Land Rover found that stakeholders could influence them to adopt a two-way symmetrical approach after Greenpeace invaded its manufacturing plant. Land Rover had already introduced a sustainable development policy with product improvements but these had not been communicated to its publics. Land Rover was further motivated to improve and communicate its sustainability by the increasing media focus on environmental issues and its negative phrases such as ‘gas-guzzling 4x4s’.
When Greenpeace demonstrated on the Land Rover premises it galvanised the organisation into working with stakeholders to address its image and gain support for its sustainable development policy. The consultancy Grayling PR’s objective was to protect and promote the Land Rover brand in order to tackle the stigma around 4x4s and their environmental impact.
It intended to do this through a strategy of focusing on the brand’s sustainability, showcasing the company’s product improvements, its conservation partnership, and renewable energy investment as part of its CO2 offset programme.
Land Rover engaged with both positively and negatively affected stakeholders. These included its natural allies, for instance the motoring organisations, and also its critics; the environmentalcharities and NGOs such as Greenpeace. Meetings with potential supportters focused on looking for opportunities to work together. Meetings with detractors centred on identifying some common ground and encouraging a more informed view of Land Rover’s environmental impacts.
The vehicles play a big role in facilitation conservation work therefore partnerships were developed with five conservation charities- the Royal Geographical Society, Earthwatch, Biosphere,Born Free, and the Chinese Explatory and Research Society (CERS) providing vehicle and financial support. Land Rover and the CERS also worked together on a CNN documentary in Tibet.
As a part of the 60th anniversary of the Red Cross, Land Rover gave 60 vehicles to the British Red Cross which were officially donated by HRH the Orince of Wales at a Buckingham Palace garden party. The vehicles were arranged in the form of a Red Cross flag and generated photo opportunities and subsequent overage, including an online Red Cross video.
Half the donated vehicles will be used in countries such as in Sierra Leone, Lesotho and Mongolia to transport vital supplies and emergency response personnel during natural disasters such as cyclones, floods and earthquakes. The remainder will help with UK operations such as floodingm off-road emergencies and public events.
Renewable energy investment
Land Rover conducts the world’s largest consumer offset programme, It invests in renewable energy projects such as wind, solar, and technology change and energy efficiency.
New technologies,such as the hybrid engine, signposted a future direction and sustainability opinion leaders were consulted. The Chief Executive of Greenpeace met the managing director of Land Rover and visited Land Rover’s HQ to review its sustainable technologies,
Land Rover now generates positive media coverage and is making inroads into specialist environmental media and is in open dialogue with NGOs and pressure environmental groups.