The historic British carmaker has many winged friends.
If there's one thing Bentley's known for, truth be told, it isn't their conservation efforts. The British luxury marque, whose most practical current vehicle is arguably the Bentayga - a 443-horsepower land yacht that costs as much as a small house - has nonetheless spent rather a lot of time and effort to make its Crewe, England production facility more environmentally friendly in recent years. The plant is home to some 30,000 individual solar panels - 20,000 on the factory roof, and another 10,000 in the parking lot - and is certified carbon-neutral. A few years ago, the Crewe plant branched out into beekeeping, establishing a total of five hives on the property and housing an estimated 300,000 bees.
And today, Bentley's Crewe plant is expanding its conservation efforts still more, installing wooden box houses to support local bird and bat populations.
"Birds and bats naturally occur in the local environment around Crewe, so we decided that we could provide some homes for them," Andrew Robertson, Bentley's Head of Site Planning, told Autocar. "We started last year with six bird boxes and decided we could expand that this year and get a little more adventurous."
Like the bee hives, the bird and bat boxes are sourced from an outside firm, but Bentley does send them through its wood shop - not to be treated with quilted leather and a stained wood veneer, but so that the Bentley logo can be expertly carved into the face of each box.
"There's no certificate for increasing the biodiversity of a car park," Robertson admits. "But it's the right thing to do."
Bentley's far from done with its Crewe conservation efforts, mind you; next year, the plant plans to grow its bee population to about a million, and after that, Robertson wants to start collecting rainwater at the facility to make it water-neutral. By 2030, the whole Bentley brand is aiming to be end-to-end carbon-neutral, meaning that both its manufacturing sites and its car models will introduce no new carbon into the atmosphere, with every new Bentley vehicle running on a strict diet of electrons.
It's not the first thing anyone would expect from a British luxury carmaker, but Bentley's efforts reflect the more environmentally conscious times in which we live.