Sunday, April 20, 2008

Greenwash by Land Rover

In a clear example of greenwashing, Land Rover’s global green campaign, launched last month, boasts about the car’s unique relationship with the planet. The ads focus on research into biodiesel engines, a new carbon off-setting scheme, and sustainable technology, all set in stunning landscapes. Unfortunately, this company, now owned by Tata, is great at selling an enviable lifestyle pathetically without a real care for the environment.

Land Rover’s gas-guzzling 4x4s are bad news for the environment. The company has the technology to make fuel-efficient vehicles, but instead chooses to push urban 4x4s, which are unlikely to tackle anything steeper than a speed bump.

In the UK, road transport accounts for about a quarter of the emissions that cause climate change. It's time manufacturers started taking things seriously.

Our friend Peter did some quick number crunching for us. Let's say Dagenham saves 3,000 tonnes CO2 per year from their new wind turbine (as seen in the film below). Good for them.

Let's then assume each engine they make does 16,000 km per year at 400 gmCO2 /km. That equals 6.4 tonnes per year. Assuming a 10 year life = 64 tonnes CO2 in each engine's lifetime.

Landrover make 100,000 engines a year which will produce 6.4 million tonnes CO2 in their lifetime. The 3,000 tonne 'saving' from their wind turbine is therefore wiped out by the production of 50 engines within just 4 hours.

Now that's Greenwash!