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Southampton first UK university to take Enterprise car share

The University of Southampton has enhanced its sustainability credentials by becoming the first university in the UK to adopt the car sharing programme offered by Enterprise Rent-A-Car – a programme used by many universities in the United States.

The two Enterprise CarShare vehicles have been taken on by the University’s Student Recruitment & Outreach department, based at its Highfield Campus, to provide its 20 members with a more effective transport alternative.

These employees travel across the country to schools, colleges and higher education fairs to attract and engage potential students. Historically, they have used a combination of daily rentals and their own cars for work journeys and claimed mileage reimbursement.

However, the University believes that it can both reduce the carbon footprint of transport and administration costs by changing employee thinking and behaviours through a new car sharing scheme.

Suzanne Carlisle, sourcing manager at the University of Southampton, said: “When our employees use their own cars we have no way to measure their business mileage and no control over vehicle emissions. The CarShare vehicles instead create a ‘virtual’ car pool of new, low-emission vehicles that our staff can book online and are encouraged to use instead of their own cars.

“We can easily track mileage and CO2, while the amount of admin has also been drastically reduced. Managing all those invoices and reimbursement claims created a huge amount of paperwork and instead we now only have a single monthly invoice.”

The university also uses daily rental vehicles provided by Enterprise and is keen to expand the car sharing programme should it prove as successful as expected.

Carlisle added: “We’ve also arranged for the cars to be specifically liveried with University of Southampton logos and colours, as they can then show off both our brand and our commitment to sustainability to potential students.”

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