Car Sharing: The leaner, greener choice!
As gas prices soar, "share" has become the new buzzword for company road warriors.
AutoShare, a Toronto-based car sharing enterprise, which has 240 fuel-efficient vehicles in its fleet, came up with the business concept over a decade ago. Through their AutoShare for Organizations program, the car sharing company provides downtown businesses 24/7 vehicle access in over 100-plus locations across the city.
“Businesses sign up and then anyone in the company can access our vehicles. Instead of taking a taxi, employees can book AutoShare online or by smartphone,” says Kevin McLaughlin, president and founder of AutoShare. After that, members simply take the smart card they were issued when they joined, and select a vehicle for their journey; vehicles are then returned to any downtown AutoShare location.
AutoShare is more than a greener transportation option for David De Rose’s company: it’s also a useful HR tool. At Halsall, the Toronto-based engineering firm where De Rose works as the company’s project manager of the internal corporate sustainability program, AutoShare is a huge drawing card in attracting new recruits and retaining staff. “We find new recruits want to be more environmentally savvy and they are looking for organizations that can provide that type of benefit,” he says.
McLaughlin agrees. He says car sharing goes beyond the logistics and economics of corporate travel. “Companies are looking at their commitment to stop waste, save money and run a greener business. It also allows staff to choose how they get to work, without requiring that they own a car.” autoshare.com/org
Other car share options for companies
British Columbia: modo.coop, victoriacarshare.ca
Ontario: grandrivercarshare.ca, vrtucar.com
Nova Scotia: carsharehfx.ca
AutoShare by the Numbers
$100 one time membership fee
$25 monthly fee
$29 application fee for each driver
$7.75 hourly weekday fee (includes gas & insurance)
The Great 8
Budget Group, which oversees Avis Rent a Car and Budget Rent a Car offers eight carbon reducing tips for car rentals:
1. eToll: Electronic toll collection significantly reduces hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions.
2. GPS: Use less fuel and produce lower emissions with GPS navigation systems because drivers are less likely to get lost—and real-time traffic alerts help them avoid roadway bottlenecks.
3. Avoid quick starts and aggressive driving. Flooring the gas pedal produces high pollution rates and wastes gas.
4. Stick to the speed limit. Improve your fuel economy and decrease tailpipe pollution.
5. Nix the hard breaking. Anticipating stops will prevent increased pollution, wasted gas and wear on your breaks.
6. Open your windows before turning on the air conditioner. Removing hot air before turning on the AC will reduce fuel consumption and nitrogen oxide emissions.
7. Don't warm up your car. Newer cars have been designed to operate effectively soon after start-up, even in cold weather.
8. Use cruise control. Maintaining a steady, constant speed will reduce the need for acceleration and braking. avis.com
by Ilona Kauremszky
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