Bentley’s factory in Crewe is actually a fairly green place. With more than 300,000 bees, 30,000 solar panels, and gardens a-plenty, the manufacturer is trying to improve its impact. And its latest effort involves increasing the biodiversity around the plant.
Crewe is the home to endemic bird and bat populations. So Bentley is trying to help the local blue tit and pippistrelle bat populations flourish by building little homes for the creatures.
The manufacturer invited the UK’s Autocar magazine around to help put up the boxes. Although Bentley purchased the bird and bat boxes from a supplier, the British company does have in-house carpenters, so it gave them the opportunity to carve the brand’s logo into the wood before hanging them.
It should be noted here, that the boxes are necessary because of Bentley’s factory-among others. Lest we give the manufacturer too much credit, they aren’t actually helping the local wildlife, they’re just lessening the impact of their factory, to say nothing of the big, thirsty engines they produce.
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Greenwashing notwithstanding, bird boxes are put up because a number of bird species need to hide their nests in dead trees and other places. Beaks struggle to break through factory walls, so bird boxes help them find a place to make a nest.
Bat boxes act in much the same way, except instead of a little hole, there is a letter slot at the top and a bar from which the bats hang.
And although I think Bentley should hardly be celebrated for trying to hurt the local environment a little less, encouraging it and other brands to do better means recognizing the good. And Bentley’s head of site planning, Andrew Robertson, claims the effort to do better is a genuine one.
“There’s no certificate for increasing the biodiversity of a car park,” he told Autocar, “but it’s the right thing to do.”
Robertson’s next effort will be to collect rainwater to make the factory water-neutral. That’s a tough sell in the UK, where the financial benefit of collecting water is limited, but he says the ecological benefit is enough. I imagine the benefit of good press is also a consideration, but hopefully that’s a worthwhile trade.