Volkswagen is relying on a privately managed forest in California to help offset its contributions to greenhouse gas emissions.
Auto industry analyst Karl Brauer writes in Forbes that although the German auto giant is in the midst of various steps to curb its environmental impact, VW can't eliminate its emissions entirely.
In addition to the limits of current technology, the need for automobiles worldwide continues to increase. In order to compensate for that gap, Brauer writes that VW is contributing to the recovery of a coastal river valley in Northern California.
Virginia-based The Conservation Fund purchased 23,780 acres of the Garcia River Forest more than a decade ago, which established one of the first and largest nonprofit-owned sustainable forests.
The group protects the area from development while enhancing the environment and improving the conditions for sustainable logging practices.
A San Francisco-based company called 3degrees monitors activities in the Garcia River Forest — backed by VW or other organizations — that reduce the effects of carbon dioxide.
The company then acts as a broker that credits those groups with carbon offsets and reduces their overall environmental impact.
VW hopes to reduce its passenger vehicle emissions by 90 percent by 2050, while curbing its production emissions by about 40 percent between 2010 and 2020.
The company is also working on electrifying 40 VW models and implementing millions in electric vehicle charging equipment across the U.S.