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Hyundai’s Green Push

Hyundai’s Dr. Hyun-Soon Lee, next to the Genesis
Hyundai recently announced one of the biggest green initiatives ever by an auto company: the Genesis Forest carbon-offset project.

The world’s fifth-largest automaker is working with Carbonfund.org to offset the first year of emissions from all Hyundai Genesis sedans through the conservation and reforestation of tropical forest in Brazil.

They work it this way: Estimate the number of Genesis vehicles they’ll sell in the model’s first year (they debuted in June), then figure the amount of carbon dioxide those cars will emit, then calculate how much forest it takes to chew through that much carbon dioxide. Working with Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards, Hyundai came up with 93,170 metric tons of CO2, to be offset by 3,000 acres of forest.

Let’s take the math a little further. Suppose we’re going to buy a Genesis. We want to know just how much tropical forest we’ll be “saving” with our purchase, right? The Hyundai/Carbonfund calculator can help.

It tells us that if we drive a Hyundai Genesis (3.8 L) 12,000 miles, it emits 5.069 tons of CO2. So simply by puttering back-and-forth to work everyday, picking up the groceries, and doing other assorted driverly tasks, we’re saving .16 acres. A tenth of an acre might not seem like much, but consider there are 200-400 trees per acre in the Amazonian rainforest.

Theoretically, this all means that if you buy a Hyundai Genesis this year, you’re saving about 50 trees in the Brazilian rainforest. Pretty cool.

Hyundai is also awarding three $35,000 grants to whoever can come up with new ways to help forests, following CCB standards.

This is all part of the “Hyundai Blue Drive” strategy. Keep an eye on this space for more details and insight from Hyundai executives.

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“Hyundai’s Green Push”