Suzuki drives environmental friendliness

December2010/January 2011
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THE list of detrimental health effects from vehicle air pollution sounds like a little shop of horrors.

Impairing the body’s immune system, increasing a person’s risk of cancer-related death and contributing to birth defects, low birth weight, and infant deaths are among other effects of vehicle air pollution.

According to environmental experts, no other machine in history has had a greater impact on our environment than motor vehicles.

In most European countries long-term air pollution from cars result in an extra 21,000 premature deaths per year from respiratory or heart diseases, more than the total number of deaths from annual traffic accidents in the these countries, according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report.

“Air pollution from traffic at the levels we have today does cause a major health impact,” Dr Carlos Dora, of the WHO Centre for Health and Environment in Rome, told a news conference recently.

However, motor vehicle manufacturers argue that they have the environment in mind when they make the cars.

Local car dealers, Suzuki Auto Namibia has gone on record to maintain that all their vehicles are manufactured to this specification.

“Yes, we love and sell cars but we also think about saving our environment,” says William Baartman, the Dealer Principal of Suzuki Windhoek.

Research indicates that air pollution can cause serious lung problems.

While our cars spew as we just sit and stew, for the 8 month-old Suzuki Auto Namibia, it is no time for the latter.

Recently, the company scored a first as the only automobile dealer to give something back to nature and alleviate vehicular pollution in Namibia.

A Trees For Cars scheme was launched by Suzuki Auto Namibia as a “way of offsetting our carbon footprint,” thus Baartman, adding “together with recycling policies, Suzuki Windhoek is making eco conscious living a way of life.”

Suzuki Windhoek has pledged a tree for every new Suzuki vehicle purchased, making the Trees for Cars initiative, a truly unique program and one that leads a new brand of eco sensitive businesses into the future.

Baartman says it is Suzuki Auto Namibia’s belief that business should be sustainable enough to be at the forefront of eco-conscious businesses in Namibia.

“We live in an era of environmental change and businesses and individuals should make it a priority to be actively involved in preserving our environment;

Like us here at Suzuki, we know that a car is not a clean product and we aware of our pollution. It is our objective to do an honourable thing, that we help our planet heal itself because if we do not act anything we become part of the problem itself,” says Baartman.

Suzuki Auto Namibia is also recycling their waste materials, including oil which is drained from vehicles.

Baartman emphasizes that Suzuki is recycling, reusing and reducing the use of resources to be in a position whereby “we will be able to recycle all our waste generated, and become a zero polluter.”

He argues that the automobile industry could play its part effectively by designing energy efficient vehicles with good emissions control systems in place.

“Small is our philosophy, with a very small car you can go dune climbing, we are saying smaller cars will save you money and reduce pollution to save the environment.

Everyone can contribute to cleaner air by choosing cleaner sources of energy and using energy more efficiently.

“For instance taking public transportation, maintaining an automobile emission controls on one’s cars, walking or biking to work or school can make a difference.

Limiting the use of fireplaces or wood and coal burning stoves, and seeking out more efficient heating and cooling systems can also contribute to cleaner air,” he says.

The first tree was planted by the City of Windhoek’s Parks Division in October 2010.

A total of 50 trees were planted between October and December representing the first few months of sales by Suzuki Windhoek which came into Namibia in October.

The City of Windhoek received various species of trees such as the palm and shrubs to plant across town particularly, replacing the trees in the middle of the road destroyed by accidents.

Being a member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a diverse group of manufacturers and distributors, Suzuki advises on how we drive and how we take care of our vehicles affects fuel economy and pollution emissions.

Key on their message is:

“Drive less, use public transportation and walk more.

Purchase cars that get good gas mileage. Keep your car in good shape with good tires and regular oil changes.”

Suzuki Auto Namibia maintains that it will not charge any Carbon Tax to Namibian customers, as this tax is primary for South African motorists.

“Our Suzuki customers can be assured that they are not paying for something they are not supposed too, and that they will always get the best value from Suzuki Auto Namibia.” PF