Friday, October 5, 2007

Flexcar: 2007 People's Choice Award - part 8

Sharing is a good thing. Car sharing is a great thing! I only wish we had car sharing options here in Newark, DE.. In the meantime, please allow me to present nominee no. 8 on Eco-Libris blog Unofficial Guide to Co-op America's 2007 People's Choice Award for the Green Business of the Year:


Business description: Flexcar is the progressive way to get around town that saves time, money and the environment. Their low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles are conveniently parked near homes and workplaces. Members use them when they need them, paying just a simple hourly rate that includes gas, insurance and maintenance. It’s far less expensive than owning and operating a car, and much more convenient than renting.

Located at: Seattle, WA (corporate headquarters)

Operating Since: 1999


The questionnaire (thank you to John Williams at Scoville Public Relations):

1. What makes your business a green business?

Flexcar is a car-sharing company that allows members to drive environmentally-friendly cars by the hour. Parked conveniently around many metro areas, it allows people to have access to a car without having to own one. As a result, people sell or avoid buying a car, and rely on walking, biking and transit more.

2. What is your green characteristic you're most proud of?

We’re most proud of the fact that studies show that each shared car takes 15 privately-owned cars off the road. To date, that means we’ve effectively removed nearly 30,000 cars. In addition, by driving less and by using more environmentally-friendly vehicles, we estimate our members decreased fuel consumption by approximately 640,000 gallons (which equates to about 14 million pounds of carbon dioxide) last year alone.

3. What is your biggest achievement so far?

Flexcar has grown from 1 market and 2 cars to 15 markets and 2000 cars in just a few years. It has taken what was originally considered a “fringe” concept and made it mainstream. Today, individuals, companies, governments and major universities all rely on Flexcar.

4. In what way do you think that you help people to take a green action and make a difference?

Most people really want to do the right thing – but it’s hard. But with Flexcar around the corner or across the street, people can really get around without having to own a car. It saves them money and it saves the planet. They feel good about their actions.

5. Who is your green hero?

Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia for his pioneering efforts to literally weave sustainability into the fiber of the company and its products.

6. What's your green dream for your business?

The American dream used to be a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot. We’re shooting for a Flexcar on every block and maybe some organic pasta in every pot.

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