Friday, April 18, 2008

Should Have Bought a Subaru

I dont know how many of you have seen this commercial from Subaru which I found on google video (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4107401229185153590).

video

I know that we were talking in class about how Ford has Kermit the Frog telling people its easy to be green but Subaru has taken it to a whole new level. They say that their plant has zero waste that goes to landfills and that the area that the plant is located on has actually been designated a wildlife habitat. It is great to see a company step up and do some good for the environment. It is interesting that Subaru actually achieved these accolades back in 2004 but only recently have they put out a commercial letting people know this fact. It seems as if at first it may have been profitable by eliminating landfill costs and now that people are starting to become interested in the environment and conservation Subaru is making more money by telling us about it. An article on wired (http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/news/2005/08/68448) attributes this shift to clean manufacturing plants to the rising cost of disposing of material in landfills. Government intervention was not necessary and no time needed to be wasted on legislation and making corporate America angry. The price to put material in landfills is rising so foreign automakers (Toyota, Subaru) are realizing that it is better to recycle their old material. In addition to the cost savings, they are getting good PR by telling the American people about what they are doing to help the environment. Even if the government does not act it is good to know, at least in this case, the market will provide incentives for being green.

1 comment:

mnoibi said...

I agree that it was interesting for Subaru to begin advertising this move they made 4 years ago.

Another company that has done something similar is Shell, with natural gas to liquid (GTL) fuel use in European cities, notably Athens. If you visit the site www.shell.com/us/realenergy, you can watch a short movie on the history of their GTL operations (I'm guessing they took some creative liberties with the story). Shell started studying the use of Natural gas as a liquid fuel in 1983, opened the first GTL plant about 10 years after. Granted, they have encountered some problems and are moving forward with GTL.

I don't know how publicized this operation was, but I hadn't heard of any such operation by Shell till this year.

It's true that companies are now touting everything green that they do to impress customers, and I don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing. A business will always be in business to make money, and if consumers are looking for all things greener, then businesses are forced to provide this.

So it's really up to everyone as a consumer to pay more attention to everything that we can do/purchase that is more energy efficient, in order to get businesses to cater to us and let us know it every step of the way.