July 24 2014 Latest news:
Ben Woods, Business writer
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Businesses with a green conscience are steering a Norwich taxi company towards record growth after helping to revolutionise its low-carbon credentials.
ABC Taxis has signalled its intent to become the city’s pre-eminent cab company and take a larger slice of the market by bolstering its drivers from 130 to 150 by the end of 2014.
It follows a step change for the Green100 business towards buying greener taxis after tendering for contracts with corporate clients that insisted it used low-carbon vehicles.
Such has been the need for its green cabs that it has now added more than 25 low-emission cars since 2013 and secured 30 new business clients – bringing its total number of corporate accounts to 210.
The company, whose clients include Aviva, Marsh and Bond Helicopters, expects turnover to rise to £4.7m this year – up £700,000 on its performance to June 2013.
And it has pinned future growth on an expanding customer appetite for its mobile app, which has taken more than 7,000 booking since the start of this 2014.
Simon Callender, co-director at ABC Taxis, said the city’s economy was starting to strengthen thanks to a resurgence in people going out midweek.
“Norwich seems to be really buzzing again,” he said. “We have noticed that people are coming out more during the week and using taxis. That is a side of the business which pretty much died out during the recession.
“We noticed that more and more people were asking about the Co2 emissions released from our cars when we were tendering for contracts,” he added. “It was then that we decided it was a priority to cut down the carbon footprint of our vehicles.”
The company’s green focus comes ahead of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce’s Sustainability conference on June 12, which will call for a shift in the fabric of Norfolk’s economy towards low-carbon businesses that help the environment.
Paul Walker, co-director, said: “People are simply becoming more aware of their impact on the local environment and that it is why it is right to supply people with greener cars. It is an example of how we do things differently.”
“We are certainly in a better position to take on more corporate customers now,” he added. “In the past, some firms have asked for up to 20 cars at a time which we are able to facilitate now because of our size. Before we simply didn’t have the man power to take these on.”
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