United report shows emissions down 9%

By Belinda Smart27 July 2022

United Rentals has achieved a 9% reduction in the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from direct operations towards its goal of 35% reduction target by 2030, according to its 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report.

United Rentals’ 2021 Corporate Responsibility report confirms a 9% reduction in GHG emissions. (Photo: United Rentals.)

The report - themed “Work United: Building a Sustainable Future Together” - covers the company’s progress in 2021 on environmental initiatives, social impact and governance and ethics.

Among other things, it also outlines measures to electrify United’s fleet, including “an electrification plan to map out a systematic approach to electrifying our fleet and identify the infrastructure and services needed to successfully scale the use of low- and zero-emissions equipment.”

The plan includes determining required electrical loads at branch locations, increasing the sourcing of renewable and clean energy as of 2021 and evaluating locations for the roll out of low and zero emissions equipment.

While most of the report focuses on progress made in 2021, it also covers measures from early 2022, including six new corporate responsibility goals.

The new goals are: to divert 70% of the company’s waste from landfills by 2025; for 95% of North American operations to complete lighting retrofit by 2025; to achieve 40% diverse representation in sales and management job groups by 2030; to reduce the company’s total recordable incident rate to 0.40 by 2030; to achieve 25,000 Hours of Impact focused on making a positive impact in the company’s locations and communities; and for all employees to complete Code of Ethical Conduct training every other year, with all new hires to complete the Code training within six months of hire date.

These add to the goal - established in 2020 - of 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across Scopes 1, 2 and third-party hauling within Scope 3 by 2030, against a 2018 baseline.

(Photo: United Rentals.)

2022 also saw the introduction of new features in United’s cloud-based Total Control platform, which provides visibility on engine hours and utilisation.

“United Rentals has launched an Estimated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Engine Emissions Report within Total Control, which helps customers manage their environmental impact by tracking and reporting on greenhouse gas and source pollutant emissions estimates,” the report confirmed.

It also made agreements in 2022 to purchase over 500 electric trucks and vans from Ford Pro, as well as 100 Takeuchi electric excavators.

In addition to environmental milestones, the report notes a 17% year-over-year reduction in United’ US OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recordable incident rate; 31.3% of sales and management roles held by diverse employees; and $1 billion spent with diverse suppliers.

Matthew Flannery, chief executive officer of United Rentals, said, “While there’s still work to be done, we’re moving closer to our goals for diversity, climate action and other key areas aligned with our values. We’re a better company today because we Work United in collaboration with all our stakeholders.”

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