Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car, owned by the Taylor family of St. Louis, have announced a voluntary customer carbon offset program – the largest of its kind in the industry, according to the company, and the first consumer initiative to be launched under all three rental car brands.
The 20 to 25 million annual customers of the car rental companies can offset the CO2 emissions generated by their car rentals by opting in during the reservation process to pay $1.25 per rental.
Customer offset purchases will be matched by the company dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. Beginning in January 2008, the program will be offered at participating locations in the U.S. and Canada; it will be extended to Enterprise’s European customers in mid-2008.
TerraPass will administer the carbon offset program. Customers will be able to purchase their carbon offsets while booking their reservations through call-in reservation centers or online at the car rental sites.
Inc. Magazine has an in-depth article on how Enterpise came to offer voluntary offsets.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Hertz and Avis will offer in response. Along with Enterpise, these rental companies have added thousands of hybrids to their fleets recently.
Last October, Enterprise announced it was underwriting the planting of 50 million trees over the next 50 years at a total cost of $50 million.