European Rental Association announces plans to promote sustainability
9 June 2015
EUROPEAN RENTAL ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES PLANS TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABILITY
ERA IDENTIFIES TWO PRIORITIES FOR SUSTAINABILITY WORK
The European Rental Association (ERA) has outlined its plan to promote the sustainability of rental, focusing on engagement with EU policymakers and highlighting opportunities for small and mid-sized rental companies.
The association argues that equipment rental offers enormous benefits for sustainability, including higher efficiency through the intensive use of modern, rented equipment with high-quality maintenance, and the buying power of rental companies, which makes them well-placed to discuss sustainable design with original equipment manufacturers.
ERA’s Sustainability Committee plans to focus its work on two areas over the coming year. First, to highlight the opportunities in sustainability to smaller rental companies, working with national equipment rental industry associations. Second, it aims to increase engagement with EU policymakers around relevant areas of legislation and highlight the benefits of the industry.
Michel Petitjean, Secretary General of ERA, speaking at the association’s annual convention in Rome, said: “Sustainability is a real opportunity for our industry. It can play a vital role in helping customers operate more efficiently, with better environmental performance, and improved health and safety measures. It is vital that rental companies and their customers see this potential, both as a business opportunity and to help wider society.
“However, we need to take practical steps to help rental companies do so, especially smaller ones. We also need to ensure that policymakers grappling with economic and environmental issues see the potential of our industry to support growth, increase efficiency and increase sustainability at the same time. These benefits of our work have not in the past received the recognition they deserve.”
ERA’s convention – which had the theme of Sustainability as an Opportunity - brought together 300 delegates, including 170 executives from rental companies across Europe as well as suppliers.
ERA’s work to help smaller rental companies stems from research in late 2014, which highlighted differences between different sized rental companies. Larger rental companies are more likely to have major customers with sustainability goals, and recognise the potential to help them meet these. However, smaller rental companies are more likely to focus solely on costs and see sustainability requirements as a burden. ERA is organising a workshop in November to work with national rental associations to address this issue.
To engage with policymakers in Brussels and highlight the benefits of the rental sector, ERA is finalising an engagement strategy. Among other areas, it is likely to look at the classification of re-use in legislation, and the potential for equipment rental to be included in this important area.
Research by ERA over the last year has also highlighted the following areas of best practice being employed by rental companies:
- Selecting sustainable suppliers
- Choosing an equipment fleet that increases sustainability
- Supporting customers’ sustainability, using energy efficiency measures when using their power supplies, for example
- Improving the management of chemical products
- Taking steps to control site access to increase safety and security
- Optimising the transport of equipment, by limiting speeds and packing modules efficiently, for example
- Reducing electricity and water consumption, using solar panels and electrical valves to stop water wastage
- Reducing and recycling waste, including re-use options for oil and battery recycling
- Introducing end-of-life measures, such as re-using components from machinery that is beyond economical repair
- Implementing employee care measures to increase social performance, including measures to create personal growth and safety for staff
- Employing sustainability management measures, such as setting relevant key performance indicators and signing up to international standards.
NOTES TO EDITORS
ERA Convention 2015
The ERA Convention 2015 took place in Rome on 3 and 4 June. It brought together 300 delegates, including 170 executives from rental companies across Europe. Among the other attendees were suppliers, mostly original equipment manufacturers. The event included roundtables and plenary sessions as well as the European Rental Awards. It was the 10th convention in its history.
The European Rental Association was created in 2006 to represent national rental associations and equipment rental companies in Europe. Today the membership includes over 5,000 rental companies, either directly or through 14 national rental associations. ERA is active through its working groups in the fields of Promotion, Safety and Sustainability, Statistics, Equipment Technology and Theft, General Rental Conditions. Extensive information on ERA's activities, reports and publications is available in the ERA website at http://www.erarental.org.
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