Helping the next generation of drivers be more eco-friendly
by Becky Harrison |
posted 21 August 2019
Young Driver has announced it is to plant 1,200 trees this year to help offset Carbon Dioxide (CO2) produced by its vehicles. The UK’s largest pre-17 driving school will be supporting the planting of 1,000 broadleaf trees in the Heart of England Forest, and a further 200 oak trees within its own rural headquarters.
With the aim of offsetting the combined 191 tonnes of CO2 created each year by the 168 strong fleet of vehicles used by Young Drivers, the company wants to make a positive and practical contribution.
A tree can absorb as much as one tonne of CO2 by the time it is 40 years old, and Young Driver will continue to plant more trees every year. They have also planted a wildflower meadow for bees and wildlife at its nine-acre Warwickshire base and is using the land to provide a rehoming sanctuary for hedgehogs and as a site for owl boxes.
Offering lessons to 10-17-year olds at 65 venues across the country, Young Driver has put another environmental initiative in place by teaching pupils how to be environmentally conscious drivers. Teaching ‘green driving’ practices ahead of time, such as a light touch on the throttle and brakes, as well as switching the engine off whenever possible, is thought to have a positive impact on the environment as well as the future drivers.
Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “Our customers are 10-17-year olds who represent the next generation of motorists. The environment is of great concern to them and moving Young Driver toward being a carbon neutral company is a crucial objective.”
Additionally, the school has stopped the sale of single use plastic bottles at its events and is only using fully recyclable bottles and cups with recycling bins on site. Young Driver also plans to introduce dual control electric vehicles to the fleet in 2020.
“For several years we’ve been cultivating a green haven at our head office, and carefully planning the most eco-efficient use of our teams and our fleet of Vauxhall Corsas, but we wanted to do more,” adds Waterfield. “We plan to keep planting trees every year, eventually creating our own area within the forest, and we hope it might be something our pupils get involved in with us in the future.”
An ambitious charity, The Heart of England Forest is working hard to create a huge new woodland in the heart of the country that will benefit people and wildlife for many generations.
At only 13%, Britain has one of the lowest percentages of tree cover in Europe, and the Heart of England forest is situated in Warwickshire and Worcestershire, an area dense in cities, towns and industry. Its goal is to reach 30,000 acres of semi contiguous forest by planting 13 million native broadleaf trees.
Karen Woodgate, partnerships director at the Heart of England Forest, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with Young Driver as they commit to a number of exciting new green initiatives across their business. Together we can make a real and lasting positive difference for the environment, people, and wildlife.”