Alternative Fuels Australia

Greens accuse Saab of “greenwashing”

Posted by Car Geek on August 2, 2007

Image from Saab Australia

The New South Wales Greens have attacked Saab over their “Grrrrrreen” advertising campaign (covered earlier here) through which buyers can offset the predicted carbon emissions from their vehicles through planted trees. The Greens have taken the complaint to the ACCC, accusing the car maker of making deceptive claims about its greenhouse gas emissions.

Lee Rhiannon, from the NSW Greens, says that the Saab vehicles were “relatively fuel-inefficient, had a poor greenhouse gas rating and poor-to-average air pollution rating, according to the Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide”. The carbon offset company being used, Greenfleet, is not independently monitored but says that the trees will be planted approximately one year after payment from Saab.

In addition to the carbon offset scheme, Saab also recently launched its BioPower 9-5, which can use any ethanol blend up to 85 per cent, though blends higher than 10 per cent are currently unavailable in Australia.

My thoughts: although it’s important to ensure that companies that announce programs such as this act responsibly, to Saab’s credit they are one of the few companies in Australia that has taken any sort of significant step towards reducing the impact of their vehicles. The problem lies not so much with Saab, who have the details of their plan readily available for anyone to see, but with customers who might take the offset as a reason to use more fuel, since the average consumption is being offset. Changing that mentality would yield better results, but it’s also far more difficult than simply attacking advertising.

(Source: Sydney Morning Herald)


2 Responses to “Greens accuse Saab of “greenwashing””

  1. Corey said

    The ACCC are taking action against GM Holden trading as Saab check this out…

    About time! As if a car could ever be carbon neutral no matter how many forrests anyone plants. Cars are bad for the environment and we can only limit their impact.

    Please, so that we can have fuel forever and for when we need it, ride a bike sometimes!


  2. Nathan said

    Thanks for the link, Corey!

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