Worldwide News

        Subaru's Green Strategy

        Aug 18 , 2008 [Canada]
        Subaru, the industry leader in all-wheel drive technology, is proud of its total business commitment to the environment.†

        To ensure that Subaruís environmental activities in North America remain at the forefront of business planning, the company formed the Subaru North American Environmental Committee (NAEC), which continually reviews progress and sets new goals.†

        The mission of the Subaru NAEC is to unite all North American Subaru operations in a cohesive environmental conservation plan to encourage environmental improvement activities within the company and the community, and help reduce dependency on natural resources.

        Subaru is also dedicated to protecting natural resources, community environments, and human health.† This commitment goes beyond meeting environmental laws and regulations; it integrates sound environmental practices into all of business activities and decisions.† This includes:

      • Complying with all environmental laws and regulations.

      • Implementing effective pollution-prevention systems that protect the air, land, and water.

      • Conserving natural resources by reducing, reusing, and recycling.

      • Providing adequate incentive for the continual improvement of Subaruís environmental management systems.

      • Fostering employee awareness and involvement.

      • Encouraging a culture of continual improvement relating to all business activities, including the environment.

      • NAEC committee members include representatives from Subaruís parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), as well as senior representatives from all five North American companies:

      • Subaru of America, Inc.: SOA is responsible for the sales and distribution of Subaru vehicles in the United States, distribution of service parts, and for providing training to authorized service technicians.

      • Subaru Canada, Inc.:† SCI is responsible for the sales and distribution of vehicles in Canada, distribution of service parts to Canadian dealers, and for providing training to authorized service technicians.

      • Subaru Research and Development, Inc.:† This Subaru subsidiary finds solutions for current and future design and engineering challenges.

      • Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc.:† Subaru Legacy, Outback, and Tribeca models are manufactured at SIA.

      • Robin Manufacturing USA, Inc.: Manufactures small engines used in products such as ATVs, home generators, and high-pressure washers.


        Subaru was the first automotive manufacturer in North America to achieve the stringent ISO 14001 environmental management standard and the first to achieve zero landfill status at its manufacturing facility, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. In fact, Subaru has not only achieved ISO 14001 at its manufacturing facilities, but also within the whole business stream, including administrative offices, distribution warehouses, and service technician training centres.

        ISO 14001

        The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 environmental management standard identifies activities that have, or may have, a significant impact on the environment. This standard is the basis of Subaruís environmental management systems.

        Subaru has proactively implemented ISO 14001 practices at all levels of the organization, not just manufacturing.† SIA was the first automotive manufacturing facility in North America to be ISO 14001 certified.† Since then, every Subaru facility has been ISO 14001 certified, including our administrative offices, regional distribution warehouses and sales offices, service training centres and small engine manufacturing facility.

        Our Partnerships

        Examples of the company's environmental stewardship go beyond technology and manufacturing and into the very lives of its customers.

      • Interface: A world leader in commercial interiors and well known for its environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts, Interface chose the Subaru Outback PZEV as its sales fleet vehicle in the United States, making their fleet 100 percent SmartWay certified by the EPA.

      • Drive Magazine and Six Star Magazine: The Subaru customer magazines as well as all product brochures are printed on recycled paper using environmentally friendly ink.


        SIA, the Subaru manufacturing plant in Indiana, sends less trash to landfills than the average North American household.† It was the first auto assembly plant to achieve zero landfill status. Nothing from SIAís manufacturing efforts goes into a landfill, it's all reused and recycled.

      • In 2007, SIA was awarded the EPAís top WasteWise award in the large manufacturing category.

      • In 2006, SIA was awarded the EPA's Gold Achievement Award as a top achiever in the WasteWise program to reduce waste and improve recycling.

      • In 2004, SIA became the first U.S. manufacturing facility to reach zero landfill status.

      • In 2003, SIA became the first U.S. automotive assembly plant to be designated a wildlife habitat. Deer, coyotes, beavers, blue herons, geese, and other animals live on the property in peaceful coexistence with the Subaru plant.

      • In 2002, SIA became the first auto assembly plant in the U.S. with an on-site solvent recovery system.

      • In 1998, SIA was the first auto assembly plant in the U.S. to be ISO 14001 Certified.

      • In 1994, SIA was also the first auto assembly plant in the U.S. to be smoke free.

