Industry-leading initiative could reach 20-25 million renters;
Customers' optional offset purchases will be matched up to $1 million
ST. LOUIS, MO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - 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
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 preceding today's formal launch, the company reported
that across all three brands, approximately 1,000 customers per day have
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."
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
to empower them to make that choice when they rent a car.
"We know our customers expect companies like ours to share their concerns
about the environment," said Taylor. But we also know that the future success
of our business requires us to have an abundant supply of vehicles and the
fuel to power them. 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 the Taylor family's 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:
- The world's largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles - More than
440,000 cars in the combined Enterprise, National and Alamo worldwide
fleet average a highway fuel efficiency rating of at least 28 mpg or
better, and more than 237,000 average 32 mpg or better. In addition,
264,000 have earned the U.S. EPA's 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.
- Embracing new, clean technologies - Enterprise, National and Alamo
also operate the world's largest fleet of FlexFuel vehicles - more
than 73,000 cars and trucks that have the ability to burn E85, a
blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. In addition,
they own about 4,000 gas/electric hybrid vehicles. Nationally, the
company is actively deploying as many of its FlexFuel vehicles as
possible near E85 fueling stations in order to build consumer
awareness and increase the number of cars being fueled with E85,
which according to the U.S. EPA can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions
by up to 20 percent.
- Research - In 2007, the Taylor family gave $25 million to create the
Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Donald Danforth Plant Science
Center, one of the world's foremost plant research centers. The
institute works to develop acceptable alternatives to finite fossil
fuels by finding new ways to create fuel from renewable, reliable
- Conservation - The company's charitable foundation is funding the
planting of 50 million trees over the next 50 years at a total cost
of $50 million through the 50 Million Tree Pledge, a
public/private/non-profit partnership with The National Arbor Day
Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service. The trees are being planted
on public lands in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Recently, the Taylor
family and the company's foundation also donated $100,000 to the
Everglades Foundation in the state of Florida to help restore and
protect this invaluable, but endangered, ecosystem.
All told, over the past several years the Taylor family and the company
have contributed or pledged more than $120 million to environmental
initiatives. For more information about the full environmental platform, visit
"Across all the elements of our environmental sustainability platform, we
are focusing on strategically addressing issues that touch our business and
where we can really make a difference," 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 Study(SM). 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.
For further information:
For further information: Jason Graham, Argyle Communications, (416)
968-7311, ext 229