Michael Owens: Hi Jordan. We are very happy to have Hertz On Demand as a travel partner for the 2012 Sustainable Operations Summit. Can you tell me about HOD and how it fits into the sustainability mission at Hertz?
JR: Our goal is to make sustainable transport a convenient, viable reality for every traveler – whether they need to get out of the city for the day or just pick up supplies at the local Lowe’s. Hertz On Demand is an award winning sustainability program that provides worldwide access to green vehicles by the hour or the day. We’re working to show customers and communities the environmental and societal benefits of using a transport model that goes beyond individual car ownership. Hertz On Demand’s sustainability story includes green vehicles, but also larger (efficient) vehicles that provide a ‘right-sized’ option when needed vs. owning a large inefficient vehicle that’s rarely used to capacity.
MO: Excellent. It’s so true that most vehicles are rarely used to capacity and I’m surprised it took this long for this model to become mainstream. I believe that I read that you are cleaning your vehicles without using water. Is this true?
JR: Yes it is. We’ve structured Hertz On Demand to be as sustainable as possible from both a fleet and operations perspective. This includes using a waterless carwash system that employs locally and uses non-toxic cleaners.
MO: Aside from no enrollment and annual membership fees, the one thing that truly makes HOD stand out against Zipcar is the availability and variety of low-emission vehicles. What prompted the decision to include cars like the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and the Smart EV in HOD’s fleet?
JR: Investment in alternative fuel vehicles, such as EVs, CNG and hybrids is a top priority for Hertz On Demand. Market uptake for these low-emissions vehicles can be slow, whether from higher sticker prices, infrastructure issues or customer hesitance to try something new. By providing extremely easy and inexpensive access to these cars across colleges, large cities and businesses, we’re hoping to breakdown these barriers, demystify clean technology and see mainstream use increase significantly.
MO: Joy. Prior to the launch of HOD I was not too familiar with Hertz’s commitments to sustainability. Can you give me some background on Hertz’s environmental initiatives.