      • Each year, SIA recycles 99.8 percent of excess/leftover steel, plastic, wood, paper, glass, and other materials. The remaining 0.2 percent is regulated (hazardous) waste that must be incinerated.†


        Subaru strives constantly to make its vehicles more efficient and to reduce their impact on the environment. Its results to date have been achieved with a combination of smart vehicle design and the application of sophisticated technologies that reduce fuel consumptions and emissions.

        Subaru SmartWay Vehicles

        Subaru offers the most fuel efficient all-wheel drive vehicle lineup in North America. Subaru Canada also offers Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) Legacy and Outback models that are certified to meet California's stringent Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle exhaust emission standard.

      • Subaru PZEV vehicles have 90 percent cleaner emissions than the average new vehicle.

      • Gasoline vehicles meeting PZEV emissions standards sometimes have even lower emissions than hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles.

      • Subaru PZEV vehicles achieve such tight pollution controls and the burning of fuel is so complete that in smoggy urban areas tailpipe exhaust can actually be cleaner than the air outside.

      • Subaru PZEV vehicles are also U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Certified SmartWay vehicles.

      • According to the EPA, Outback and Legacy PZEV are among the cleanest and most fuel-efficient vehicles available in North America, based on air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and overall fuel economy.

      • Outback and Legacy PZEV models are honoured in the EPA's Green Vehicle Guide.

      • In addition, Subaru has developed a number of advanced technologies to reduce fuel consumption and emissions that are making their way throughout the product lineup.† These include:

        SI-DRIVEóperformance and fuel efficiency

        Itís like having three engines in one vehicle.† Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) balances performance with fuel economy in three effective combinations and puts the choice in the hands of the driver.

        Intelligent Mode for smooth, efficient performance. In Intelligent mode, the engine lowers the idle speed and relaxes throttle response, using up to 10 percent less fuel than the more aggressive Sport mode. Itís ideal for driving conditions that burn a lot of fuel, such as stop-and-go traffic and residential neighbourhoods.† Intelligent mode also delivers smooth response at low speeds and enhanced control when the road is slippery. On Subaru models equipped with a manual transmission, an indicator on the tachometer alerts the driver to the best shift point; automatic transmissions switch to fuel-efficient shifting in Intelligent mode.

        Sport Mode for all-around performance. In Sport mode, quick throttle response, full engine power, and strong, linear acceleration at all speeds produce smooth acceleration and create the feel of a larger-displacement engine. This setting is right for the challenges of highway driving and steep climbs. While fuel economy is not the first objective, an Eco-gauge on the fuel indicator gives the driver a real-time fuel consumption reading.

        Sport Sharp Mode for maximum performance. In Sport Sharp mode, the vehicleís throttle becomes more responsive across the engine speed range. This is ideal for twisting roads as well as confident merging and overtaking on highways. Automatic transmissions are set for high-rpm shifting to deliver exciting engine performance and control.

        Active Valve Control System

        Subaruís Active Valve Control System (AVCS) is a variable valve timing system.

        Normally, when intake valves are open, exhaust valves are closed. AVCS, however, controls the valve timing so that there is some overlap in the open/closed cycleóthe exhaust valve is open for part of the time the intake valve is open. This creates an effect similar to opening windows at opposite ends of a house to encourage better ventilation. When you open one window you get a breeze; when you open a second window you get a much stronger breeze because the air moves through with less obstruction.

        On Subaru models equipped with AVCS, the Engine Control Module receives input signals from the airflow sensors, coolant temperature sensors, throttle position sensor and camshaft position sensors. The system then adjusts the air intake camshaft timing as the revs increase so that the intake and exhaust valves are both open just long enough to provide stronger air intake and stronger exhaust venting.

        This system has nearly infinite adjustment (within a maximum range of 35 degrees from the crankshaft) on a continuous basis for best performance and efficiency:

      • at low revs, there is no overlap for smooth idling

      • at medium speed, there is a slight overlap for better fuel efficiency and lower emissions

      • at high revs, the overlap is increased for more top end power for passing and merging into fast traffic

      • The flexibility of AVCS increases engine power and torque output but also lessens fuel consumption and emissions.

        Subaru employs two different valve lift systems. In either case, the principle is the sameóthe wider open the valve, the more air gets in. This allows more fuel to be injected into the cylinder for a more powerful and efficient burn at higher revs.


        Subaru will continue to use all the advanced engineering at its disposal to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions while continuing to achieve the highest standards of occupant protection, both active and passive.