United Rentals commits to sustainable growth

By Maria Hadlow29 December 2010

Michael Kneeland, chief executive officer of United Rentals

Michael Kneeland, chief executive officer of United Rentals

United Rentals has launched a sustainability programme which it says is designed to foster growth and benefit customers, employees, suppliers and communities

Michael Kneeland, United Rentals' chief executive officer, said, "As we respond to the demand for our services, we are careful to grow in an environmentally responsible manner. We want our sustainability initiatives to have a lasting impact on our operations and supply chain, and build enduring value for all stakeholders of United Rentals. Green practices are more than a sound strategy for growth, they are quite simply the right thing to do."

Heidi Rawe, senior director - sustainability, said, "Issues such as emissions control and energy conservation are becoming increasingly important to our customers, particularly those in the construction field. Sustainable Growth is about demonstrating corporate responsibility while helping our customers address regulatory and cultural changes within their own industries. These are exciting objectives, and we are focused on developing innovative and practical ways to advance them."

Ms Rawe said that the company expects to build on numerous sustainable growth initiatives already underway. These include

  • Retrofit programs to ensure engine compliance for Tier 3 and Tier 4 equipment.
  • "Clean construction" industry education to help contractors address new regulations.
  • Customer training and train-the-trainer programmes that advocate safety and best practices.
  • State-of-the-art GPS technology and hand-held computers to optimise routing, dispatch and equipment loads, and conserve fuel.
  • eProcurement and paperless invoicing to eliminate thousands of printed documents annually.
  • Alternative fuel capabilities where viable, including the use of biofuels.
  • Collaborative relationships with equipment suppliers who are committed to sustainability.

In addition to outlining its initiatives for Sustainable Growth, the company has identified employee diversity, supplier diversity and safety as continuing priorities in 2011.

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