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Avis expands its carbon neutral certification with local South African project

Avis, the leading car rental company in South Africa, today announced that it has renewed its position on carbon neutrality through The CarbonNeutral Company. Following three years of internal energy efficiency, carbon reduction and carbon offsetting to reduce its carbon footprint to net zero, Avis is the first car rental company in South Africa to achieve CarbonNeutral® certification. Avis is well known for its environmental focus and the renewal of its carbon neutral status for the next two years is indicative of its commitment to make a real difference to the environment.

“Our past relationship with The CarbonNeutral Company has been strong and for this next period, we tasked it to find a South African registered project that would complement our internal reduction efforts, and enable us to offset some of our unavoidable GHG emissions” says Wayne Duvenage, Chief Executive of Avis Rent a Car. “We also wanted to expand our carbon management to include Scope 3 category, thereby earning us a CarbonNeutral® Company accreditation for Scopes 1, 2 & 3 for the next two years, over which period Avis will increase internal energy efficiencies as well as offset approximately 12,500 tonnes of CO2 per annum.”

Scopes 1, 2 & 3 GHG emissions consists of all emissions relating to the company (Rent a Car, Zeda Car Sales and Luxury Division), including energy consumption, fuel usage, waste and business travel. Each of these were independently measured and are being reduced through a combination of internal business process changes (for example increasing recycling and reducing energy consumption) with carbon offsetting through the purchase of carbon credits which matches every tonne of CO2 emitted by Avis, with an equivalent amount saved by a project in its portfolio.

The two projects Avis selected for its new two-year portfolio is the Tieling Coal Mine Methane Capture project in China and the highly awaited Basa Magogo “Light it up” Improved Cooking Technique in South Africa.

The Tieling project, which is VCS accredited, captures coal mine methane (CMM) to prevent this potent greenhouse gas being released in to the atmosphere. Support from Avis enables this captured gas to be converted to an energy source to supply gas to homes and local industry, increasing energy sustainability in the local area as well as benefiting the local economy with jobs. The South African Basa Magogo project is the first Gold Standard project of its kind in the world. Support from Avis enables the teaching of local communities in South Africa to burn coal differently in order to be more fuel efficient, thereby saving money and reducing carbon emissions.

“We are very excited about the local project, because not only does it reduce GHG emissions, but it also goes a long way to creating a less polluted environment which will deliver immense health benefits for our local communities who use coal as their main energy source for cooking and heating purposes. If it takes carbon offset funding to give excellent projects of this nature momentum, then we are delighted that we could assist in this regard”, says Duvenage.

Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director, The CarbonNeutral Company says, “It is a pleasure for The CarbonNeutral Company to work with a company like Avis in South Africa as it leads the way in managing and reducing its carbon footprint, and we were very pleased to enhance the programme with an innovative South African carbon reduction project this year. The team at Avis has developed a comprehensive programme of offsets and other environmental activities which set a powerful example of how a business can grow and develop sustainably.”

Duvenage says, “Offsetting is merely an additional way to address our emissions, as we have reduced our electricity consumption by over 300,000 kWh per annum through switching off high energy consuming devices and changing our behaviour at Avis. In addition, we continue to work with our motor manufacturer suppliers to introduce lower carbon emission products for use in our fleet, such as the Toyota Prius since 2007 and more recently the new Honda Jazz Hybrid”.

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