Fleet News

Companies prepared to pay to go 'green'

A MAJOR study compiled by MORI has shown business travellers to be more environmentally responsible than the general public.

The survey, commissioned by daily rental company Avis and Future Forests which questioned almost 1,000 people, found that 80% of business travellers believe they can personally help reduce global warming, compared to 71% of the general public.

Among business and leisure travellers, about 80% would be willing to pay premiums on car rentals, flights and hotels if it meant the carbon dioxide emissions would be offset. 77% say they would be likely to pay to offset the carbon emissions of air travel (£7 for a short-haul flight), 79% for car rental (£1 for a one-week hire), and 86% for a hotel room (£1 for a one-night stay).

Mark McCafferty, chief executive of Avis Europe, said: 'Travel is the world's largest industry and it is therefore critical that we manage the environmental impact of what we do. In all the recent discussions about future growth of travel, particularly in the air, we've heard a lot about the pollution caused by travellers.

'These figures prove what we've already seen: if you offer travellers an easy, low-cost way to offset the environmental impact, then they are very willing to act on it. We have been offering customers 'Carbon Neutral' car rentals since April and the success of this programme bears testament to this.'

Jonathon Shopley, chief executive of Future Forests, a business that helps individuals and companies reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and offset unavoidable pollution through tree-planting and other climate-friendly projects, added: 'Business travellers get a hard time from the environmental lobby. But it's encouraging to see they actually give more consideration to sustainable travel.'

Avis began working with Future Forests in May 1999, planting trees to offset the carbon dioxide emissions produced by Avis UK operations.

The company said it was committed to planting one tree for every car on its UK fleet, helping offset the carbon emitted by customers. A total of 18,000 trees were planted in the first year and it expects more than 70,000 to have been planted by the end of this year.

Avis added that it had increased the number of smaller, compact cars in its fleet, reducing levels of fuel consumption and emissions.

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