JACKSON CENTER – Airstream, Inc., maker of the iconic “silver bullet” fleet of Airstream travel trailers and best-in-class touring coaches, is expanding its commitment to the environment by launching Caravan to Carbon Neutral.
This is a two-pronged, industry-first initiative to neutralize estimated carbon emissions created by the driving of the company’s products.
Airstream will directly underwrite the planting of an estimated 118,405 trees by the National Forest Foundation. Those trees are projected to help sequester the estimated carbon generated by the first year of driving of all new Airstream travel trailers and touring coaches manufactured in 2021. That figure also includes the estimated carbon emitted during the manufacturing and transportation of Airstreams from the Jackson Center production facility to dealerships nationwide in 2021.
Nearly every Airstream owner asked (96%) in a 2020 Airstream owner survey is concerned about the state of the environment. Said one survey participant: “When people travel with their Airstream, it keeps them more in touch with nature and humanity. This raises their awareness of the importance of having a healthy environment.”
“The Airstream community has a symbiotic relationship with nature and the environment,” Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler said. “This program brings an innovative solution to Airstreamers who want to neutralize their estimated carbon footprint from driving their Airstream and contribute to a more beautiful natural world.”
The estimated 118,405 trees required to sequester the targeted carbon was calculated using Airstream sales forecasts for 2021, findings from an internal customer usage study, greenhouse gas equivalency calculators developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Transportation Statistics fuel efficiency estimates for gasoline-powered vehicles, publicly reported estimates from Mercedes-Benz, an Airstream aerodynamics study, and tree carbon sequestration estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Caravan to Carbon Neutral also allows any Airstream owner to help sequester additional carbon emissions through the purchase of carbon reduction kits from the National Forest Foundation through Airstream’s e-commerce website, Airstream Supply Company. Each carbon reduction kit purchase is tax-deductible, with 100% of the proceeds directly supporting the NFF’s tree-planting program:
• Silver ($50): plants 50 trees to sequester approximately 25 tons of carbon over the tree’s lifetime
• Gold ($100): plants 100 trees to sequester approximately 50 tons of carbon over the tree’s lifetime
• Platinum ($250): plants 250 trees to sequester approximately 125 tons of carbon over the tree’s lifetime
Purchasers of carbon reduction kits will be recognized with custom decals, flags to display on their Airstream, as well as other virtual signifiers, including a badge in AirForums.com, an online resource for Airstream owners.
“We are dedicated to leaving our natural world better than we found it. Addressing the causes of climate change is central to that mission. Transportation accounts for an estimated 28% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., so this is an area where we have a responsibility and an opportunity to lead,” Wheeler said. “Research shows that RV vacations can produce less carbon as compared to similar airline/rental car/hotel itineraries. But we felt that we needed to do more.
“The beauty of this effort is that we are both capturing carbon and helping to enhance our national forests, which are popular outdoor recreation destinations for all Americans.”
Wheeler is an executive committee member on the board of directors for the non-profit National Forest Foundation.
“We are excited to help Airstream and their customers reduce carbon footprints as they explore our national forests and public lands,” said Mary Mitsos, National Forest Foundation president and CEO. “This program invites Americans to get involved and give back by planting trees and supporting our forests for future generations.”
The carbon sequestration initiative opens a new frontier in Airstream’s efforts to reduce its overall environmental effect. Other efforts include that the electricity at the company’s production facility in Jackson Center is offset by renewable energy credits purchased through Jackson Center Municipal Power’s EcoSmart Choice program. In addition, Airstream vehicles are Certified Green by TRA Certification, Inc, a third-party rating based on resource consumption, energy efficiency, water efficiency and indoor air quality during the manufacturing process.
Airstream’s innovative designers and engineers are continually seeking new materials to reduce vehicle weight and developing more efficient processes to reduce the resources required to build a “silver bullet.”
Airstream also is developing new concepts and partnering with global experts to reduce the resources used while camping, whether at a campsite or off-the-grid. Airstream continues to focus on sustainable travel, including ways to make it easier for electric vehicles to tow an Airstream and further electrification of all of Airstream’s travel trailers.
For more information on the Caravan to Carbon Neutral initiative or Airstream, visit the company’s social responsibility website at https://www.airstream.com/corporate-social-responsibility/on-the-road/.