Ford Land Rover Introduces Carbon Offset Program
19 July 2006
Ford Land Rover UK has introduced a wide-ranging pilot CO2 offset program—the largest and most comprehensive programme of its kind ever undertaken by an automotive manufacturer in the UK.
Announced at the British International Motor Show in London, the program 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.
The scheme is to be run independently by Climate Care, a CO2 offset provider, and will be overseen by a Governance Committee. The pilot will run to the end of 2008, and it is estimated that Land Rover’s CO2 Offset Program will offset more than two million tonnes of CO2 over the pilot period.
Previous Climate Care initiatives have included wind turbines in India, installing low energy lighting in South Africa and providing renewable energy cooking stoves to schools in India.
This industry leading initiative follows hard on the heels of our Land-e technological exhibit [earlier post] which showcases innovative hybrid electric powertrains and biofuel capability—real world technology which will be seen on Land Rover production vehicles of the future. The announcement made by Ford yesterday [£1 billion investment—earlier post] will have a considerable impact in enabling us to develop that technology. It also acknowledges the challenges of climate change and recognizes our responsibility to take action now.—Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover
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.—Mike Mason, director of Climate Care
Land Rover’s CO2 Offset Program is part of an integrated approach to reducing CO2 emissions. The ultimate goal, according to Ford, is CO2 neutrality and projects will include investment in renewable energy projects such as wind and solar, technology change and energy efficiency.
Features of the offset program include:
Land Rover will embark on a pilot program in the UK to offset CO2 emissions from its UK manufacturing operations, ensuring the amount saved balances the original emissions. Emissions from Solihull have already been cut by 30% since 1997.
From 2007 Model Year, customers of all new Land Rover vehicles sold in the UK will pay to offset the CO2 emissions produced by their vehicle, calculated on the certified CO2 emissions level for each Land Rover model and based on 45,000 miles (equivalent 15,000 miles of annual use). For the customer it represents an investment of between £85 (US$155) and £165 (US$301) depending on model.
The overall Land Rover UK fleet average fuel economy is 30 mpg Imperial (25 mpg US). In the UK, the diesel platforms are increasingly popular. Ninety-nine point six percent of Discovery 3 sales in the UK are diesels.
The diesel version of the all new Freelander 2 achieves 37.7 mpg Imperial (31 mpg US), with CO2 emissions of 194 g/km—5% lower than the previous model. The gasoline versions of the Freelander 2 offer 11% less CO2 emissions than the outgoing models.
The new diesel Range Rover TDV8, launched at the Madrid Motor Show, has performance figures to match the V8 gasoline model but has 32% better fuel economy.
Land Rover recognize 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. 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.—Mike Mason
Posted by: Sydney | 19 July 2006 at 08:19 AM
Carbon offsets are only part of the solution, but will help fund widespread introduction of green (direct/ indirect solar, and waste recuperation) energy (as opposed to fossil energy).
Posted by: allen Z | 19 July 2006 at 08:40 AM
What organization exists to confirm that the claimed offsetting is happening in the claimed amount so far away from the vehicle owners? Including a confirmation that it continues to occur, not just for a few weeks after new stoves are given to rural people in India. Is there something like Underwriter's Labs, TUV, Greenpeace, etc. to verify this? An ISO standard? Without verification this is a fool's paradise.
Posted by: Ron Fischer | 19 July 2006 at 09:18 AM
Offsetting carbon dioxide from the production of vehicles is great.
I have implemented a better "carbon dioxide offset" plan then what they have for their consumers: I use a smaller, more reasonably sized vehicle and travel by other means whenever possible rather than using a Land Rover.
Posted by: Patrick | 19 July 2006 at 09:42 AM
From their website:
It is very important that our projects make the emissions reductions that we claim. For each project we engage a third party to write a report for us at the beginning of the project. This sets out what the emissions were before the project (“the baseline”) and what the emissions are with the project. One minus the other gives the expected annual emissions reductions. The report also covers issues such as additionality.
We then commission ongoing monitoring of the project, to ensure that the expected emissions reductions are being made.
Posted by: LochDhu | 19 July 2006 at 10:04 AM
Today Ford have announced they are going to be building CNG cars in India.....this is great for the planet....count it against emissions, sell more land rovers!
Posted by: John Baldwin | 19 July 2006 at 10:08 AM
Do the offset program and don't buy the Land Rover. I have Terrapass, but I also drive a Prius. Despite assurances, I still have trouble believing that I am really offsetting my carbon output.
Posted by: t | 19 July 2006 at 11:33 AM
Comment to 't': Unfortunately you're not offsetting any CO2 output. In the US, Toyota's Prius, although popular, is used to offset their EPA fleet-average fuel-economy rating of the even-more-popular and profitable SUVs they can sell (as well as good PR). Fuel-economy is clearly related to CO2 emissions. In the real world the offset is even less than their EPA fleet rating would suggest, due to few Priuses (sp?) achieving the EPA rated fuel economy.
Now if Land Rover would increase the percentage of biodiesel that their diesel engine warranty permits, then you'd be able to see real and local CO2 reductions.
Posted by: Floatplane | 19 July 2006 at 02:56 PM
Hybrid drivetrain has one very good property. If on regular vehicle you lower EPA mpg rating for, say 20% - due to high speed, aggressive driving, heavy stop and go traffic, on hybrid vehicle under same conditions it will be less severe, say only 10%. Exact numbers are hard to measure, but effect is definitely present.
Posted by: Andrey | 19 July 2006 at 11:47 PM
I don't deny the benefits of hybrids, and I think it's great that individuals are trying to do sonmething. But my experience is that regular cars get closer percentage-wise to their EPA rating than any of my Prius-driving friends report they get, and they are not aggressive drivers. Your mileage may vary, but that's why I think the CO2 offset of hybrids is slightly less than a wash once you take the fleet-average rating into account.
Now you could argue that perhaps the Prius's gas engine puts out more CO2 per gallon of gas burned than the Land Cruiser because it's engine is probably more efficient and more-completely burns the fuel. That just means the Land Cruiser is wasting unburnt fuel leaving HCs and VOCs in the exhaust for the catalytic converter(s) to deal with, or the rest of us to breathe in.
My diesel Passat does slightly offset VW's fleet fuel-rating, getting 38 MPG highway (and I really do get that on the highway, even at 70MPH) but VW sells very few Touregs compared to Jettas, Golfs etc. Also since I fill it with B99, my net CO2 emissions are probably in the single digit percentages compared to even a gas Jetta. A Prius is at best a 50% CO2 reduction, 'cos it still burns dino-fuel.
Posted by: Floatplane | 20 July 2006 at 02:00 PM
So you think Prius engine is more economical because it burns fuel more completely?
No wonder you think that biodiesel is near carbon neutral.
Posted by: Andrey | 20 July 2006 at 02:17 PM
Andrew: I didn't say that - don't be insulting. Obviously the Prius uses far fewer gallons which gives it it's economy rating. But I didn't mention economy.
For biodiesel carbon issues, I didn't say it was near carbon neutral either. The EPA says a 78% reduction in CO2 so go argue with them. Others argue for much higher figures except that guy getting money from the oil industry.
Anyhow this article is so old that no one else is reading it now, and we're so far off-topic, so I'm signing off.
Posted by: Floatplane | 20 July 2006 at 05:16 PM