The very definition of the word points to a long-term strategy, integral to every operation that intends to survive and be successful. Sustainability need not be incorporated into business at the expense of development and profitability. It is the essence of long-term development and profitability, which has a survival connotation to the notion.
Avis South Africa understood that while they can’t dictate the way vehicle manufacturers design their product, they could at least take a serious look into their business to ensure their negative environmental impact is minimised. The main environmental impact areas of their operations were studied and narrowed down to focus on water use, energy consumption and landfill waste management.
Intensive water recycling plants were built into Avis’ facility upgrades at major vehicle preparation yards, saving the company just under 100 million litres of water annually.
Offsetting emissions is important business ethics
Avis’ Scope 1 & 2 Green House Gas (GHG) emissions were measured and the company decided to work on initiatives to reduce electricity consumption and to off-set the balance of their emissions through The CarbonNeutral Company and in so doing, became South Africa’s first CarbonNeutral accredited business. Emission offset has now been extended to include Scope 3 and has incorporated a South African gold standard verified project. Avis’ energy reduction projects have taken out approximately 2,000 kWh of energy consumption per day.
An integrated waste management program was also introduced through Enviroserv and entrenched in an internalised “Earth Champions” program to take the work and understanding to the frontline of the business. Landfill waste has been reduced by more than three tons per month through waste recycling. Through these initiatives, Avis has reduced costs within their operations by over R2 million per annum.
Greener car renting – use a hybrid car
In 2007, Avis was the first car rental company to introduce hybrid engine technology vehicles for customer rentals (Toyota Prius) and again in 2011 with the more affordable Honda Jazz Hybrid.
By constantly innovating and evolving, Avis has kept ahead of their competitors and aims to continue doing so well into the future.