Nissan Motors Ltd., commonly known as just Nissan, is a multinational automobile manufacturer located in Japan. Like all other global automobile manufacturers, Nissan Motors has quickly realized the importance of environmental stewardship and environmental sustainability. Knowing that automobiles are the primary cause for much of the carbon dioxide emissions, Nissan Motors is now taking necessary steps in reducing their carbon footprint, both with the automobiles the automobile manufacturer produces as well as within all its offices and manufacturing factories. Below is a list of just ten of the sustainability initiatives Nissan Motors is involved in.
1 ) Nissan Green Program. The Nissan Green Program is Nissan Motor’s way of creating a more sustainable mobile society by addressing environmental challenges and finding routes around them, mainly being a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, minimizing emissions to preserve the water, soil, and atmosphere, and resource recycling to promote reducing, reusing, and recycling. The overall objective is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions wherever Nissan Motors has corporate endeavors, including offices, shops, and factories.
2 ) Nissan Green Shops. Nissan Green Shop Activities includes a large variety of environmental efforts that take place at Nissan Motor dealerships throughout the globe, including reducing waste, recycling, and energy saving endeavors. The program was introduced in April of 2000 as an environmental management system for all car dealerships. According to the website, “Dealerships that have been certified in Nissan Green Shop have appointed environmental staff and directors to be in charge of environmental activities, and established a system of responsibility for these activities. Working within this system, the environmental staff and directors (1) ensure that end-of-life vehicles and waste are disposed of properly, (2) manage environmental facilities, and (3) conduct public relations and other activities to inform customers of Nissan’s environmental efforts.”
3 ) Nissan LEAF Wins 2011-2012 JAHFA Car of the Year Award. In December of 2011, Nissan Motors won the 2011 – 2012 Japan Automotive Hall of Fall (JAHFA) Car of the Year and Car Design of the Year awards for their 100 percent electric car, the Nissan LEAF. It won car of the year because of, “The courage that Nissan displayed in developing a mass-market electric vehicle ahead of the rest of the world’s automakers; it is an attractive, competitive product that has been recognized globally; [and] it has an EV-IT system that enhances the usability of the vehicle.” It won for car design of the year because, “It expresses thoughtful styling as a pioneer EV sedan; it reduces wind noise through its aerodynamic form; [and] the car’s interior design expresses the feeling of a new era.”
4 ) Nissan Starts Japan Sales for a New Quick Charger for Electric Vehicles. On November 30, 2011 Nissan Motors made the announcement that it was starting sales for its brand new quick charger throughout Japan. The newly developed unit has the same high performance as the current charger but is half the size. It has the same safety features and complies with CHAdeMO protocol. It is compatible with all Nissan electric vehicles and electric vehicles that were manufactured by other automakers. Not only is it a lot smaller, but it is also a lot easier to install.
5 ) Nissan Delivers 100 Percent Electric LEAF to Wuhan. In November of 2011, Nissan Motor and the Wuhan Municipal Government are going ahead with a new pilot program that would promote zero emission mobility. With this, Wuhan accepted the delivery from Nissan of 15 Nissan LEAFs, with ten more of these units to be delivered sometime in 2012. In this pilot program, Nissan is working alongside the city on a number of joint activities that are aimed at the contribution of the establishment of a city that is environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Another focus is to aid in the planning for a complete rollout of electric vehicles into the Chinese market.
6 ) Nissan and Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport Launch Test for Road Guidance. In December of 2011, Nissan Motor and the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport began a large-scale demonstration test for the new Traffic Information System Model Project. The demonstration will start the end of January of 2012 and will “verify the effects of traffic dispersion by dynamic route guidance with IT devices.” In the test, 12,000 individuals are going to be given IT devices to provide eco-drive support and dynamic route guidance. Users in the trial can expect to see reduced fuel consumption and travel time as well as a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
7 ) Activities at Plants. At all Nissan Motor production plants, a number of systems are thoroughly implemented to control substances that can have a negative environmental impact. Activities are undertaken to reduce the total amount of the harmful substances used as well as emitted during production operations. Other activities at the plant include introducing equipment that is energy saving and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and controlling all standards and systems to manage all air pollutants and participate in a number of activities to reduce the substances that are emitted at production plants.
8 ) Activities in Products. Nissan Motor believes that the company can contribute to a sustainable mobile society by improving these aspects. Therefore, Nissan looks to offer vehicles that are not only attractive, but also have a reduced environmental impact. Nissan is undertaking a lot of aggressive efforts to improve overall fuel efficiency and aid in the development of vehicles that only use clean energies. Nissan is also in the development process of clean vehicles, including EVs and FCEVs that do not emit carbon dioxide emissions or even exhaust when operated.
9 ) Nissan Green Program 2016. The Nissan Green Program 2016 was created to help the company achieve its environmental philosophy of “Symbiosis of People, Vehicles, and Nature.” This program promotes activities “not only in development and manufacturing departments associated with the production of automobiles, but also in sales, service, and all other departments company-wide. In specific terms, this program ensures that environmental action plans are formulated, the targets and aims relating to business activities and associated indirectly with the environment are set for mid-term, long-term, and yearly periods, and that every possible effort is made to achieve sustainable development.”Activities include the penetration of zero-emission vehicles, wider application of fuel efficient vehicles, corporate carbon footprint minimization, and natural resource usage minimization.
10 ) Increased Biofuel Use. Nissan takes use of biofuels seriously. In North America, Nissan Motor markets flexible-fuel vehicles – cars that can handle ethanol-based mixtures and not present any kind of problem. In another example, in April of 1008, Nissan Motor started taking part in the Tokachi E10 Trials, which looks to increase the utilization of E10 fuel, which is a biofuels.
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.