Northern Ireland’s largest family-owned new and used vehicle retailer Donnelly Group has become the first dealer group locally to go ‘carbon neutral’.

The group is helping customers tackle the carbon emissions associated with driving a vehicle by investing in projects to reduce pollution in some of the most impoverished parts of the world.

It has already offset more than 2,823 tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to around 416 return trips from Belfast to Sydney or a mammoth 34,426 return journeys from Belfast to Dublin.

Dave Sheeran, Group Managing Director, Donnelly Group, said:

“As a company, we have a firm commitment to safeguarding and helping to foster a sustainable environment for our customers, staff and the wider community. This scheme plays an important part in those efforts as we pledge to reduce our carbon footprint over the coming years.

“In order to do that, we are offering customers purchasing a vehicle from any one of our 18 manufacturers across Northern Ireland, the opportunity to drive completely carbon neutral for the first year of ownership, by calculating and offsetting the carbon footprint of their first 10,000 miles.”

The initiative has been made possible as Donnelly Group has joined the new Castrol Carbon Neutral Programme supported by BP Target Neutral, and as a result of its efforts, has been certified as a carbon neutral business.

To go carbon neutral, unavoidable emissions are offset with support from BP Target Neutral, which invests in carbon credits from a portfolio of carbon reduction projects around the world.

These include providing energy efficient stoves to rural communities in Peru and Mexico, replacing traditional and potentially harmful open fires, while bio-digesters have been installed in remote villages in India and China enabling local families to cook with biogas for the first time.

Dave commented:

“The diverse range of projects supported by the Carbon Neutral Programme means that, as well as being of tremendous value to those that avail of the opportunity to drive ‘carbon neutral’ locally, the programme makes a major positive impact on hundreds of families across the globe reaffirming our commitment to communities near and far.”

Donnelly Group, which offers vehicles from 18 leading car and van manufacturers including Fiat, Honda, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Vauxhall and others operates from eight locations across Northern Ireland in Ballymena, Belfast, Dungannon Moy Road, Dungannon M1 Complex, Eglinton, Enniskillen, Newtownabbey and Omagh.

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