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New research from ERA, the European Rental Association, highlights the role of the equipment hire sector in improving sustainability.

It comes as the ERA calls for great recognition for the role that the equipment rental industry can play in helping companies improve sustainability performance. The organisation has concluded an initial audit of European rules and regulations that will allow it to better engage with policy makers.

To further raise the profile of the industry in the sustainability field the ERA has chosen a theme of “Sustainability as an Opportunity” for its annual Convention, which is this year in Rome on 3 and 4 June.

The ERA argues that equipment rental has intrinsic benefits with regard to sustainability, which deserve greater recognition. Specifically:
- Rented equipment is used more frequently and so more efficiently.
- Professional equipment rental companies are better placed to maintain high-quality servicing and operating standards. These lead to improved performance in areas including operations, energy efficiency, waste management, and health and safety.
- Rental companies can better liaise with manufacturers to encourage equipment design with improved sustainability performance.

The new research shows that rental companies increasingly see sustainability performance as a way to increase their value to customers, and distinguish themselves in the market. They are therefore introducing a whole range of initiatives in this area.

For example, the research found that rental companies are: insisting that original equipment manufacturers become trusted, sustainable suppliers; using monitoring technologies and hybrid power systems to reduce energy consumption; using low-emission vehicles and introducing measures to reduce fuel consumption; and improving recycling of waste and equipment.

Michel Petitjean, Secretary General of ERA, said: “Equipment rental is inherently good for sustainability. Equipment rental companies now see an important role for their industry in helping to improve sustainability across industries.

“This is being encouraged by the requirements of their customers, and those of their customers' customers. Companies increasingly apply sustainability criteria to their supply chain. Furthermore, original equipment manufacturers are continually developing equipment with improved environmental performance, which rental companies offer to customers.

“It’s vital that more industries and policy makers recognise this important role for our industry, and the valuable work it is doing. We look forward to emphasising this point, and engaging with stakeholders throughout this year, and in years ahead.”

Mr Petitjean is available for interview on the contribution of the equipment rental sector in improving sustainability, and the opportunities and challenges facing the equipment rental industry.


About ERA
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. The next ERA convention is scheduled in Rome on June 3-4, 2015.

Extensive information on ERA's activities, reports and publications is available in the ERA website at