Submitted by Enterprise Rent-A-Car
ST. LOUIS, MO - January 15, 2008 "“ Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car today launched their industry's largest customer carbon offset program. Designed to give customers a simple but meaningful way to address the environmental impact of renting a car, the program is the first consumer initiative to be launched under all three brands.
Enterprise, National and Alamo are owned by the Taylor family of St. Louis. Collectively, the Taylors own and operate the world's largest automotive fleet, employing more than 1.1 million vehicles. Under this new program, customers of all three rental car brands can benefit the environment by offsetting the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated by the average car rental.
When reserving a car through the company's call-in reservation centers or online, customers can opt in to pay $1.25 per rental (plus applicable taxes) to purchase a carbon offset. Under this new program, in partnership with TerraPass, a leading provider of carbon offsets, the funds will be used to purchase certified offset projects that work to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. According to TerraPass, for every 100,000 customers who choose to take part, this effort will offset more than 30 million pounds "“ or 13,500 metric tons "“ of CO2.
In the pilot phase of the program, which began on January 1, 2008, the company reported that across all three brands, approximately 1,000 customers per day agreed to buy carbon offsets when reserving a vehicle.
Enterprise customer David Washer of Wenatchee, Wash., was among the first to select the offset option when reserving a vehicle. "I support companies that contribute to cleaner air and the environment, and I think it's excellent that Enterprise is offering this to their customers," Washer said. "I think the more that individual companies can do to help the environment, the better off my kids will be in the future."
Million Dollar Match
What's more, the company has committed to double the effort with a dollar-for-dollar match of its customers' offset purchases up to $1 million. The company estimates that if all of the renters reached by the program opted in, their offset purchases, plus the matching funds, could offset approximately half the carbon produced by the combined Enterprise, National and Alamo fleets.
"We are hoping for an enthusiastic response "“ nothing would please us more than to use up our entire $1 million match," said Andy Taylor, chairman and chief executive officer of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, whose family last year purchased the National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car businesses. "Our customers want to make sustainable choices whenever they can. We are pleased they now have that choice when renting a car.
"We know that the future success of our business requires us to have an abundant supply of vehicles and the fuel to power them," said Taylor. "And both the vehicles and fuel must remain acceptable to society. In a very real way, this is all about sustaining our business for the long term by sustaining the parts of the world we touch with our business."
"We are proud to join with Enterprise, National and Alamo to bring consumers one more way to reduce their environmental impacts, and at the same time support new clean energy initiatives," said Erik Blachford, chief executive officer of TerraPass. "For the Taylor family, this offset program is just one part of a thoughtful and comprehensive environmental platform that we are pleased to be a part of."
The $1.25 offset charge represents the cost of offsetting the CO2 impact of the average rental vehicle operating in the company's fleet. TerraPass calculated the dollar amount, based on the average vehicle fuel economy (28 highway mpg), miles driven per rental (71 miles per day), and number of days per rental over the past year for the combined Enterprise, National and Alamo North American fleet. (Total offsets purchased will vary, based on factors such as the current market rates for the offsets.)
Customers can quickly and easily purchase their carbon offsets while booking their reservations through call-in reservation centers or online at www.enterprise.com, www.nationalcar.com, or www.alamo.com. The dollar-for-dollar match will be made from the company's charitable foundation, and will support additional TerraPass carbon offsetting projects purchased through Sustainable Travel International. The program is being offered at participating locations in the U.S. and Canada; it will be extended to Enterprise's European customers later this year.
"We think it's quite significant that when the Enterprise, National and Alamo brands join forces for the first time on a consumer initiative, it is to launch an effort that will benefit the environment," said Patrick Farrell, the company's vice president, corporate responsibility and communications. "This is just one more indication of our commitment to running our business for the long term, in a sustainable and responsible way."
The carbon offset program is the newest plank in a broad sustainability platform that includes:
All told, over the past several years the Taylor family and their company have contributed or pledged more than $120 million to environmental initiatives. For more information about the full environmental platform, visit www.keystogreen.com.
"Across all the elements of our environmental sustainability platform, we are focusing on responsibly addressing those areas where our business has an impact on the world around it," said Farrell. "Now we're excited to invite our customers to join us. We're not presuming to offer a total solution, but we believe we’re taking solid steps in the right direction."
The Taylor Family of St. Louis owns and operates the Enterprise, National and Alamo businesses, which include a worldwide network of more than 8,000 neighborhood-based and airport car rental locations.
About Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Founded in 1957, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is headquartered in St. Louis and serves customers in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Ireland and Germany. Enterprise is North America's largest car rental company in fleet size, number of locations and annual revenue, ranking No. 21 on the Forbes Top 500 Private Companies in America. Enterprise has ranked highest in customer satisfaction among airport rentals in eight out of the past nine years, according to J.D. Power and Associates Rental Car Satisfaction StudySM. For more information about Enterprise, visit www.enterprise.com.
About National Car Rental
National Car Rental, an internationally recognized brand that targets the daily rental needs of the airport business customer, has locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Rim. For more information about National, visit www.nationalcar.com.
About Alamo Rent A Car
Alamo Rent A Car, an internationally recognized brand that services the most popular travel destinations for the leisure airport customer, has locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Rim. For more information about Alamo, including the Best Rate Guarantee, visit www.alamo.com.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car operates more than 878,000 rental and fleet management vehicles worldwide and has annual revenues of $9 billion. Last year, Enterprise opened more than 400 new locations, increasing its total locations to more than 7,000. Enterprise is currently number 21 on the Forbes "500 Largest Private Companies in America" list. The company has been recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as ranking highest in customer satisfaction among airport rental car companies in seven of the last eight years. For more information about Enterprise visit www.enterprise.com.
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