At Green Tomato Cars, we are continually striving to improve the environmental credentials of our operations and be the greenest private hire vehicle company that we can be. It’s always gratifying to be recognised for those efforts, and as we were recently named as one of the top 25 sustainable companies in the UK, we thought we’d pay the compliment forward.

Sustainable Companies in the UK

Below are five of our favourites from the list above, including reasons why they’ve inspired us and how we hope to emulate them in our business practices. For those of the opinion that environmentalism and enterprise are not comfortable bedfellows, these five trailblazers provide plenty of food for thought.

1) BBC Earth

We feel very fortunate to have worked with the BBC for several years now and are continually impressed by their dedication to environmental practices. As well as sponsoring carbon calculator project Albert, which helps TV and film companies to monitor and minimise the emissions produced by their activities, BBC Earth is also aiming to positively impact other industries as well.

The organisation is renowned for its important work in raising the profile of environmental issues, especially through the Blue Planet series, while it has also launched a sustainable brand of evening wear to make inroads into the world of fashion. By providing taxi and private hire services for BBC Earth – and as official transport partner of Albert – we hope to make our small but significant contribution to their sustainable business model.

2) Celtic Renewables

As they are involved in the automotive industry, Celtic Renewables are a company close to our heart. Based in Edinburgh, the business is a global pioneer in using by-products from the whisky industry as a vehicular fuel. A mere 10% of the produce used in a distillery will end up in a cask; the remaining 90% is largely comprised of draff and pot ale.

Celtic Renewables have taken the ingenious step of combining these two substances to create a range of sustainable products, including biobutanol. Given our drive to use only low- or zero-emissions fuels in our fleet of vehicles (hydrogen or electricity), we feel that we are kindred spirits with the Scottish company and have the highest regard for their business values.

3) Grow Bristol

Food security is a prime concern for environmentalists in the UK and beyond, given the ballooning world populace, the onward grind of climate change and the depleting resources of Mother Earth. Grow Bristol aim to circumvent all of those problems via modern farming methods, including the use of hydroponics, vertical farming and controlled environments.

Thanks to these innovations, Grow Bristol have successfully struck upon a method of cultivating top-quality produce all throughout the year, all the while dispensing with pesticides and caring for the environment. While our operations don’t necessarily overlap with agriculture, we try to do our part by planting nearly 200 trees every year as part of a community project.

4) MacRebur Roads

Another company closely involved in the automotive industry, MacRebur Roads tackle the twin issues of plastic pollution and the hazards (and expense) of damaged road surfaces. They take non-recyclable plastic waste and incorporate it into their asphalt mix, using the equivalent of 1.8 million plastic bottles for every kilometre of road surface.

This helps to create a circular economy within the automotive and plastic waste industries, minimising pollution from the latter and boosting the sustainability of the former. These are values which we treasure highly and we aim to underline the carbon neutrality of our operations by offsetting unavoidable emissions through world-leading programmes.

5) Triodos Bank

In an industry that is all too often concerned with profit margins and bottom lines as opposed to green practices, Triodos Bank are a breath of fresh air. While still providing all of the services that the retail banking consumer requires, including current accounts, savings accounts, investment funds and ISAs, Triodos also provide crowdfunding opportunities and business loans – with one condition.

Each company which Triodos lends money to must prove that it is worthy of the loan, by demonstrating how it gives back to society. This contribution can come in the form of a cultural, environmental or societal benefit, but all the details of approved deals are visible on the Triodos website for anyone concerned about their transparency.

While we don’t deal in high finance, we also aim to provide services that real people need, all the while doing our own bit to be help the planet like these sustainable companies.