Driving lessons for young drivers to become carbon neutral
Following a journey to become carbon neutral in 2019, a national driving programme for under-17s has become the first driving school to offer carbon negative driving lessons in the UK.
Young Driver, which teaches 10-17 year olds how to drive at 70 venues across the country, has been working hard to reduce its carbon footprint in a variety of ways. The company is offsetting any carbon produced by the electricity and heating fuel it uses at its venues and head office, and is supporting the annual planting of 1,500 broadleaf trees in the Heart of England Forest. In addition, Young Driver has planted a further 500 oak trees and a wildflower meadow for bees and wildlife at its nine-acre Warwickshire HQ. The land has been used for some time to provide a rehoming sanctuary for ponies and donkeys and as a site for encouraging owls and kestrels.
The company is also working hard to reduce its carbon footprint by working more efficiently and reducing journeys where possible. Where printing is unavoidable, Young Driver is using sustainable paper and has made a conscious effort to reduce its energy usage. The company also takes seriously its responsibility to teach fuel saving driving techniques to all Young Driver pupils, helping the next generation of motorists to reduce their own carbon footprint through education.
Given that driving by its very nature creates emissions, Young Driver is also now offsetting the carbon on the fuel it uses in its vehicles through the Shell Go+ rewards programme. Every time instructors fill up any Young Driver vehicle at a Shell station Shell offsets the emissions by purchasing carbon credits generated from projects that protect and regenerate forests. Last year Young Driver vehicles used almost 200,000 litres of fuel.
Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “We’ve been working very hard to ensure we limit our impact on the environment, and we’re delighted that we can now offer carbon negative driving lessons. The planting and other green initiatives we have in place, along with the offsetting of our fuel by the Shell Go+ rewards programme, means we are removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than our lessons create. Young people today are rightly very environmentally conscious and it’s important that we all do what we can to protect the planet.
“We try to be as environmentally aware as possible both at our offices and at our driving events, avoiding single use plastic where possible, using recycled materials and carbon capture paper, and recycling everything we can. We plan the most eco-efficient use of our teams and our new fleet of Vauxhall Corsa SE Premiums, and we hope to add electric vehicles to our offering in the near future. Our instructors also educate youngsters on how to drive in the most environmentally conscious way, such as avoiding heavy braking and anticipating the road ahead, so it can become second nature to them before they even pass their test.”
Young Driver has also become a Shell Go+ rewards programme partner, providing a 10% discount off lessons to customers who are signed up to the scheme.