Is the Automotive Industry on the Rise?

Lindsay Garrison
Director of Social Media

The term “Go Green” gained its popularity over 9 years ago and has been increasing in its regard. Although the term “Go Green” is relatively new to the environmentalism movement, the movement; however, predate the 1950’s. One must always consider the natural law of cause and effect and its infinite number of variables that must take place before a movement begins.  Consequently, in the 1950’s individuals started to take into account the damage that was being caused to the environment increasing with every year.

Kaiser & Byrka (2011) postulate that environmentalists are individuals that act prosocially in mundane activities, unrelated to environmental conservation. Prosocial individuals believe that they have a moral obligation and a collective interest to conservation. Furthermore, prosocial individuals possess the collectivist mentality affecting all areas of his or her life.

Recent studies suggest that exposure to affluent communities increases the likelihood that one will be more ecofriendly; taking on an environmental identity.  Affluent communities predispose individuals to mindfulness and awareness of conservation disseminating an environmental identity (Owen, Videras & Wu, 2010).

Individuals are not the only ones to take on a moral obligation to environmental conservation. Corporate environmentalism has become a focus of many Fortune 500 companies sharing a collective interest to reduce the environmental footprint. It is no surprise that the most eco-friendly companies are technology companies; for example, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM, which are ranked the top 3 environmental companies in the United States (Deveny, 2010).  Many more companies are becoming involved in the green movement to reduce the carbon footprint that is being made.

It is difficult to put automobiles and environmentalism in the same sentence. It is no secret that automobiles are significantly adding to the degradation of the environment. The automobile industry is one of the last industries to “go green.” Over the last decade the automotive industry has created hybrid cars and cars that run off water, biofuels, clean diesel, electricity, and hydrogen; increasing environmental proficiency to meet the demands of the conservative consumers.  Consequently, many automotive manufactures, are working to develop environmental friendly products. Although, the manufactures are not mainstream there are many companies that are developing auto parts through a “go green” lens.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufactures (2012) supported the federal government in finalizing a National Program to increase fuel economy by 40%, beginning 2012-2016. The National Program’s purpose is to create consistency for automakers and consumers alike by raising current standards to sustainable mobility. The movement towards sustainable mobility not only includes increasing fuel economy but, increasing low environmental impact fuels to the mainstream.

The bottom line is that going green is not just a movement. Environmentalism has been around for a long time, and the past efforts are now starting to bear fruits. Conservation starts with the prosocial/collectivist identity and then flows into all arenas of life. Fortune 500 companies are jumping on the “go green” bandwagon, gaining popularity from the masses, and increasing renewable energy; meanwhile reducing negative environmental impacts. One of the biggest environmental feats and challenges is undoubtedly the automotive industry. New legislature is driving the automotive industry to create sustainable mobility.

Since the beginning of the economic crash the automobile industry and all of its subsidiaries have struggled. However, with the automotive industry working to provide renewable energy before 2016, it is feasible to say that this industry will be on the rise once again.
References
Deveny, K. (2010). THE 100 GREENEST COMPANIES IN AMERICA. Newsweek, 156(17), 50-57.
Kaiser, F. G., & Byrka, K. (2011). Environmentalism as a trait: Gauging people’s prosocial personality in terms of environmental engagement. International Journal of Psychology, 46(1), 71-79. doi:10.1080/00207594.2010.516830
Owen, A., Videras, J., & Wu, S. (2010). Identity and Environmentalism: The Influence of Community Characteristics. Review of Social Economy, 68(4), 465-486.
The alliance of automobile manufactures. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.autoalliance.org