|Subaru's donated vehicles are in use at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, as well as several other parks. Image: Jackie Skaggs/National Parks Service.|
Subaru of America, Inc., the US subsidiary of the Japanese car manufacturer, recently announced a new partnership with the National Parks Foundation in support of 2016’s centennial anniversary of America’s national parks. The National Parks Foundation is a nonprofit and charity organization that supports the National Parks Service and conducts outreach efforts to bring visitors to parks across the US. Since 2013, Subaru has given over $3 million dollars to the National Parks Foundation through annual sales promotions, and has also donated its signature Outback model cars to several national parks for use as official park vehicles. Subaru’s contributions have also supported free public access to national parks during certain designated weekends in recent years. This year, free access was given at all national parks on April 18-19, which coincides with Earth Day on April 22.
Environmental stewardship has already been at the forefront of Subaru of America’s efforts for over a decade. Its manufacturing facility in Indiana has been certified as “zero landfill” since 2004, wherein over 99% of the byproducts of the manufacturing process are recycled and the remainder goes to a local power plant and is used to generate electricity for the community. Corporate headquarters in New Jersey is also a zero waste facility, while the Indiana plant has also been a certified wildlife habitat since 2003. Containing only plants native to the region in its more than 800 acres, that facility is a sanctuary for mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Subaru was the first car manufacturer in the US to accomplish any of these feats.
Japanese companies have been making many other investments in the US in recent months and years with a strong environmental theme. Panasonic has partnered with Tesla Motors to build a manufacturing plant in Nevada to produce batteries for Tesla’s electric cars, and also committed to a new development in Denver that is centered around the use of sustainable practices. Several Japanese companies have also invested in a new business park in Georgia that will be the first fully eco-friendly site of its kind in the state. In Texas, a Japanese firm is creating an estimated 4,000 local jobs through the expansion of a manufacturing facility for energy efficient air conditioners.
As a result of these efforts, Japanese companies are bolstering their strong reputation as environmentally conscious and responsible investors in American communities.