Our Sustainable Path To Success: A Progress Report
By Lee Broughton
Sustainability is a journey with no end. And at Enterprise, that’s the way we like it – continuously striving to move our business, customers, employees and communities forward. As part of this commitment, we report annually on our progress. Today, I’m pleased to share with you some highlights from our fiscal year 2013 sustainability report, The Business of Sustainability: Driving Futures in Your Neighborhood, Around the World. This report focuses on issues material to our business, organized into three primary sections: Environmental Stewardship, Social and Governance.
As part of our effort to help ensure the viability of the passenger car for years to come, in fiscal year 2013 we collaboratedwith the Wharton School’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) on a milestone research project. The report, titled Next Stop, Innovation: What’s Ahead for Urban Mobility? sheds new light on how cities are pursuing their clean transportation goals.
The report also contains an update on the important work being done to spur large-scale sustainable fuel production at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels. This biofuels research arm of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center was established in 2007 with a $35 million endowment from Enterprise’s owners, the Taylor family.
And, within our own walls, we achieved significant reductions in energy use and carbon emissions. Electricity use dropped by more than 13 percent against our 2010 baseline, while natural gas use was down 21 percent. We also cut our direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) carbon emissions by nearly 20 percent, combined.
As part of our 50 Million Tree Pledge to plant one million trees each year for 50 years, we planted 8 million trees to date. A very special part of this initiative in 2013 was our participation with other sponsors in the “Plant a Tree at Flight 93” event in Shanksville, Pa., to help create a living legacy of trees in tribute to some of the heroes of September 11, 2001.
Enterprise also continued its longstanding support for hiring military veterans and reservists, with 1,600 new hires in 2013 and more planned for the year ahead. And across our workforce we surpassed our 2015 goal of getting 10,000 of our employees to participate in health assessments, with nearly 12,000 cumulative participants to date.
Meanwhile, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation issued $22 million in grants to a wide variety of organizations. It’s important to note that 87 percent of these donations were requested by employees to help community causes they support, including hunger relief, access to education and veteran services.
Our future success depends not just upon the strength and knowledge of our leadership, but on their personal commitment to sustainable business practices. As one more way to reinforce that commitment, Enterprise invited Peter Seligmann, co-founder, chairman and CEO of the environmental advocacy organization, Conservation International, to converse with 100 of our senior leaders in an enlightening hour-long exchange that covered a range of issues – from protecting our public green spaces to partnerships that promote the principles of sustainability.
I invite you to learn more about our journey down this critical path to success. Check out our 2013 sustainability report, and please let us know what you think.