the emissions produced by offices and operations - by switching to green electricity for offices and adopting a company wide environmental policy addressing energy, waste and transport - but also for all emissions created by the 3.8 million passengers who order its cabs every year.
Andrew Herbert, Director at Radio Taxis Group said: "Our aim is to be a responsible business. In the transport sector the challenge is to balance the need to travel with the needs of the environment. Going carbon neutral allows us to take immediate action in the face of climate change, and to put in place a rigorous programme designed to deliver a year-on-year emissions reductions and improvements in our environmental performance."
He added that facing up to climate change made business sense and that corporate and private customers are increasingly concerned about sustainability.
The project, led by Future Forests Ltd, started with an independent audit of emissions by The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management (ECCM), part of the carbon consultancy group ESD Ltd. It calculated the carbon footprint and suggested strategies for reduction of emissions at source.
The move comes shortly after Mayor Livingstone announced he would be making London a low-emissions zone and making all cabs reduce their exhaust emissions (see related story)
Speaking at the launch, Mr Livingstone said: "I congratulate Radio Taxis on making this commitment and hope many other London businesses follow their lead. I recently announced rigorous new emissions standards for London's 20,000 black cabs to help tackle air pollution in London. I am delighted that Radio Taxis have decided to go even further and tackle carbon emissions right across their operations."
By David Hopkins