Car Industry

Porsche's new tool will let you pay to offset your car's carbon footprint

Paying to make your problems go away is the American way.

Now, the paint color doesn't have to be the only thing about your Porsche that's green.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

One popular way to offset your carbon footprint is to fund programs meant to improve the environment. Automakers do it -- Audi pays to offset the 5% of its E-Tron plant that doesn't run on renewables, for example -- and now, Porsche owners can chip in to feel a bit greener, too.

Porsche on Monday unveiled Porsche Impact, a new online tool that helps P-car owners determine their carbon footprint and offset it in a variety of ways. The first thing an owner needs to do is head to Porsche Impact's website, plugging in the car's annual mileage and its observed fuel economy, along with the type of fuel the car gulps down.

For example, I put in an annual mileage of 10,000 and an average of 20 miles per gallon of gasoline. Porsche's calculator claims that my yearly footprint is equal to 4.39 tons of carbon dioxide. Yikes. The amount required in donation changes based on the project. Using the figures above, I would need to donate between $54 and $123 to offset my car's CO2 emissions.

Porsche's website lets you pick from four different projects for your donation. The biodiversity option will pay to help protect forests and wildlife in Zimbabwe. The solar option helps bolster the growing solar movement in Latin America. Choosing the water option will contribute to improving air and water quality in Central Vietnam, while the final option puts the money toward protecting an old-growth spruce forest on Afognak Island in Alaska. The programs are managed by South Pole, a Swiss company that specializes in carbon-offset programs.

While Porsche Impact is new for the US, it's been available to owners in Germany, Poland and the UK since late last year. Porsche Cars North America has already enrolled all its Experience Center cars in the program, in addition to vehicles included in the Porsche Passport subscription fleet.

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