Private sector must take 'collective responsibility' in battle against climate change, Bayford Group owner says

One of Yorkshire’s leading entrepreneurs has called for a “collective responsibility” to tackle the climate emergency as he embarked on a new multi-million pound green energy venture.

Jonathan Turner, the owner of the Bayford Group
Jonathan Turner, the owner of the Bayford Group

The pressing need to turn to increasingly environmentally-friendly living has risen to the top of the political agenda, with governments across the globe pledging to take radical measures to prevent global warming.

However, Jonathan Turner, the owner of the Bayford Group, was warned that the private sector also urgently needs to take responsibility to help in the battle against climate change.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Mr Turner has made a multi-million pound investment in a green energy company, Raw Charging, as he looks to expand his diverse business empire, which already includes more traditional energy firms, property investment, development and letting as well as hospitality.

The move will see Mr Turner expand his interests in the rapidly growing market of electric vehicles, providing charging points across the nation.

He said: “There needs to be a collective responsibility not just among governments, but also among the business world to help tackle the climate crisis.

“It seemed obvious to me to invest in Raw Charging, the revolution in electric vehicles is the way we will have to go if people still want to have mobility and be able to travel. The investment is about ensuring my business is here in the future, but it is also about ensuring that the world is too.”

The Bayford Group, which celebrated its centenary in 2019, has its origins in far more traditional energy sources, beginning as a coal merchants in Leeds a year after the end of the First World War.

Moving into oil distribution in the early 1960s and then into petrol retailing in 1969, the company then began to diversify into property investment and development, opencast coal mining, shipping, electronics, pollution prevention and fuel cards.

However, it is the latest venture that Mr Turner, who completed a family management buy-out of the Bayford Group in 2004, has claimed is among the most exciting directions which his company has taken.

Data published by the Government earlier this year revealed the growth in the charging points for electric vehicles.

The figures released by the Department for Transport in April showed there were 22,790 public electric vehicle charging devices available in the UK.

The number of devices increased by 2,015, up nearly 10 per cent on the previous quarter from October to December last year.The shift away from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric-powered modes of transport is seen as key to achieving the Government’s ambitious targets to slash carbon emissions.

Sales of electric vehicles have risen dramatically, and they are expected to overtake purchases of petrol and diesel cars by 2025, according to Autotrader. A ban on the sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK is due to be introduced in 2030.

The Government announced in April that it was setting the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law to reduce emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.