Pilot Program Planned For Yosemite, Grand Teton and Denali National Parks
Cherry Hill, NJ – June 8, 2015 – Subaru, recognized for having the first automotive assembly plant in America designated as zero landfill, today announced it will share its knowledge of zero landfill practices with the National Park Service to reduce landfill waste from the parks. In partnership with National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), a non-profit national park advocacy group, the team will test zero landfill practices in three iconic national parks –Yosemite, Grand Teton and Denali – working toward a goal of significantly reducing waste going into landfills from all national parks. This sustainability initiative builds upon Subaru of America’s multi-year partnership with the National Park Foundation (NPF) celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service and the Find Your Park movement.
In 2013, the National Park Service managed more than 100 million pounds of waste nationally. Much of this waste was generated in the parks by its 273.6 million visitors. That amount of trash would normally require 20 million household trash bags which if laid end-to-end would stretch from New York to Los Angeles and back again twice. This total accounts for only the waste managed by the National Park Service and does not account for the waste managed by park concessioners, which is considerably higher. Concessioners provide park visitors with lodging, transportation, food services, shops, and other services.
Also in 2013, more than seven million people visited the pilot parks – Yosemite, Grand Teton and Denali – which collectively generated 16.6 million pounds of visitor waste. Of that amount, 6.9 million pounds was diverted from landfill via source reduction, reuse, recycling or composting, and 9.7 million pounds was sent to landfill. By learning from experts at Subaru, the parks and concessioners hope to further reduce waste to landfills, as well as better educate visitors to lessen their environmental footprint within the parks.
To start this major effort, National Park Service, National Parks Conservation Association, National Park Foundation, and concessioner representatives from each pilot park visited Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA). They observed Subaru’s environmental stewardship in action, discussed best practices and identified opportunities and challenges at each park. Following that visit, Subaru sustainability experts visited each pilot park to assess their current practices and discuss initiatives needed to reach the eventual goal of zero landfill.
NPCA, who is helping Subaru implement the pilot project, is conducting a baseline waste audit, as well as reviewing recycling, organic material composting, hazardous waste management, and visitor waste behaviors. Together, Subaru and NPCA will document the effort and create scalable zero landfill implementation plans that other national parks can adopt.
Thomas J. Doll, president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America, Inc. said, “We are delighted to be able to share Subaru’s expertise with our national parks. Subaru owners are passionate national park visitors and we are very pleased that we can make a positive contribution to a resource we all treasure.“
Clark Bunting, president and CEO of NPCA said, “National parks are an important part of our country and of our legacy. Actions we take now will pay dividends for years to come. And one of those actions is addressing the trash produced and found in our parks. If Subaru can build cars without contributing to landfills, how might that translate to our national parks? By marrying a private success story to a public need, it can be a very powerful model, not just for the centennial but for decades to come. We are proud to work with Subaru, and be the leading convener and catalyst for this incredibly important public-private partnership.”
Subaru’s Zero Landfill Efforts
Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA), the home of Subaru manufacturing in North America, was the first automotive assembly plant in America designated as zero landfill, achieving that status in 2004. Previously, in 2003, SIA became the first automotive plant site to be designated a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation for wildlife such as blue heron, snapping turtles, coyote, white-tailed deer and bald eagles.
SIA employs a number of techniques to prepare its waste for reuse or recycling, such separating food waste for composting and sending the dust produced from weld slag to a recycling facility where copper and other metals are reclaimed. Since 2000, SIA has reduced waste per unit by 55%. The Indiana plant currently produces the Subaru Legacy and Outback and next year will begin production of the Impreza model.
Over the years, SIA has shared its zero landfill techniques with hundreds of businesses, schools and organizations in order to benchmark their own zero landfill goals. The Subaru plant, which recycles 99.99% of its waste, will share its expertise in the arts of reduce, reuse and recycle with the pilot parks and their largest concessioners, including Delaware North Companies, Grand Teton Lodge Company, Forever Resorts, and Aramark.
National Park Service Centennial
Subaru is also the premier vehicle partner of the National Park Foundation for the centennial of the National Park Service and Find Your Park, a public awareness and education campaign that celebrates the milestone anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and sets the stage for the national parks’ next 100 years. Find Your Park invites the public to see that a national park can be more than just a place – it can be a feeling or a state of mind. Further, Find Your Park encourages people to find their own personal connections within the network of national parks and National Park Service programs.
Subaru will spotlight its support of America’s national parks through the “Who We Are Is What We Leave Behind” marketing campaign, created by agency of record, Carmichael Lynch. The public will see print and digital advertisements, social media campaigns, videos, and public service announcements. The company will also provide educational resources to improve awareness around the issue of waste where the public will learn what they can do to reduce their impact during park visits.
About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at: www.nps.gov.
About the National Park Foundation
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
About Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc.
Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA), a subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd., is the home of North American Subaru production. Models built at the Lafayette, Indiana plant include the Subaru Legacy and Outback. SIA also produces the Toyota Camry under contract with Toyota. SIA employs over 3,800 Associates, and every Associate is committed to quality, safety and environmental stewardship. An industry leader in environmental stewardship, SIA was the first auto assembly plant in America to achieve zero landfill status, and SIA’s entire 832-acre site has been designated a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SIA’s community outreach programs include providing charitable contributions and corporate sponsorships, hosting charitable events on-site, donating vehicles and vehicle parts to educational institutions and encouraging Associate volunteerism, which supports hundreds of non-profit organizations and schools throughout Indiana annually. For more information, visit www.subaru-sia.com.
About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts, and accessories through a network of more than 620 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants, and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information, visit media.subaru.com.
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