DES PLAINES, Ill., April 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Wheels, Inc., a leader in the multi-billion-dollar fleet-leasing industry, with support of more than 35 clients, today announced the second annual EcoWheels™ Green Driver Challenge. Through this program, corporate fleet drivers and employees will learn about and pledge to adopt sustainable practices that minimize the environmental impact of their driving. The Challenge launches today, Earth Day, and will conclude on July 1, 2011.
"Climate change and rising energy costs are dual challenges facing businesses today," said Dan Frank, president of Wheels Services. "These challenges are particularly salient as companies experience pressure from stakeholders to help solve the global environmental problems. However, there are easy, cost-effective ways for fleets to 'go green' and reduce their environmental impact, as well as operating costs."
The EcoWheels™ Green Driver Challenge encourages drivers to commit to practices such as reducing idling time, checking tire pressure and practicing more efficient route-planning, among other options. By registering at a special website and pledging sustainable actions during the program, participating drivers will immediately learn the environmental impact of their commitment. The website calculates the carbon dioxide (CO2) output, in pounds, that each pledge will save and the impact of that CO2 reduction in equivalent number of trees planted.
"A big part of green driving is awareness about the small changes in driving habits that have a big impact on fuel efficiency and, intrinsically, the environment," added Frank. "With transportation as the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., the Challenge is another opportunity for Wheels and our clients to commit to the most sustainable driving practices."
In recent years, companies have placed strategic focus on creating "greener" fleets, as a part of the larger trend toward improving their overall environmental accountability. Many of Wheels' clients have already taken proactive steps in this arena. Companies have been actively prioritizing and seeking ways they can partner with Wheels to improve sustainability efforts and encourage eco-driving behaviors, such as adjusting their fleets to incorporate smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has been advocating for companies to move toward more efficient corporate fleets and is encouraging corporations to reduce 20 percent of greenhouse gas emission from vehicles by 2016.
"At EDF, one of our goals is to accelerate environmental innovation by challenging companies to make green business the new business as usual," said Jason Mathers, project manager, Environmental Defense Fund. "The fleet leasing industry is uniquely positioned to deliver value to its clients by providing services that cuts costs and emissions. By engaging thousands of drivers on the simple changes they can make to reduce fuel consumption, the EcoWheels™ Green Driver Challenge is an example of such a service."
Many of Wheels' clients have already registered to participate in the EcoWheels™ Green Driver Challenge. These companies are committed to enrolling as many drivers as possible into the program. Companies who have pledged and are encouraging employees to make simple changes in driving habits include:
- Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care that manages a fleet of more than 3,000 vehicles, has made sustainability a part of the culture and is committed to a triple bottom line of financial, social and environmental responsibility.
- SimplexGrinnell, a Tyco International company and leader in fire and life-safety, manages a fleet of 7,000 vehicles and has publicly committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water consumption by 25 percent over the next four years.
Through an interactive website dedicated to the Challenge, participants will be able to track their real-time positive effect on the environment and learn how easy it is to make a difference. Wheels is also asking drivers to post testimonials directly to the website stating their commitment to improving the environment through their driving behavior.
The EcoWheels program, developed in 2007, is dedicated to helping corporate fleets reach environmental goals. By partnering with clients to educate drivers on practices that improve fuel efficiency, advising on best utilization of fleet assets and implementing best practices for fleet vehicle selection, the EcoWheels™ program has helped clients to decrease CO2 emissions by 250,000 metric tons.
About Wheels, Inc.
Wheels, Inc. (www.wheels.com), which pioneered the concept of auto leasing in 1939, provides a full range of specialized services to help organizations manage their vehicle fleets. Wheels manages more than 300,000 vehicles. Its holding company, Frank Consolidated Enterprises, near $2 billion currently ranks as the largest privately held fleet management company and one of the largest private companies in North America. For additional information, please contact [email protected].
SOURCE Wheels, Inc.