Jaguar – a company that has long been famous for producing beautiful, fast cars – is about to make its mark in another area: that of saving the planet.

With effect from this month (April 2009), the company is introducing two industry-leading carbon dioxide (CO2) offset programmes. According to Andrew Daniel, Managing Director of Jaguar South Africa, the first of these is a programme to offset the CO2 emitted during the assembly of all vehicles produced at the company’s two manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom.

“We will focus on three actions: switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, promoting renewable technology and improving energy efficiency within communities and industry alike,” he reveals.

Simultaneously, the company is introducing a voluntary programme for Jaguar owners wishing to offset the CO2 emissions of their vehicles (both new and pre-owned). Owners who elect to participate in this programme should visit

An easy-to-use calculator works out the carbon emissions after the owner has provided basic information such as the specific Jaguar he or she drives, the fuel and engine type, transmission and mileage he or she wishes to offset.

The website also provides information about the projects that their contributions will support. “Funding will go towards real environmental technologies that can be introduced in different places or communities to reduce CO2 emissions – such as wind turbines or solar power,” explains Daniel.

In addition to the reassurance that they are doing their part to save the planet, participating owners will receive a certificate from carbon offsetting expert, ClimateCare, which is administering the programme on Jaguar’s behalf.

The programme will support the offset of around 70 000 tons of CO2 in 2009.

While these two CO2 offset programmes are certainly noteworthy, this is not Jaguar’s first foray into the world of sustainability. “Our strategy for more efficient designs began over ten years ago with the development of the lightweight aluminium platform for the Jaguar XJ. The new XK launched in 2006 took the use of aluminium a step further, with an advanced aerospace derived construction delivering class-leading strength and rigidity, but with much lower weight,” comments Daniel.

Jaguar also undertook a number of environmental initiatives to improve the efficiency and reduce the CO2 emissions of its products, including the introduction of high efficiency diesel engines and more extensive use of lightweight and recyclable materials. The latest Jaguar XF, for instance, emits considerably less CO2 over its lifetime than its predecessor.

As a result, the proportion of diesels in the production mix has risen considerably. “It was just 11% in 2003; by 2008 this had risen to 71% for cars sold in those markets where we sell diesels,” notes Daniel.

The most recent advances in this area are to be seen in the all-new advanced petrol and diesel engines being introduced for the 2010 model year. “These deliver significantly improved fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions while simultaneously providing a major uplift in power and torque – the best of both worlds,” Daniel notes.

He says the company’s our overall goal is to reduce the impact of its activities on the environment by improving processes and products, making the best use of resources, minimising emissions and waste, and improving energy efficiency. Total energy usage is already down 57% at its manufacturing facilities versus 2001.

“We do this by taking an holistic view of our economic, social and environmental responsibilities. We assess the impact of all our activities, target improvement areas and report on our performance. Fundamental to our business is the commitment to continuous improvement and meeting or exceeding legal and regulatory requirements,” Daniel explains.

Jaguar is committed to significant investments in environmentally friendly technologies. “Together with Land Rover, Jaguar is at the forefront of developing new, sustainable technology, and we are investing £800 million on projects specifically aimed at reducing CO2 emissions,” reveals Daniel.

For instance, Jaguar’s class-leading lightweight aluminium body structures will be used as a basis for testing the concept of a large luxury vehicle with an advanced hybrid electric driveline. The company is targeting CO2 emissions of just 120 g/km – remarkable for a vehicle of this size.

In conclusion, Daniel notes that Jaguar has a long tradition of creating beautiful, fast saloon and sports cars that provide customers with comfort, refinement and an unrivalled driving experience. “However, to achieve this, we must ensure we have a sustainable business over the long term and, with the introduction of these two programmes, we are doing just that,” he concludes.