A compelling speaker, Seligmann discussed at length the importance of incorporating natural capital – the environmental factors that affect our quality of living as a society –into business strategies to support long term sustainability. Seligmann stressed the importance of balancing business value with the conservation of natural resources and operating in the point where they intersect.
This notion of shared value is not new to us at Enterprise. If you’ll excuse my pun, this is natural for us. As a family-owned business we need to operate with the next generation in mind– striving to balance the interests of customers, employees and the parts of the world touched by our business.
“‘Ensuring that the passenger vehicle remains acceptable and economically viable to society is a huge part of our drive toward sustainability,’ says CEO Andy Taylor. ‘We know that investing in new technologies now will create value for us, our customers, and the community in the future. In fact more than half of our entire fleet consists of fuel efficient vehicles.’” -from Driving Loyalty by Kirk Kazanjian, Crown Business, a Division of Random House, Inc. 2013
In addition to acting as a catalyst to introduce the public to automotive technologies that strike the balance of business value and resource conservation, we consider our natural capital in a variety of other ways. For example, the Danforth Center and its Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels is researching into alternative renewable fuels from plant and algal sources. Just last month, Enterprise announced the kickoff of the eighth year of our 50 Million Tree Pledge, a commitment to reforestation that helps offset our carbon footprint. The same weekend, Enterprise participated in Earth Day New York to promote hybrid vehicles and car-sharing to Manhattan residents. Car sharing is a sustainable alternative to owning a vehicle and a critical part of lower-impact transportation infrastructure.
We’re actively looking to consider natural capital in our business decisions. It’s in our very nature, and a fundamental part of creating a sustainable business for the long term. It’s not always easy, but we know it’s part of maintaining the quality of life we’d like to leave for the next generation. As Seligmann explained, it’s all about finding balance.