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Hertz Sets Off on 'Living Journey' for Global Sustainability

Car rental giant Hertz, looking ahead to the future of mobility and corporate sustainability, has launched a comprehensive platform for how the company will embrace and shift toward a low-carbon economy.

Hertz's Living Journey platform is the company's effort to package its overall sustainability initiatives, focused on smart mobility, low-carbon transportation, and community-focused philanthropy.

"As a continuation of [our sustainability and innovation successes], we are excited to introduce Living Journey," Mark P. Frissora, Chairman and CEO of Hertz, said in a statement, "which encompasses all of our efforts as an organization through partnerships, employee education and investments to reduce our impact on the environment, provide customer value, and manage our business sustainably."

Under the Smart Mobility heading of Living Journey, Hertz highlights its alt-fuel and fuel-efficient vehicle options for rentals. The company says that 72 percent of its vehicles get more than 28 miles per gallon, and 59 percent get more than 32 MPG. Hertz also touts its "Green Traveler Collection" of hybrid-electric and all-electric rental options for car renters.

None of these initiatives are particularly new -- Hertz began promoting the Green Traveler program back in 2006, and its OnDemand micro-rental business has been around for at least six months -- but bunding its mobility initiatives alongside its environmental commitments underscores how central sustainability is becoming to mobility and transportation-focused businesses.

Hertz is also using the launch of Living Journeys as a chance to highlight progress on reducing its impacts. Among the achievements the company notes:

  • Recycling 2 million tons of e-waste from landfills
  • Recycling 80 percent of car wash water
  • Reducing paper use by 2.8 million pounds since 2006
  • 2.7 million kilowatt-hours of solar energy produced annually

Hertz's new platform shows how the greening of transportation, while a long time in coming, is picking up speed in the industry. In the latest State of Green Business Report, executive editor Joel Makower writes:

Car makers are seeing their business models upended by a new business model that puts the brakes on vehicle ownership. First among these is Zipcar, the largest of dozens of companies offering "mobility on demand," better known as car sharing -- the ability to easily find nearby vehicles to rent by the hour, an alternative to car ownership or traditional car rental. Zipcar and dozens of other car-sharing services are being joined by big players: Hertz (HertzOnDemand), Enterprise (WeCar), and U-haul (uhaulcarshare). While most are currently available in only a handful of cities, they will be widespread in the next few years. Last year, for example, Ford teamed up with Zipcar to make its vehicles available for car sharing on US college campuses.

Smart car photo via Shutterstock.

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