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Enterprise Sustainability Update: Shuttle Buses Over 70% Biodiesel

More than 70 percent of Enterprise Holdings’ shuttle buses now run on biodiesel, with about 50 percent using 5 percent biodiesel (B5), and more than 20 percent using B20, according to a mid-cycle update to the car rental company’s 2011 sustainability report.

Enterprise has also converted all shuttle buses to biodiesel at airport locations within five miles of a biodiesel fueling station, and says that by the end of 2012 its older buses will be replaced with new B20-compatible models and more than 80 percent of its total shuttle bus fleet will run on biodiesel. The company has said it will convert all airport shuttle buses in its fleet to B20 biodiesel by 2015.

The update highlights another addition to Enterprise’s fuel-efficient fleet: its Driving Futures Network. The company, which operates the world’s largest fleet of passenger vehicles — more than 1 million — through its regional subsidiaries including the Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and National Car Rental brands in neighborhood and airport locations around the world, says the initiative helps drive sustainable transportation through a network of car sharing and car rental branches with fuel-efficient vehicles.

Enterprise says the Driving Future Network appeals to “urban eco-curios” – early adopters of new clean technologies – and gives consumers an affordable way to try out fuel-efficient cars before purchasing one.

Enterprise has also acquired car sharing companies PhillyCarShare in Philadelphia and Mint Cars On-Demand in New York City and Boston, in addition to expanding car-sharing services to almost 100 corporate campuses, university locations, military facilities and downtown hubs.

And since 2006, Enterprise’s owners, the Taylor family, have given $35 million to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and its Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels, according to the report. At both centers, scientists are researching and developing next-generation biofuels from such nonfood crops as camelina, switchgrass and algae.

Beyond its fleet, Enterprise says its facilities have the next greatest environmental impact on the communities in which it operates. This is why, in 2010, it committed to reduce both energy use and energy costs by 20 percent company-wide through its 20/20 Vision initiative, with $50 million in energy cost savings projected by 2015. The goal has a 2010 baseline.

The update says that in New York City, where Enterprise operates more than 45 rental facilities, it has reduced local energy use by 10 percent since 2010. Last month the company announced it was approaching the 10 percent reduction mark through upgrades included installing energy-efficient lighting, adding motion sensors on thermostats and controlling parking lot lighting with an astronomic timer.

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