Land Rover Portland in Oregon has become the first auto retailer in the nation to provide a carbon- offset program for its customers. It is doing that by donating to the Conservation Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting America's land and water resources.

The contributions apply to every new and certified pre-owned Land Rover vehicle the dealership sells, and will offset 100% of each vehicle's carbon emissions for 50,000 miles of vehicular travel.

Land Rover Portland automatically makes a donation to The Conservation Fund with each purchase. Customers are not charged an additional amount to participate.

The Conservation Fund will use the contributions to restore native forests that will trap the carbon dioxide produced by each vehicle sold.

Land Rover Portland says its initiative will provide for the additional planting and protection of about 12,000 trees each year.

The Fund estimates each tree planted will sequester more than one ton of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over its lifetime.

“As an Oregon business, lessening our environmental impact is something we've always believed in and this is another way we can make a difference,“ says Dan Muggli, manager of Land Rover Portland. “We aren't saying this is a total solution to the problem, but it's a positive step and one that's within our control.”

Conservation Fund's President Larry Selzer says, “The Fund applauds the team at Land Rover Portland for its industry-leading approach to addressing climate change.

“By demonstrating a market-based approach to conservation we can help fight climate change, safeguard critical wildlife habitat, protect our nation's air and water and enhance public recreation areas for current and future generations.“

The Conservation Fund has restored nearly 30,000 acres and planted more than 9 million trees, which will capture an estimated 13.5 million tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere.

Land Rover Portland has a long history of pioneering environmental initiatives.

It was the first auto dealership ever to be certified as an Eco-Logical Business by Pollution Prevention Outreach, a multi-agency governmental task force established to encourage environmentally sustainable practices among businesses.

Land Rover North America Inc. is a founding member of Tread Lightly, which encourages environmentally sensitive off-roading, and Land Rover Portland provides Tread Lightly training at customer events.

The dealership also has been a long-time supporter of leading local environmental and conservation groups, such as Oregon Trout.