A HUNTINGDONSHIRE chauffeur business is believed to be the first in Cambridgeshire – and maybe the first in Britain – to adopt a deliberate carbon-neutral policy. Conscious that its three 7 Series BMW prestige vehicles, in spite of their diesel engines de
A HUNTINGDONSHIRE chauffeur business is believed to be the first in Cambridgeshire - and maybe the first in Britain - to adopt a deliberate carbon-neutral policy.
Conscious that its three 7 Series BMW prestige vehicles, in spite of their diesel engines delivering 35-40mpg, were delivering tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, Pidley-based Cachet Cars resolved to minimise its impact on the environment.
"We calculate how many tonnes of CO2 we throw into the atmosphere and we buy into schemes that balance that. It may be tree-planting, but some of the more impressive schemes are in the third world. It could be building hydro-electric generation to prevent burning fossil fuels," owner Andrew Chitty told The Hunts Post.
The company's other two luxury saloons are driven by his son Brett and son-in-law Charlie Beaumont, a former Cambridge taxi driver. The firm was set up two-and-a-half years ago after Mr Chitty senior had been made redundant from his job as a supply chain manager in St Neots.
"We are conscious that these are big cars. The firms we use work out how much we need to spend to balance that. So far we have bought the equivalent of 60 tonnes. How long it will last depends on how many miles we do. When that's finished we'll buy some more, just as you might top up a phone card," Mr Chitty explained.
"There is no commercial return and theoretically it puts us at a commercial disadvantage. But our customers think it's brilliant - even if the next thing many of them do is get onto an aeroplane."
Most of Cachet Cars' business is in airport runs for corporate clients, though the three drivers - together with a few carefully-selected sub-contractors - also specialise in wedding work.
"We thought it showed a mature attitude to a serious issue. We were really uneasy about the contribution we were making to global warming. But it doesn't seem to do us any harm to be carbon neutral. The business is growing. We get a lot of referrals. Our repeat business is almost 100 per cent and we are looking to expand."
INFORMATION: Cachet Cars is at Noggins, Warboys Road, Pidley, PE28 3DA. Telephone: 0845 602 4641. Fax: 0871 900 6301. http://www.cachetcars.com