Car sharing has never been easier, faster, more flexible or more sustainable than Car2Go. Now available in 23 cities around the globe, Car2Go allows its members to use a smartphone to locate the nearest Car2Go vehicle, hop in and drive it where they want for however long they please. When finished, the driver simply leaves the locked car in a public parking space within a designated home area for the next Car2Go member to locate and use. Members pay only by the minute; fuel, insurance and maintenance are built into that cost.
The result is a car-sharing service that appeals to a far wider audience than more restrictive rental programs. Recognition is coming from regulators, too. In 2010, Car2Go received a Clean Air Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the category of Transportation Efficiency Innovations.
The math behind the Car2Go model is refreshingly simple. An increase in Car2Go membership equates to a reduction in personal vehicles on the roadways. A reduction in personal vehicles equates to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Since its introduction in Seattle last December, more than 20,000 users have registered, helping more people transition toward a car-less lifestyle.
SILVER: Keeney's Office Supply and Office Interiors
Founded in 1947, Keeney’s is an old-school business that has adopted new-school practices. In 2008, the office supply and interiors distributor developed a sustainable office program and began marketing sustainably manufactured products to its customers based on cost and efficiency. By 2012, green products accounted for 44.5 percent of the company’s sales. An aggressive in-house recycling program diverted 97 percent of Keeney’s waste into recycling and the firm upgraded its warehouse lighting, reducing power use by 30 percent. Keeney’s participates in a toner-refill relationship with a local toner remanufacturer and sources all of its printer paper from within 200 miles of Seattle.