Land Rover offsets the first 45,000 miles of every new 4x4

17 December 2007

Since September last yearLand Rover has been offering customers the chance to offset the first 45,000 miles of every new 4x4.


Like satellite navigation or alloy wheels, it is an optional extra on top of the price of their new vehicle.


Since the scheme was launched 55,000 Land Rovers have been sold and so far only two customers have refused to sign up.



One of the offsetting schemes which Land Rover has signed up to in Uganda involves investing in the manufacture and promotion of energy efficient stoves, which burn less charcoal.


The end result is lower emissions than conventional stoves and a 37% reduction in charcoal usage.


It is claimed that if just two stoves are used the reduction in CO2 emissions is equivalent to running a Land Rover Discovery for one year.


Use of the stoves also helps to reduce deforestation in Uganda which has seen half the country's trees cut down for charcoal. So far, half of Uganda's trees have been felled to meet charcoal demand



However arguments continue over whether carbon offsetting is merely a tool for absolving guilt.


Environmentalists are concerned that it does nothing reduce emissions from a vehicle's tailpipe.


Another issue is that drivers are not being encouraged to travel less.




Birmingham University 's Sustainability and Environmental Advisor, Dr Trevor Shields, says: "It gives the wrong impression that we can still drive around as we are doing now and somewhere else in the world those bad driving habits will be offset."


He suggests there is still a need to reduce direct emissions by driving less and driving more fuel efficient cars.


Land Rover maintains that carbon offsetting provides a "stopgap" measure while it develops more environmentally friendly technologies for its vehicles.



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