Environmental sustainability in car rental has taken a major leap forward after Europcar became the first European company to be awarded green certification.
The “Green Charter” formalizes Europcar’s commitment to sustainable development, and demonstrates its responsible stance towards tackling climate change.
Europcar has long been regarded as a leader in environmental responsibility, and was the first car rental company in Europe to offer hybrid and electric cars. Now it has become the first European company to have its Environmental Charter Certified by Bureau Veritas Certification, which is regarded a crucial benchmark for developing a sustainable business. Criteria tested include quality, safety, health, the environment and social responsibility.
“We have been offering ‘green’ cars for over 10 years and we play a pioneering role in our industry,” said Salvatore Catania, Chief Executive Officer of Europcar Groupe. “As the European leader, we have decided to go even further by taking a systematic approach to sustainable development and by measuring the effectiveness of our initiatives in a transparent manner. The development and certification of our Charter are part of this innovative approach.”
Developed in 2007 in association with Europcar’s major partners and customers, the Green Charter consists of commitments in four main areas:
1. A “green” fleet: 99.6% of Europcar’s vehicles are certified “Euro IV” (the most recent, applicable European Union emissions standards for vehicles) and, whenever possible, Euro V (the next-generation standard). The average age of cars in Europcar’s fleet is four months, versus eight years for the average car driven on European roads.
2. Fleet maintenance: Europcar is committed to instituting programmes to collect and recycle materials, including waste, oil-based fluids, and the water used at all of its car wash facilities.
3. Internal processes related primarily to fleet purchasing, headquarters administration, local stations and maintenance centres in Europe, as well as to Europcar’s approach to the safety and well-being of its customers, employees and partners.
4. Initiatives to raise awareness among customers: Europcar recently launched a carbon-offset programme for customers who want to compensate for their CO2 emissions. The company also provides vehicles’ average CO2 emissions in car descriptions so customers can make greener rental decisions.
Bureau Veritas Certification will certify that Europcar International’s Green Charter respects all of the commitments set.
Europcar took its first eco-friendly measures 10 years ago with the opening of an “environmental station” in Paris. It was also the first car rental company in Europe to offer hybrid and electric cars, and it regularly introduces new, cleaner-energy models into its fleet. In France, Europcar has won the “Oxygen Awards” twice for its environmental efforts. The company is currently implementing an electronic rental contract system which substantially reduces paper consumption.