New Land Rover CO2 Offset Programme

21 September 2006
Les Potts
Climate CareLand Rover and Climate Care today announced what is the largest and most comprehensive CO2 offset programme ever  undertaken by an automotive manufacturerin the UK. In a pioneering step, Land Rover has chosen to source all offsets for the programme by investing solely in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The pilot scheme, which is scheduled to run until the end of 2008, is expected to offset over two million tonnes of CO2.

Announced at the British International Motor Show in London, the programme has two key components: offsetting emissions  generated by Land Rover vehicle assembly at its two production facilities in Britain and providing a mechanism for customers to offset emissions from the use of their vehicle. From 2007 Model Year, customers of all new Land Rover vehicles sold in the UK will be able to pay to offset the CO2 emissions from the first 45,000 miles of driving.

This programme is part of a multi-stage and ongoing approach by Land Rover to environmental care and sustainability. Both Land Rover and parent company Ford, have acknowledged the threat of climate change and are committed to developing technologies that reduce the contribution of their vehicles.

The announcement yesterday by Ford that it is to spend at least £1billion developing a range of global environmental technologies in the UK for its Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo brands is the largest commitment ever to the environment by a carmaker in the UK. This engineering programme doubles the rate of environmental spending in the past and is part of a broad strategy that will deliver a variety of technologies including lightweight, hybrid electric and bio-fuel vehicles.

It builds on Land Rover’s Land_e environmental technology concept car which was launched at the Geneva Motor show in March this year and demonstrated the technologies which will appear on future Land Rovers.

Such radical technology change takes time however, and product development cycles in the motor industry are long. Even with massive investment, the speed that new technologies can be delivered cannot match the urgency of the problem and so in parallel, steps must be taken to mitigate the immediate impact. Land Rover has committed to the CO2 offset programme understanding that, while it will deliver real reductions in emissions now, it only mitigates their impact while they develop the lowcarbon technologies of the future. They have chosen to deliver the emissions reductions investing 100% of the funds in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Fran Leedham, Group Environmental Manager for the Land Rover, explains their approach. “At Land Rover we are committed to reducing the CO2 emissions from our vehicles but as this is a lengthy process we also need to address our immediate impact. In our business environmental performance is inevitably closely scrutinised, so it was vital we found the right approach for our CO2 offset programme.”

The comprehensive approach taken by the Ford Motor Company and Land Rover has impressed Climate Care’s founder and director Mike Mason. Land Rover recognise that climate change is a serious threat to the planet. In response, Land Rover and their parent – Ford, have committed to an extensive programme of emissions reductions from their vehicles. However the threat is not only serious but also urgent. It will take time to incorporate the new technologies into the full model range so rather than wait, Land Rover have chosen to act immediately and, in addition, introduce a comprehensive CO2 offset programme. This will start to reduce the climate impact of Land Rovers immediately.”

"Climate Care is pleased that Land Rover has taken this initiative to deal with emissions in the short term whilst stepping up their efforts to tackle the longer term challenges. We believe this is the first time a programme of such scope and vision has been launched, and we hope it sets a benchmark for others."