One of the most prominent names SUV manufacturing and unlikely environmental ally has announced a major commitment to reducing emissions and their impact on the environment. Land Rover announced earlier this month an industry-leading initiative to offset CO2 emissions in one of their most important sales markets; the Middle East.
Beginning this month, all Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover LR3, Land Rover LR2 and Defender vehicles sold in the Middle East beginning this month will come with a commitment by Land Rover to purchase C02 offsets for the first 72,000 km of customer use. This is in addition to a program started in the UK in 2006 that will globally negate more than 2 million tons of C02. 78% of Land Rover’s models are exported to over 160 countries, which means Land Rover’s environmental works will be a truly worldwide project. CO2 offsets work through the funding of projects that avoid or reduce CO2 emissions, with the resulting amount of CO2 saved balancing the original emissions created. All of the projects funded go through a rigorous process of independent verification and validation to ensure and demonstrate that the CO2 emissions reductions are achieved. The first projects include a wind farm in China, a hydro-electric generator in Tajikistan, and efficient cooking stoves in Uganda. Another is designed to transform the domestic lighting market in Mauritius by ensuring energy efficient compact fluorescent lights become the preferred lighting product in more than 330,000 Mauritian homes. C02 offsets are in some respects a philosophical exercise in environmentalism. In simpler terms; it would be like planting a new tree to balance out an equally damaging amount of pollution that you’ve produced. Of course, not everyone can spend their time planting trees, so this is a way to clear their conscious and improve the world rather than attempt to make an uncomfortable or impractical change in their way of life.
Land Rover’s C02 offset program is only one of a four-part approach to positively impacting the environment. Other areas include implementing sustainable manufacturing practices, e-Terrain Technologies, Conservation and Humanitarian Projects. This announcement also coincides with the launch of the new Land Rover Freelander 2 TD4 that is equipped with stop-start technology and is the company’s most fuel efficient vehicle to date at 41.5mpg and with an eight per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.