Recently, many companies have opened their doors to competitors in an effort to solve some of the world's more pressing social and environmental issues, share advancements and collaborate towards lasting solutions as an industry. Now, one company is taking the spirit of knowledge-sharing and cooperation one step further, applying sustainability innovation techniques to a public/private partnership in an effort to preserve some of the nation's most prized natural landmarks.
Earlier this year, Subaru celebrated ten years of manufacturing cars in its zero-landfill plant. Yet, instead of resting on its laurels, Subaru realized it could apply the knowledge and skills learned from the process to another problem – the 100 million pounds of trash generated from 273 million visitors at America's National Parks each year. Building upon its existing multi-year partnership with the National Park Foundation, Subaru has partnered with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) to pilot zero-landfill practices at three test sites – Yosemite, Grand Teton and Denali National Parks. To kick off the initiative, Subaru invited representatives from the National Parks to its zero-landfill plant in Indiana to collaborate and create solutions for the parks to go garbage-free. Then, experts from Subaru visited each of the test sites to learn from the parks and concessioners and educate visitors. If the pilot is successful, Subaru and the NPCA will extend the practices to the more than 400 National Parks in the U.S.
Subaru's latest effort only highlights how sustainability wins can grow to be much larger than a single company effort. Through applying the knowledge and expertise in zero-landfill to the National Parks initiative, the company has the ability to make an even greater impact on America's most precious natural landmarks. Clark Bunting, president and CEO of NPCA echoes this sentiment, "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."