Caterpillar  have taken a major industry initiative in environmental sustainability by offering a free 12 month carbon offset sponsorship for customers who purchase selected machines from their compact construction equipment range.

From January 2009, Caterpillar customers have the option to help offset the carbon emissions produced by their Skid Steer Loader, Multi-Terrain Loader and/or Mini Excavator through carbon offset provider Greenfleet.

This is done by Caterpillar paying Greenfleet to plant native trees on customers’ behalf after they purchase any of the selected machines from Caterpillar’s range of Compact Construction Equipment.

Established in 2001, Greenfleet has become one of Australia’s most respected not for profit environmental organisations by offering a simple and effective method to offset harmful emissions created by individuals and various organisations.

Greenfleet will plant a range of native tree species to help regenerate environments on both public and private land – particularly in areas of high environmental concern. All participating Caterpillar customers will be able to place Greenfleet stickers on their machine to demonstrate their support of the environment.

This Carbon Offset programme will run as an introductory offer for the first 12 months of machine ownership. At the completion of the first year, customers can choose themselves to continue to offset their emissions through Greenfleet at their own cost.

As a Greenhouse Friendly approved abatement provider, Greenfleet is subject to strict procedures that take into account all aspects of the organisation's operations, including forest planting, monitoring, permanence and ownership.

The initiative also places particular emphasis on 'additionality', which means that the planting would not have occurred without specific contributions to help reduce greenhouse gases.

Sustainable development has become a critical part of the way Caterpillar does business and the association with Greenfleet reinforces the company’s responsibilities to the environment.