Who says you can't have luxury with a side of eco-friendliness?
You could argue that one of the biggest signs of the new eco-friendly times is Bentley. It wasn't so long ago that luxury automobile manufacturers didn't really care about being ecologically friendly. Bentley's press statements used to boast about how many cowhides were used to bathe the interior in leather, after all. And let's not forget Bentley engines of old that, while some of the smoothest out there, were ultimately huge gas-guzzlers.
But Bentley has set itself on a new, greener path. Models like the Bentayga Hybrid and Flying Spur Hybrid are evidence that the brand is on that greener path now. Moreover, Bentley has just released further evidence of its new green direction, saying it's now the "world's most sustainable luxury car brand."
Bentley says that 2021, as compared to 2020, was the manufacturer's greenest year. That comes despite the brand increasing production volume by 38.3% in the same timeframe. In total, Bentley says that's 76.7% greener than it was in 2010.
That is in large part thanks to the brand's UK-based Crewe production plant. Much of that was achieved via updates to the factory's systems. Bentley now uses 26% less water thanks to a new 476-gallon rainwater collection tank and water recycling methods, though it says some of this was also thanks to a reduction in domestic water use onsite caused by employees working from home during the pandemic.
Bentley's new green figures aren't just the result of its Crewe plant, however. The UK luxury brand also credits its Pyms Lane assembly site, which reduced its CO2 emissions by 70%. There, Bentley has used green gas and biofuels in onsite logistics vehicles, as well as energy harvested from the Pyms Lane's solar panels. The brand also plans to further extend those panels, which currently consist of 31,500 panels.
It's all part of the "Bentley 100" strategy, Bentley's plant to make sure it is and will always be the most sustainable luxury automaker. So far, it's working. With new electric models well on the way, the brand continues to up its green commitment. It would appear that bragging about cowhides is now a thing of the past for one of the world's oldest brands.