Luxury car manufacturer receives recycling certification
British car manufacturer Bentley has taken another step in delivering its class-leading environmental strategy. Bentley now guarantees 85 % recyclability (or 95 % recoverability) of materials for all its current Continental models, becoming one of the first carmakers in the luxury vehicle bracket to take such a step as well as providing environmental friendly recycling or recovery at the end of the car’s life.
This recycling achievement has now received official recognition from the German Motor Transport Authority (KBA). In a ceremony in Berlin, KBA’s President Ekhard Zinke presented the official European-wide certificates to Dr. Arno Homburg, head of Whole Vehicle Development at Bentley Motors.
‘Our environment policy is based on sustainable principles and we take a holistic view of the whole process. At the design stage we consider the environmental impact of all components over the entire life of the car. This is despite the fact that over 70% of all Bentleys ever produced are still in existence – our cars tend to end up as collectors’ items rather than scrap. This is part of our responsibility as a car maker to contribute to environmental improvements, as demonstrated by this certification,’ commented Dr. Homburg.
‘It’s great to see a luxury car manufacturer showing commitment in this area. Our rigorous standards have to apply to niche products, too. As a European permits authority, the KBA verifies the reusability, recyclability and disposability of cars,’ said Ekhard Zinke, explaining the objectives of the certification procedure.
By meeting such stringent recycling standards, Bentley guarantees that other industries will be able to reutilise or otherwise reprocess the vast majority of materials used in the construction of its cars. Consistent use of these types of resources has coincided with improvements in manufacturing processes. Use of gas, water and electricity consumption has declined by around a quarter over the last nine years, although the number of cars produced has increased by up to ten times over the same period.
The recycling certificate is part of a comprehensive environmental strategy that the British carmaker is following. Apart from improving the environmental output of manufacturing, the strategy sets out a timetable for the introduction of new environmentally friendly technologies into the cars themselves. The company has already launched its first serial model – the Bentley Continental Supersports, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, which can be powered by either gasoline or ethanol, a fuel which can markedly reduce carbon emissions on a well-to-wheel basis. As a pioneer in the luxury market, Bentley is paving the way for a customer shift towards alternative fuels. By 2012, all Bentley models will be available with flex fuel technology. This will be complimented by additional engineering measures including a new powertrain which will by itself be capable of delivering a 40% reduction in fuel consumption. Overall, Bentley has committed to reduce the CO2 performance of its fleet by 15% by 2012.
Dr. Homburg elaborated on the company’s long-term objectives: ‘Bentley is remaining true to its unique combination of performance, craftsmanship and comfort, but we still want to play our part in saving resources at the luxury end of the carmaking industry.