According to the latest news from the RVIA (RV Industry Association), Airstream, the Thor Industries brand and manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailers and touring coaches, has extended its programme to help neutralize the estimated carbon emissions created by the manufacture and use of the company’s products to include Airstreams built in 2022.
This initiative, conducted in partnership with the National Forest Foundation (NFF), is part of Airstream’s ongoing Caravan to Carbon Neutral program, an industry-first commitment to the environment that debuted in 2021.
For 2022, Airstream will directly underwrite the planting of some 107,193 trees in National Forests by the NFF.
Those trees are projected to help sequester the estimated carbon generated by the first year of driving of all new Airstream travel trailers and touring coaches manufactured in 2022. That figure also includes the estimated carbon emitted during the manufacturing and transportation of Airstreams from the Jackson Center, OH production facility to dealerships across the United States in 2022.
“The Airstream community understands that protecting the environment is a forever commitment,” said Airstream President & CEO Bob Wheeler. “The Caravan to Carbon Neutral initiative has more than proven its worth as yet another tool to reduce our collective carbon footprint — one that offers the added benefit of supporting our National Forests.”
Wheeler is an executive committee member and Vice Chair of the board of directors for the non-profit National Forest Foundation.
The estimated 107,193 trees required to sequester the targeted carbon in 2022 was calculated using Airstream sales forecasts for 2022, findings from an internal customer usage study, greenhouse gas equivalency calculators developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Transportation Statistics fuel efficiency estimates for gasoline-powered vehicles, publicly reported estimates from Mercedes-Benz, an Airstream aerodynamics study, and tree carbon sequestration estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture. The same metrics were used to establish the 2021 target.
Airstream will also continue to encourage owners to help sequester additional carbon emissions by purchasing annual “Carbon Reduction Kits” from the National Forest Foundation through Airstream’s e-commerce website, Airstream Supply Company. Each Carbon Reduction Kit purchase is tax-deductible, with 100 percent of the proceeds directly supporting the NFF’s tree-planting program:
- Silver ($50): Plants 50 trees to sequester approximately 25 tons of carbon over the trees’ lifetime
- Gold ($100): Plants 100 trees to sequester approximately 50 tons of carbon over the trees’ lifetime
- Platinum ($250): Plants 250 trees to sequester approximately 125 tons of carbon over the trees’ lifetime
“We are pleased that Airstream has extended this effort to reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicles,” said Mary Mitsos, National Forest Foundation President & CEO. “These trees, thanks to Airstream and its community, will continue to make a difference in our National Forests and the environment.”
Nearly every Airstream owner asked (96%) in a 2020 Airstream owner survey is concerned about the state of the environment. So, it’s no surprise that many Airstream owners who purchased 2021 Carbon Reduction Kits offered enthusiastic feedback on the initiative.
The carbon sequestration initiative is just one facet of Airstream’s extensive effort to reduce its environmental impact. Electricity at the company’s production facility in Jackson Center, Ohio is offset by renewable energy credits purchased through Jackson Center Municipal Power’s EcoSmart Choice program. In addition, Airstream vehicles are Certified Green by TRA Certification, Inc, a third-party rating based on resource consumption, energy efficiency, water efficiency, and indoor air quality during the manufacturing process.
Airstream’s designers and engineers are continually sourcing new materials to reduce vehicle weight and developing more efficient processes to reduce the resources required to build and enjoy a “silver bullet.”
The company’s recently-unveiled eStream travel trailer concept features an electric drivetrain that can significantly reduce the fuel consumption of internal combustion tow vehicles and extend the towing range of EV tow vehicles.
Airstream is also developing new concepts and partnering with global experts to reduce the resources used while camping, whether at a campsite or off-the-grid. Airstream continues to focus on sustainable travel, including ways to make it easier for electric vehicles to tow an Airstream and further electrification of all of Airstream’s travel trailers.