Bentley’s global sustainability initiative commemorates highly successful first 12 months and 3 new partnerships

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Bentley Environmental Foundation - Hubbub

The Bentley Environmental Foundation celebrated its first anniversary this week with the announcement of three new partnerships.

The latest group of organisations – Hubbub, Forum for the Future and Renewable World – to join the Foundation takes the total number of partners to ten in just 12 months, further reflecting Bentley’s ongoing ambitions to help preserve and regenerate the planet for future generations.    

UK-based charity Hubbub brings businesses, organisations, local authorities and community groups together to create environmental campaigns. Last year, the award-winning charity delivered 49 projects, encouraging over six million people to think differently about environmental issues. A Hubbub poll found 78 per cent of people felt better after spending time in nature, yet more than a third spent less than an hour a week doing so. With support from the Foundation, Hubbub plans to bring people closer to nature by connecting community-led green spaces across the UK, with work starting this summer.

Forum for the Future is a leading international non-profit that, for the last 28 years, has been working to accelerate the shift towards a just and regenerative future. Through a series of partnerships with governments, businesses and local groups, Forum has focussed attention on how we produce, consume and think about our food and energy.

Forum’s ‘Business Transformation Compass’, launched in 2021, urged companies to step up to sustainability challenges and put people and the planet at the heart of their response. The Foundation will support a new phase of the project, developing and sharing revised guidance on how businesses can drive lasting change along with real-world examples of trailblazing businesses already putting theory into practice.

Renewable World enable people living in poverty to transform their lives by improving their access to clean energy, empowering them to develop sustainable and resilient livelihoods, and mitigating the impact of climate change. The Foundation will be supporting The CLASS Project in western Nepal’s Banke National Park, which will pilot clean energy approaches to improve livelihoods, conservation, safety and sustainability.     

Part of the luxury marque’s industry-leading Beyond100 strategy, the Bentley Environmental Foundation highlights the company’s ongoing commitment to supporting sustainability initiatives on a global scale. In its first 12 months, the Foundation’s existing seven partners have already achieved a number of key milestones. These include:

  • A series of SeaTrees projects in Kenya, Spain and Portugal have resulted in the planting of over 200,000 mangrove trees, the restoration of 15,000 m2 of seagrass and the creation of local jobs 
  • Both SeaTrees and river clean-up charity everwave have also featured in the BBC’s Blue Horizons documentary series
  • Foundation funding has successfully transitioned the Biomimicry Institute’s Ray of Hope Prize from a ten-week prize competition into a six-month accelerator, with a series of new start-ups due to be announced shortly
  • Elsewhere, Blue Marine Foundation funding supported a scientific expedition in the Dominican Republic – the investment ensured the country committed to protecting over 30 per cent of its waterways 
  • A Volkswagen Group collaboration with the Audi Environmental Foundation and the Ferry Porsche Foundation in Thailand will start collecting over 20 tons of river waste every month, while a new education programme will raise awareness of the problem of river waste
  • Last month (May 2024), the Bentley Environmental Foundation welcomed the launch of Drawdown’s Capital Coalition. The new initiative for impact investors and philanthropists guides private capital to strategic, science-based climate solutions, all under the watchful eye of Dr. Jonathan Foley
  • Finally, closer to the Bentley headquarters in Crewe, England, a project with The River’s Trust is well underway to regenerate the Valley Brook River, with two traineeships improving local environmental skills

Beyond the impact of philanthropy alone, the Bentley Environmental Foundation has enjoyed further achievements. Alumni of the Biomimicry Institute’s Ray of Hope Prize pitched to Bentley’s own design department, inspiring its internal team to consider the further integration and application of nature-inspired projects. A ‘Let’s Talk Sustainability’ forum was created to discuss sustainability topics, hosted by Bentley’s expert partners for more than 4,000 colleagues in Crewe. 

Meanwhile, volunteering opportunities for Bentley colleagues have been hosted throughout the year, with integrated content from Foundation partners also added to the company’s eAcademy curriculum. Bentley also continues to inspire and educate early career colleagues by providing placements via the Foundation, who have recently become proud members of the Environmental Funders Network and Catalyst 2030.    

Commenting on the new partnerships, Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub, said:

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Bentley Foundation to increase both access and connection to nature for communities across the UK. Our work together will support grass roots community-led green spaces to thrive, which will lead to multiple environmental and wellbeing improvements for those who use them.”    

Dr Sally Uren OBE, Forum for the Future’s Chief Executive, said:

“At Forum for the Future, we believe the next wave of sustainability will be centred around a ‘just and regenerative’ mindset – one that puts people and planet at the heart of responses to the issues we face. That’s why we’re partnering with the Bentley Environmental Foundation. Together, we will update the ‘Business Transformation Compass’, which originally launched in 2021. The revised toolkit is set to inspire by providing real-world examples from trailblazer companies already putting guidance into practice. Forum will also step up its outreach – working alongside business schools to reach future generations of business leaders.”

Eamon Cassidy, CEO of Renewable World, added:

“We are delighted by our new partnership with the Bentley Environmental Foundation. Our partnership will support communities and other stakeholders seeking to build sustainable livelihoods, tackle climate change and reduce human-wildlife conflict. This is a great opportunity to test a package of recently piloted technologies, such as bag biodigesters, and to adapt proven technologies, such as solar powered water lifts, in a new context. And it’s a valuable chance to engage others in taking our solutions to scale and creating equitable and lasting change elsewhere in Nepal and beyond.”

Wayne Bruce, Chief Communications and DEI Officer at Bentley Motors, and responsible for the Bentley Environmental Foundation, commented:

“Bentley launched the Foundation 12 months ago with a £3 million donation for environmental projects worldwide. Since then, we have witnessed a series of major partnership successes that have already acted as a springboard to even greater achievements. As Bentley aims to be a leader in sustainable luxury mobility, the Foundation will simultaneously strive to target next generation solutions to global environmental challenges. Better still, we invite anybody to donate and join us in being a part of something truly extraordinary.”

More on the three new partnerships:

Hubbub

Hubbub is an award-winning environmental charity that’s all about inspiring action that’s good for the environment and for everyone. They bring businesses, organisations, local authorities and community groups together to create campaigns that make it easier and more possible for people to make choices that are good for the environment. In 2023, the charity delivered 49 projects, helping over 6m people think differently about environmental issues, and over 700k take action on it

Forum for the Future

Forum for the Future is a leading international sustainability non-profit with offices in London, New York, Singapore and Mumbai. For more than 25 years, it has been working in partnership with business, governments and civil society to accelerate the shift towards a just and regenerative future in which both people and the planet thrive. Forum is focused on enabling deep transformation in three game-changing areas: how we think about, produce, consume and value both food and energy, and the purpose of business in society and the economy.

Renewable World

1.2 billion people are still living in poverty, inequality is rising, and the world is failing to decarbonise quickly enough to avoid climate disaster. The world’s poorest people contributed little to climate change, yet they are most impacted, and least able to adapt. Through working in partnership, piloting innovation, and delivering systemic locally led projects, Renewable World enable people living in poverty to transform their lives by improving their access to clean energy, empowering them to develop sustainable and resilient livelihoods, and mitigating the impact of climate change.

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