The car hire industry has been criticized for having a poor environmental record. Certain protest groups maintain that the use of a hired car is bad for the environment. These groups feel that people should use mass transit like a bus. That might be a practical solution in a metropolitan environment, but there are many areas where mass transportation of any kind is just not available. The only means of transport is a private vehicle.
One argument put forward by the car hire industry is that the use of a hire car is better than private car ownership. I am not sure I understand the distinction in that argument. The car hire industry is making progress from an environmental perspective. The car hire industry is beginning to purchase hybrid and electric cars that have a softer impact on the environment.
As an example, one Swedish car hire company has invested in the purchase of four hundred ethanol powered cars. This same company has invested in more than one thousand hybrid cars for its operations in the United States. It seems that the name of the game is reduced emissions or a smaller carbon footprint.
Another major initiative by car hire companies is to offer their customers an informed choice when renting a car. It is hoped that the distribution of this information will result in the use of greener cars by their customers.
Another tactic being fiercely pursued in the car hire industry is carbon offsetting. This process involves the company initiating different actions that will help to offset the impact of the emissions from their cars. This is accomplished in various ways. Some companies plant trees while others create new woodland habitats. The ultimate hope of a carbon offsetting policy is to become carbon neutral through the use of a combination of these strategies.
The process of carbon offsetting is not mandatory. Each company has to evaluate its company objectives and decide if this type of a program is feasible for a company to consider. Unfortunately, many companies still consider profits before the environment.
Although some players in the car hire industry can be applauded for their environmental efforts the changes are in no way widespread. Unfortunately, the pursuit of eco-friendly policies is usually less cost effective than regular strategies. At least some members of the industry can say that they are trying. If everyone who hires a car will insist on a green solution then perhaps the transition to a completely environmentally friendly car hire industry may be possible.