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Cars and Collaboration

Fuel Cell

by: Elizabeth Train

Dirty little secret: I love cars. When I was growing up, my dad and I spent our daily drives together (he dropped me off at school on his way to work) on the lookout for beautiful cars. From Lotus to Lamborghini, Aston Martin to Bugatti, a gorgeous car still makes me swoon. But, being a sustainability strategist, tree hugger, bike commuter, and big believer in the effects of climate change, I feel a little conflicted about my obsession.

All this to say, I was particularly excited last week, when The New York Times WheelsBlog reported that three auto giants—Daimler, Ford and, most recently, Nissan—are joining forces to put some collective muscle behind hydrogen fuel-cell research and design. Apparently, the companies have agreed to share costs equally and hope to develop a product that can be used across their brands.

Partnerships like this make so much sense: they improve efficiency and ensure that companies aren’t reinventing the wheel.

At Walden Hyde, we’ve seen and admired collaborations like this in the outdoor industry, through the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and in the athletic shoe business, led by Nike, Adidas, and Puma. These partnerships are helping companies to produce products that are better for the people making and wearing them—and better for the health of our world as a whole.

It’s inspiring to see companies rise above industry competition and collaborate on things that are good for the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. I can’t wait to see what this and other auto-industry collaborations will do to raise the bar on auto efficiency and emissions—and help clean up my dirty secret.

Ford truck image.
Fuel cell car image.

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