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United Rentals Launches Sustainability Program

United Rentals today launched an extensive sustainability program designed to foster growth and benefit customers, employees, suppliers and communities, the company said, and has set up a new website to encourage collaboration. The new site — — includes examples of the company’s involvement, encourages collaboration via the submission of ideas and suggestions, and offers a comprehensive white paper on Clean Construction.

“As we respond to the demand for our services, we are careful to grow in an environmentally responsible manner,” said United Rentals CEO Michael Kneeland. “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.”

“Issues such as emissions control and energy conservation are becoming increasingly important to our customers, particularly those in the construction field,” said Heidi Rawe, United Rentals’ senior director of sustainability. “Sustainable growth is about demonstrating corporate responsibility while helping our customers address regulatory and cultural changes within their own industries.”

Rawe said the company will build on a number of initiatives already underway, including:

  • 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 program that advocate safety and best practices;
  • GPS technology and hand-held computers to optimize routing, dispatch and equipment loads, and conserve fleet;
  • 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.
United Rentals has also identified continuing priorities including employee diversity, supplier diversity and safety. In 2010, United Rentals recorded the fourth consecutive year of significant improvement in safety performance, and received national recognition for its recruitment of military veterans and supplier diversity practices.
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