Branson on biofuels – later this week

Sir Richard Branson has done an interview with Saab Great Britain. It’ll be posted on their SaabBioPower website later this week (Thursday, to be precise). They’ve sent out a little teaser to get us all interested.

Speaking exclusively to, Sir Richard Branson has revealed why he is such a staunch supporter of new environmentally-friendly fuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel. He also talks candidly to Saab about the steps he is personally taking to reduce his carbon footprint, and his vision of creating the first carbon-neutral resort in the Caribbean, on his home of Necker Island.

“I believe we need to make a virtue out of investing in clean technology and renewable energy and not be ashamed to want to make profits out of it,” Sir Richard told the Saab website. “For too long, environmentally-friendly technology and issues about the environment have been seen as a corporate social responsibility issue and not an opportunity to create new wealth in the future. Governments alone cannot solve the problems we face unless the capitalist world invests in a sustainable future,” he said.

The full interview with Sir Richard Branson will be published on on Thursday 26th April.

Last November, Sir Richard pledged to reinvest all the profits from his transport companies over the next ten years into renewable energy, including bioethanol. Shortly after, he became the first owner of a Saab 9-5 2.3t BioPower in the UK, at which point he remarked: I am convinced that biofuels are the way forward, both for the car and aviation industries, which is a vision we share with Saab. Now we need to extend that vision to others. At the moment, bioethanol is made from a variety of agricultural sources, whilst in the future, we will see it made from cellulosic waste matter, such as wood chippings, which really will make it the ultimate green fuel.”

It’s good to see Saab GB continue to push the issue with BioPower. Branson’s a great figure to have on side, too. Like him or not, he gets attention and generally speaking, gets things done. Here’s an additional snippet from the press release on how he’s planning to invest in the technology in the future.

In 2006, the Virgin Group announced that all profits and equity realisations over the next ten years from the group’s worldwide transport companies, including Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains in the UK, would be invested in the renewable energy sector. The amount to be invested is expected to be some £1.6bn. Virgin Fuels is expected to be one of the beneficiaries and has already invested in bioethanol production and will conduct research and development into alternative transport fuels, including bioethanol and an alternative biofuel for aviation.

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  1. he’s a good guy. i enjoyed his book.

    i do wonder though, how much he drives his 9-5 as opposed to being chauffeured around. 😉

  2. Swade – again I was just wondering when I saw the month-long Climate Week programme on BBC – there in full glory and glare from the media having Sir Richard Branson standing, sitting and exiting the 9-5 BioPower. Why did they not cream this off earlier and ram it up into the noses of those snobs as far as Saab is concerned? There is no mistaking it on that piece: you can see the 9-5 BioPower very clear. It is unmistakeable!

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