A Northumberland taxi company has invested with the aim of becoming the most environmentally friendly transport service in the region.
EcoCabs, based in Hexham, is a taxi and minibus company with a fleet of over 30 electric, hybrid and low emission taxis, people carriers and minibuses that operate in Northumberland.
Founded in 2006 by Matthew Kirkby, the company was one of the first companies to run its biodiesel fleet, and during the pandemic lockdown, it sought to use its time to invest in the business to improve its operations. ecological references.
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The company has secured Â£ 70,000 in funding from Lloyds Bank, helping them speed up refurbishment plans for their main workshop.
It added a sustainable drainage system, an on-site gray water recycling plant and new solar panels to help recharge the electric fleet – a move that allowed the company to disconnect 100% from the grid.
EcoCabs also used the lockdown downtime to replace any remaining diesel taxis with electric or hybrid cars to help propel the company towards net zero status – something it hopes to achieve by 2025.
The company also continued its Northumberland forestry initiative, a commitment to plant a tree after every customer review to help further offset the company’s carbon footprint. About 1,000 trees have now been planted in Northumberland, and the company plans to plant more as business picks up after the lockdown.
Mr Kirby, Managing Director of EcoCabs, said: âFrom day one I have strived to make the business as sustainable as possible and to truly understand the green technology needed to support my ambitions, I have followed courses in decarbonisation and environmental sciences.
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âAlthough the pandemic has been disruptive, it has given us the opportunity to pursue our sustainable ambitions and the support of Lloyds Bank has put us in a position to achieve our green ambitions.
âThe changes we have made have helped us make great strides towards achieving net zero status. In the coming weeks, we hope to implement a new system that will allow us to internally recycle our own plastic and commercial waste in the near future to further minimize our environmental impact.
Elaine Gill, Relationship Manager at Lloyds Bank, said: âThe North East’s green credentials have grown stronger in recent years and companies like EcoCabs are playing a leading role in reducing our region’s carbon footprint.
âWe have worked with Matthew and the EcoCabs team for a decade now and have seen the company continually innovate to become more sustainable, while maintaining first class service for customers.
âWe are proud to have helped the company achieve its green ambitions and with COP26 on the horizon, we will continue to support businesses in the region as they strive to reduce their carbon emissions and make lasting change â.