Our Planet

Because we all share one planet, we share in the responsibility to act as stewards of our natural resources. At Subaru, we live this promise through our continual improvement of product design, our continual efforts to reduce resource consumption, and our ongoing support of protecting the natural environment and engaging others in this effort.

We also believe that doing small-scale things can create big results, and we want to share examples of the many little things we can do to improve the health of our planet and to help others understand how they can play a role in doing the same.

At Subaru, everything we do — from the energy we use to power our offices to building the cars that people use to explore the outdoors — impacts the environment, and we work hard to act as stewards of the natural world. From the sustainable design of our new headquarters to our zero-landfill manufacturing facility to volunteering to clean up the natural places we all enjoy and depend on, we are committed to leaving the planet better than we found it. The following stories illustrate some of the ways we work to create a healthier planet today and for future generations.

National Parks Partnership
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Our National Parks are a beloved natural resource explored by millions every year. At Subaru, because we have such a strong connection to the outdoors, we want to help protect and enhance our parks today and for future generations. That’s why we are piloting a zero-waste initiative with the National Parks that borrows from our successful efforts to make our U.S. manufacturing plant a zero-waste facility. This initiative is being piloted at three National Parks — Denali, Grand Teton, and Yosemite — in partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association. Here, we are working to test various approaches to eliminate waste from our parks and then create best practices that can be applied, ideally, across the entire National Parks system.

Denise Coogan, Subaru of America’s manager of environmental partnerships, worked for 15 years in the company’s U.S. manufacturing facility, overseeing security, an on-site medical clinic, and environmental health and safety. During this time, she helped the plant become a zero-waste facility, and in the process, she became deeply familiar with the principles of zero waste.

Today, she works at Subaru’s New Jersey headquarters, where, among other things, she’s helping the U.S. National Parks Department adopt zero-waste practices. “We started talking with the Parks Department about this as the Parks Centennial was approaching,” said Coogan (the U.S. National Parks System turned 100 in 2016). “Subaru has such a strong connection to the outdoors — outdoor enthusiasts are some of our most faithful customers — and our National Parks are such a precious resource that we jumped at the chance to help protect and enhance them by sharing the lessons we’ve learned.”

Coogan and Subaru are piloting a zero-waste initiative at three National Parks – Denali, Grand Teton, and Yosemite — in partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association. Here, they will test various approaches and then create best practices that can be applied, ideally, across the entire National Parks system.

“One of our goals is to educate park visitors before they arrive,” said Coogan. “We want to encourage them to do simple things that make a big difference, such as bringing re-useable water bottles instead of disposable ones and purchasing food in bulk to minimize the amount of packaging that enters the park system.” In addition, Subaru is working to involve other businesses that supply goods to the parks system, as well hotel managers, concessionaires, and others in the parks system who can help this effort succeed.

Subaru has also shared its zero-waste efforts with others in the outdoor industry. Recently, Coogan attended the semi-annual Outdoor Retailers Show in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she presented lessons learned from Subaru’s zero-waste efforts and was able to get businesses in attendance to sign a pledge to work toward becoming zero-waste organizations and to educate their customers as well. (In addition to food packaging, one of the biggest impacts to the National Parks comes from people leaving behind gear — often high-quality gear.)

While one goal is to take the Zero-Waste Initiative to all the parks, Coogan sees a need — and an opportunity — outside of the park boundaries. “We’d really like to see this become a national conversation — while our lives are becoming more convenient, our lifestyles are becoming very inconvenient for the environment,” said Coogan. “I’m fortunate in being able to work for a company like Subaru, where we can share what we’ve learned to create positive change — I have the best job in the world.”

Center for Aquatic Sciences
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The Center for Aquatic Sciences, which is housed in Camden, New Jersey’s Adventure Aquarium, is a unique learning institution designed to help local students engage in education through a variety of marine sciences programs. The Center provides a mobile outreach program where educators visit area schools and provide hands-on lessons (complete with the opportunity to touch sea life, including starfish, horseshoe crabs, and even a shark.) The Center also hosts students from schools throughout the region at the Adventure Aquarium, where they learn about marine life and how humans impact (and can reduce impacts to) marine habitat. Subaru provides essential support for these efforts, and in particular for the Center’s “CAUSE” program, which helps student at risk for dropping out engage in (and complete) their education.

The program places students from 8th grade (the year many students decide to drop out) through 12th grade in an intensive and empowering five-year experience where they learn about marine sciences while developing their analytical and critical thinking skills, communication skills, and more. Most importantly, these students develop the resources to be successful, to be empowered, and ideally, to become college bound.

The Center for Aquatic Sciences, which is housed in the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, is a unique learning institution designed to help local students engage in education through a variety of marine sciences programs.

The center provides a mobile outreach program where educators visit area schools and provide hands-on lessons (complete with the opportunity to touch sea life, including starfish, horseshoe crabs, and even a shark.) The center also hosts students from schools throughout the region at the Adventure Aquarium, where they learn about marine life and how humans impact (and can reduce impacts to) marine habitat.

Subaru provides essential support for these efforts and, in particular, for the center’s CAUSE program, which helps student at risk for dropping out engage in (and complete) their education. The program places students from eighth grade (the year many students decide to drop out) through 12th grade in an intensive and empowering five-year experience where they learn about marine sciences while developing their analytical and critical thinking skills, communication skills, and more. Most important, these students develop the resources to be successful, to be empowered, and, ideally, to become college bound.