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Enterprise Earns Praise for Green CommitmentMarch 11, 2009 By: George Dooley
The Taylor family, which owns Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent A Car, takes its Green commitment seriously. One indication is a $25 million grant for the creation of the Institute for Renewable Fuels to advance the research and development of alternative fuel technologies.
Another Enterprise initiative is adding 5,000 hybrids to its fleet and designating 80 “hybrid branch’s” nationwide. Impressive enough, but there is more evidence that the Taylor family and Enterprise have emerged as a world-class leader in the green movement. The biggest is that overall, Enterprise has invested $120 million in environmental initiatives.
Another innovation is Enterprise’s imaginative WeCar Car Sharing Program. Enterprise believes it has become the first major car rental company to offer a business-to-business car-sharing program throughout the U.S. Enterprise’s Green commitment is also apparent in its education and training of clients on driving green to reduce environmental impact. And Enterprise has an aggressive carbon offset program coupled with a campaign to increase understanding.
“Development of new energy sources will not only sustain our business of renting vehicles, but also help sustain the environment around us for future generations. We believe it's important for us to play a role in the search for sustainable new alternative fuels, just as we're committed to using our fleet to grow the market for commercially viable new fuels and engine technologies. Our company's success in the future depends on the availability of vehicles and fuel ? and both must be acceptable to society,” Enterprise said.
The Enterprise family of companies may well have the industry’s most comprehensive environmental sustainability platform. This includes:
• Embracing new, clean technologies – In addition to the focus on hybrids, Enterprise has
designated eight “E85/FlexFuel” branches where as much as 30 percent of the local fleets are FlexFuel vehicles capable of using E85 (a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). In addition, Enterprise fuels those vehicles from a nearby E85 fueling station.
• The world’s largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles – Nearly 450,000 cars in the combined
Enterprise, National and Alamo fleet average a highway fuel efficiency rating of at least
28 mpg or better; nearly 230,000 average 32 mpg or better; and nearly 425,000 have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay certification mark – a distinction the EPA grants to vehicles that emit relatively low levels of both regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases such as CO2.
• Customer Carbon Offsets – Enterprise, National and Alamo customers can offset the
CO2 emissions of their rental cars by opting to pay $1.25 per rental to fund certified offset projects through TerraPass. The company’s charitable foundation will match customer contributions dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million.
• Research – In 2007, the Taylor family donated $25 million to create the Enterprise
Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels, where top scientists are working on alternatives to finite fossil fuels by finding new ways to create fuel from renewable, reliable plant sources.
• Conservation – The company’s charitable foundation has pledged $50 million to plant
50 million trees over 50 years through the 50 Million Tree Pledge, a public/private/nonprofit
partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service. Trees are being
planted on public lands in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
All told, over the past several years the Taylor family and their companies have contributed or pledged more than $120 million to environmental initiatives – an oustandimg achievement that has earned Enterprise national media recognition and praise from the travel industry.
“For us, environmental stewardship is a long-term approach to addressing those parts of the world that we touch with our business, and involving ourselves with those issues over which we have some influence. It's an approach built upon a commitment to ensure the sustainability of our business, as well as the sustainability of the world we all share,” Enterprise says.
For more information about Enterprise's full environmental platform, visit www.keystogreen.com.