Friday, 25 June 2010 17:58

Enterprise Holdings Commits to ‘Lean and Green’ with Reduced Energy Use and Energy Costs by 20 Percent Over Next Five Years

Enterprise Holdings, North America’s largest and most comprehensive service provider in the car rental industry, has announced its commitment to reduce both energy use and energy costs by 20 percent over the next five years through a new sustainability initiative the company is calling its 20/20 Vision.

Through an upfront investment in energy-saving technologies and conservation practices, the company expects to decrease the environmental impact of neighborhood car rental branches and airport facilities it owns and operates through its regional subsidiaries. The company expects to reduce energy costs by $50 million.

“The 20/20 Vision aligns the interests of our customers, employees and partners with the long-term interests of our business by expanding our environmental commitment through every level of our operations,” said Lee Broughton, director of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which operates the Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands, “Proactively reducing our energy use and natural resource consumption not only decreases our impact on the environment, but also will result in cost savings to ensure the sustainability of our business.”

The 20/20 Vision was developed based on recommendations by Enterprise Holdings’ Chairman’s Task Force on Sustainability, a cross-section of the company’s departmental leadership, that is leading an assessment of the company’s operations to identify opportunities to make significant, positive changes.

Using these recommendations, operations managers throughout the company are developing energy and cost reduction goals. Initial changes, such as using more energy-efficient lighting and switching to energy-saving software tools, at the company’s headquarters in St. Louis and across more than 7,600 neighborhood and airport locations will lead to a dramatic reduction in the company’s energy use and costs.

“We have developed a lighting retrofit program to help operations managers measure and reduce the cost of lighting in branches. It’s simple to use: just plug in the number of light fixtures and the program automatically calculates the cost savings of switching from, say, T12 florescent bulbs and ballasts to enhanced T8 bulbs. They’re about 70 percent more efficient,” said Meghan Maguire, Public Relations Specialist at Enterprise, “We also feel strongly that we need to reduce the amount of water we are using within our operations. Our customers expect and deserve clean rental cars, and we want to become more efficient in providing those in a way that uses the least amount of water. We are conducting a study on this topic currently.”

Enterprise Holdings began piloting the 20/20 Vision in select markets in 2009. Based on the success of those pilots, the company is now rolling out the program companywide – nationally and internationally, across the Alamo, Enterprise and National brands.

“At our corporate headquarters in St. Louis, we invested $107,000 in energy-saving lighting in our parking garage that we estimate will result in approximately 800,000 kWh of savings, and will save approximately $50,000 per year in energy costs. And at one of our administrative offices in Southern California, we invested $20,000 in new parking lot lighting that will result in more than 110,00 kWh of savings, and $14,000 of energy cost savings per year,” said Maguire.

This announcement marks the next evolution of the company’s industry-leading environmental platform that includes initiatives such as a customer carbon offset program; a pledge to plant 50 million trees over the next 50 years; an unparalleled fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles, FlexFuel vehicles, and gas/electric hybrids; the use of biodiesel fuel in its Alamo, Enterprise and National airport shuttle buses; and a commitment to alternative fuels research.

“Through our regional subsidiaries, Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental operate the world’s largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles with approximately 410,000 vehicles that average a highway fuel efficiency rating of at least 28 mpg and more than 230,000 that average 32 mpg or better,” said Maguire, “In addition, we also have the largest fleet of hybrid vehicles in our industry: approximately 7,000 nationwide. Customers can reserve these hybrids online or by phone from nearly 100 Enterprise Rent-A-Car ‘hybrid branches,’ which carry a high concentration of hybrid vehicles and are located in 30 markets across the country, including the 10 busiest U.S. airports for business travel. And we continue to look for opportunities to procure more hybrids from the manufacturers.”

Since 2006, Enterprise’s environmental stewardship has resulted in:

* In its first year, customer participation in the company’s carbon offset program, along with a match from the company’s charitable foundation, generated $440,000 to fund several certified offset projects that work to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. With partner TerraPass, these projects offset 42,000 metric tons of carbon, which, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, is equivalent to saving 4.8 million gallons of gasoline and 98,000 barrels of oil.

* Annual recycling of approximately 710,000 gallons of used motor oil and more than 676,000 used oil filters through the Alamo, Enterprise and National brand operations.

* In 2010, the planting of the 5 millionth tree through the company’s 50 Million Tree Pledge, a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.

* Recognition in 2009 by the Environmental Defense Fund for the company’s new rental transaction system at its more than 7,600 locations worldwide – a network of 45,000 energy-saving thin client terminals deployed through the company’s regional subsidiaries, which will enable the company to cut its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 6.5 million pounds – a reduction of nearly 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per branch office per year.

* WeCar car-sharing technology – complemented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s extensive local car rental network – provides an environmentally friendly transportation solution, whether it is for an hour, a day, a weekend or longer.  Totally automated and membership-based, WeCar serves local businesses, universities and government offices looking to enhance their fleet management operations and sustainability initiatives.

* Significant strides in alternative fuel research at the Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels focusing on the creation of biofuels from algae, soybean and camelina. Since the Institute was created in 2007 through a partnership between Enterprise and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, it has been awarded approximately $75 million in additional research grants.

All told, over the past several years Enterprise Holdings and the Taylor family have contributed or pledged more than $120 million to environmental initiatives. For more information about the company’s full environmental platform, visit www.keystogreen.com.

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