It’s a difficult situation, being in the business of making 4x4s – the easy target for all attacks on environmentally-unfriendly cars – but at the same time supplying vehicles to organisations around the world who are improving our environment.
To highlight the fact that Land Rovers can, and regularly do, play a positive part in the environment, the company has adopted Earthwatch as its fifth global sponsorship partner.
Earthwatch is an international environmental charity whose mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. The organisation recruits volunteers from the general public and partner organisations to share the costs of a research project, and to join it as research assistants. This means that rather than go on holiday, you – yes, you – can spend a couple of weeks helping scientists study elephant behaviour in the Red Volta River Valley or protecting sea turtle hatchlings on the beaches of Costa Rica – in other words making a real difference at the frontline of conservation.
Land Rover will assist Earthwatch’s activities in working to conserve endangered species and their habitats by engaging people worldwide in scientific field research and education. The first action in support of Earthwatch has been to supply a Defender for work in the Samburu, Kenya. This vehicle is currently contributing to a number of projects, including surveying Grevy’s Zebras on community lands and within the Lewa Conservancy, as well as an in depth study into conflict between carnivores and livestock for limited water resources.
Nigel Winser, Executive Director of Earthwatch (Europe) said: “The vehicles that Land Rover provide will support the programmes where off-road capabilities are required. This will improve the quality and safety of the field research we undertake to understand, manage and conserve the natural resources of the world in a sustainable manner. I know these Land Rovers will be welcomed by our local scientists and the communities with whom we work.”
Land Rover has pioneered responsible off-roading through its ‘Fragile Earth’ policy for many years and currently works with four other sponsorship partners; Royal Geographical Society (RGS), China Exploration and Research Society (CERS), Born Free and Biosphere Expeditions. Land Rover supplies a quarter of the global aid agency market and the vehicles are utilised by emergency services, police, ambulance and mountain rescue teams across the country and worldwide.
Land Rover says that its sponsorship programmes form part of an integrated approach towards sustainability. Land Rover engineers are at the forefront of Ford’s £1bn programme to develop technologies that will reduce emissions and improve fuel economy. Land Rover has also introduced the world’s biggest consumer carbon dioxide off-set programme which offsets all of the CO2 generated by Land Rover’s manufacturing operations and the first 45,000 miles of vehicle use by its UK customers, run by Climate Care. The ultimate goal is CO2 neutrality with investments being made in renewable energy projects such as wind and hydro, technology change and energy efficiency.
Remember, to help on expeditions that range from studying dolphins to working on Easter Island, visit www.earthwatch.org
– and you may even get a ride in a Land Rover Defender!