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Bentley's #GOTOZERO plan accellerates drive for sustainable luxury from the inside out

September, 10th 2021

The last two months have seen colleagues at Volkswagen Group production sites around the world immerse themselves in #GoToZero projects focusing on environmental sustainability. This week it has been Crewe’s turn and Bentley’s 4,000 colleagues have once again directed their attention to the company’s Beyond100 sustainability initiatives.

Building on the “#Project1Hour” kick off day in April, #GoToZero focused on Bentley’s Beyond100 goal to become end-to-end carbon neutral by 2030, through an emphasis on colleague actions and awareness. The week long programme of knowledge-sharing and best practice was designed to drive long-term change by helping colleagues to better understand their own carbon footprint and identify actions they can adopt on a personal and professional level.

Activities included a knowledge sharing “Extraordinary Talk” from the decarbonisation team and interviews with key sustainability leaders within the business setting out key aspects of the Beyond100 strategy, including how Bentley’s site in Crewe became the first carbon neutral luxury automotive factory in the UK, being certified to PAS 2060 standards by the Carbon Trust.

Practical activities have seen the kick off of a plastics audit and a review of the progress made against the Go Paperless and Power Down initiatives launched in April. A “GEMBA” lean manufacturing walk through the CEVA logistics area highlighted the potential to significantly reduce plastic packaging on fuel and brake line parts. In a similar exercise earlier this year, the team also identified opportunities to eliminate over 1,000m of shrink wrapping per day and reduce outbound seat protection packaging from 13 items to six.

Colleague travel has also been a key focus point, with the upcoming launch of new facilities including a bike repair station to encourage more colleagues to cycle to work, alongside 30 new free to use colleague charging points under Bentley’s 7.7 MW solar array which partly covers the colleague car park. With colleagues now collecting Audi e-trons and Volkswagen ID.3s through the company car scheme, these are now in high demand.

Teams within the business have also played their part on a local level.  Bentley’s logistics team have used the week to create a diverse program of activities designed to take their business area on a journey to zero. This has included daily quizzes and idea generation competitions, plastic and paper reduction challenges, litter picking and collections for a local food bank.

Bentley’s flying bees have not been forgotten, earlier in the summer a 5,600 square metre area was “bee bombed” to provide them with an enhanced natural habitat.

Bentley’s Member of the Board for Manufacturing, Peter Bosch, comments:

#GoToZero is our vision of a zero-impact factory and generates momentum for our efforts to decarbonise our business, reduce waste, recycle and improve resource efficiency, and refocus everyone’s attention on our vision to become leaders in sustainable luxury and our journey to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“Our colleagues are key catalysts for change and harnessing their insights and proving opportunities for them to network and learn from one another is helping to drive further progress from the inside out. It has been great to see the creativity and interest the activities have generated and as board members, we got involved by holding our own workshop to review our programme and identify opportunities to accelerate our journey further still.

“It’s a journey that has gained additional pace with the launch of our second hybrid model, the Flying Spur Hybrid, in June and we are on track to deliver our first full BEV in 2025, before offering BEVs and hybrids only in 2026 and becoming BEV only by 2030.  There is still much more work to do to get there, but I’m convinced that the passion, creativity and commitment our colleagues have shown this week will help us to succeed on our journey.”

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