Feeds

Virgin boss pledges readies to greenies

£1.6bn for alternative energy research

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Sir Richard Branson has pledged to invest the next 10 years of profits from his Virgin travel firms into developing technologies that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The commitment is apparently worth around £1.6bn over the period.

He made the announcement on day two of the annual Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York.

He explained that the money from his travel companies, such as Virgin Trains and Virgin Atlantic, would be funnelled into a new division of his empire called Virgin Fuels.

Virgin Fuels will invest in research into alternative and renewable energy supplies, such as bio-fuels.

Sir Richard said: "We must rapidly wean ourselves off our dependence on coal and fossil fuels."

He argued that travel firms needed to lead the way in developing "environmentally friendly business strategies".

The move is not entirely altruistic: travel firms are under increasing pressure from environmental lobby groups. Friends of the Earth (FoE), for instance, warns that if the growth in air travel is not curtailed, we face a "climactic disaster".

FoE is one of many groups campaigning for air fuel to be taxed in the same way petrol is. Currently, no duty is payable on kerosene, and in 2005 Tony Blair ruled out imposing any taxes on the fuel.

Against this background, positioning himself as a greenie will do him and his firms no harm. But nor is it entirely spin: Branson has already announced funding for a California based firm that is developing a way of producing ethanol from corn. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.