Competition for Fleet News Awards is usually fierce, but perhaps none more so than the Environmental Award.
It is open to the whole supplier sector and recognises the fleet industry’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.
The judges look for clear evidence of work to create services that help fleets reduce their impact on the environment, or specific partnerships with individual fleet operators on successful programmes that have helped drive forward green innovation in the industry.
Given that for many years the environment has been a key component that touches so many areas of how organisations do business, and can be a key factor in how they attract customers alongside traditional factors of cost, value and ability, it can be tough to stand out.
Hertz was able to demonstrate that environmental considerations run throughout its operation, allowing customers to make greener choices while reducing its own impact on the planet.
It has expanded its car sharing business, added new low-emission vehicles to the Hertz Green Collection, used technology to help clients improve management and measurement of CO2 emissions, developed new products and cut back on its own energy use.
Hertz launched the first carbon neutral car club in the UK with BP by committing to buy carbon offset certificates through BP’s TargetNeutral programme.
It offers both corporate and retail customers a number of options when it comes to renting electric vehicles, including its Electric Car Club in Camden, and its electric car pool fleet launched with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
PWC needs to replace two taxi journeys a day or one traditional vehicle rental to pay for the electric vehicles.
Hertz offers electric bike rental in London and other European cities, while Hertz On Demand offers a membership-based pay-as-you-go rental service.
For Hertz UK’s general manager Neil Cunningham, the environment and sustainability has become part of the company’s culture.
Fleet News: How much are environmental issues driven by customer demand and how much comes from within your own organisation?
Neil Cunningham: It’s on our agenda almost daily. When something comes up in our business, our customers’ businesses or a new corporate policy, there are issues or challenges around sustainability that arise.
Legislation has also helped keep it in people’s minds, and vehicle tax linked to emissions helps keep it at the forefront.
Robust P11D reporting has also had an impact because companies are obliged to keep records of hire vehicles used longer than a few days.