Thursday, October 26, 2006

Interface and Subaru Partner to Advance Sustainable Transportation


ATLANTA, GA, Oct. 26, 2006 - Interface, Inc. and Subaru have joined forces to create "climate neutral" incentives for Interface employees in the U.S. who choose to drive Subaru vehicles.

The initiative is in keeping with Interface's Mission Zero promise, "to eliminate any negative impact that the Interface companies have on the environment by 2020."

"Partnerships like this one have the potential to change the future face of corporate leasing," said Tim Riordan, vice president, supply chain for Interface, Inc. "This arrangement represents a creative and effective effort by an automobile manufacturer to offer climate neutral driving to its customers."

Subaru will sponsor the planting of thousands of trees through American Forests' Global ReLeaf program, making the operation of the vehicles "climate neutral" for the first 60,000 miles, and equating to the sequestration of 21.6 metric tons of carbon per vehicle. American Forests is a world leader in planting for environmental restoration.

Deborah Gangloff, executive director, American Forests said, "We are proud to be part of this important partnership to cool the globe and improve the environment with trees. Slowing the rate of global climate change is one of the most important environmental challenges facing the world today. Happily, companies like Interface and Subaru are taking positive action to address this challenge."

The addition of the Subaru Outback Limited Wagon 2.5i to Interface’s U.S. fleet has also allowed Interface to fulfill its commitment of making its U.S. light duty fleet 100% SmartWay™ certified.

The SmartWay certification, granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is earned by those light-duty vehicles the EPA considers to be the cleanest and most fuel-efficient vehicles available when evaluating both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The Subaru Outback was the highest rated small SUV in the EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide.

"The Subaru Outback provided an ideal match for all of the attributes we were seeking," Riordan said. "We chose the Outback because it is a partial zero emissions vehicle (PZEV) that meets the nation’s most stringent standards for GHG emissions and because it has earned NHTSA’s 5-star crash test rating. Subaru was also able to provide us with an environmentally engineered vehicle with standard all-wheel drive that provides our sales associates with better vehicle control and handling in any kind of weather they might encounter while serving our customers throughout the country. Subaru was also the only manufacturer that would offer Interface PZEV vehicles for guaranteed delivery in any state.

The Subaru Outback is built at Subaru of Indiana Automotive in Lafayette, Indiana. The Subaru plant was the first auto assembly plant to achieve zero landfill status. In fact, nothing from its manufacturing efforts goes into a landfill. Ninety-nine percent of the waste materials generated by plant operations are either recycled or reused, with the remaining 1 percent being sent to a waste-to-energy plant.

"The average household in America sends more to a landfill than our entire Subaru manufacturing plant," said Tom Easterday, senior vice president, Subaru of Indiana Automotive. "The Subaru plant was also designated a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation in 2003. Deer, coyotes, beavers, blue herons, geese, rabbits, squirrels, ducks and other animals live on our plant property in harmony with the Subaru manufacturing facility."

Vehicles earning the PZEV emission rating are 90% cleaner running than the average new vehicle, and all of Subaru PZEV vehicles meet California’s SULEV (Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle) exhaust emission standard for 15 years/150,000 miles, as well as its zero-evaporative emission standard, and have a 15 year/150,000 mile emission defects and performance warranty.

"These vehicles with PZEV emissions rating have extremely tight pollution controls," added Easterday. "And, the burning of fuel is so complete, that in very smoggy urban areas, exhaust out of the tailpipe can actually be cleaner than the air outside."

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