Diamond geezers their companies
IN today’s tough economic climate, keeping a business going can be a challenge, and it’s all too easy to let things like environmental concerns fall by the wayside.
Not so for two Peterborough businesses, Diamond Cars and Riverford Organics at Sacrewell, who are both doing their bit to be green.
Of the two of these, perhaps the most surprising is Diamond Cars, the first taxi firm to be working with Green Festival organisers Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT).
As part of the festival theme of ‘do one thing’, PECT has been urging local taxi firms to switch off their car engines when stationary.
Stewart Payn, green festival coordinator, said: “There are around 650 registered taxis in Peterborough. If each taxi switched off its engine for just 10 minutes a day, this could save an estimated £401,822 per year in petrol.
“It would also reduce the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere by over eight tonnes per year.”
“There is a common myth that it takes more fuel to turn the engine off and back on again than it does to leave it standing. But according to the Energy Saving Trust, modern cars use virtually no extra fuel when they are re-started without pressing the accelerator.
“They suggest it is better to turn off the engine if you’re going to be stationary for more than a minute or two.”
Diamond Cars has already pledged to ‘do one thing’ by switching engines off.
The company is also the first taxi firm to sign up to green accreditation scheme Investors in the Environment – and has already implemented various initiatives towards a greener environment.
Tariq Iqbal, business development manager for Diamond Cars said: “It is unnecessary to leave engines running for prolonged amounts of time while waiting for fares.
“Switching them off is an easy way to save money and help the environment. All taxi firms in Peterborough should aim to reduce the time they leave their engines running, and there really is no reason not to.
“We at Diamond Cars are proud to be doing our bit for the environment and leading the way in the industry.”
While a taxi firm pledging to be green is perhaps unusual, it will come as no surprise that Riverford Organics – the company that produces and delivers organic veg boxes around the area – is seriously committed to being green.
However, what is impressive is the scale and thought put into Riverford’s green efforts.
The farm at Sacrewell has been fully organic for three years, and for the food not grown on-site, Riverford tries to source it as locally as possible, with asparagus coming from March and mushrooms from Yaxley.
Of course some fruit and vegetables simply can’t be sourced in the local area, or even in this country, and for those, Riverford has a policy of never air freighting.
The company is also choosy about what it does import.
General manager Gordon Twigg said: “We don’t import things that are obviously out of season locally - we don’t bring Spanish strawberries in, for example. It’s things that can’t be grown here that get imported, oranges, clementines, that kind of thing.”
Aside from the food, Riverford tries to consider the environment in other aspects of the business. An efficient transport system means that trucks do not go out half loaded and local delivery trucks are also usually full, making each journey worthwhile.
Riverford keeps packaging to a minimum, only wrapping things like mushrooms and tomatoes, and encourages customers to return packaging for re-use or recycling.
At Sacrewell, the lights in warehouses are on sensor switches so they’re not left on when no one is there. The chiller doors close automatically meaning they are not left open and therefore don’t require extra energy to keep cool.
Staff are encouraged to be as ecofriendly as possible, and there is an unofficial car pool, which sees about four cars a day arrive at Sacarewell with four people in each one.
Gordon said that being green is a key consideration throughout the company.
“The whole company has that ethos, and has done right from when it was founded in Devon. For me having worked for other companies it’s a lot easier to be green here than in other places because it’s second nature,” he said.
‘SECOND NATURE’: Gordon Twigg said it’s easy to be green when working for Riverford Organics.