The world is changing and the impact of technological advancements, climate change, social action and unprecedented events such as the COVID-19 pandemic require ever greater attention and action. As part of Sunbelt 3.0, we are reinforcing ESG at the heart of how we operate, while unlocking the structural benefits ESG will bring to rental. Socially responsible behaviour has never been more important than in recent times. It is easy to treat people well in the good times but the true test of an organisation is how it responds in times of adversity. The decisions we made and the actions we took during the pandemic were made with a focus on the long-term sustainability of the business. Our early decision and communication to the workforce that no one would be made redundant as a result of the pandemic meant that our team members could focus on looking after their families, communities and our customers without having to look over their shoulder continuously.
The rental industry is hugely beneficial for the environment as it leads to the most efficient use of equipment and the manufacture of fewer assets. Significant carbon emissions and consumption of earth’s natural resources take place during the manufacture of a piece of equipment. At the end of its life, that equipment requires disposal. Fewer, better designed pieces of equipment utilised as part of a sharing economy are better for our planet. Furthermore, our fleet consists of the most recent and technologically advanced equipment, which is well maintained and inherently better for the environment than older, less well-maintained equipment.
Our commitment to ESG is clear. Our industry has an important role to play in reducing carbon emissions both through bringing greener technologies to market and delivering the benefits of a sharing economy. However, as a rapidly growing business, our absolute emissions will increase in the near to medium term until technological advancements result in equipment capable of fulfilling our customers’ needs with significantly lower or zero carbon emissions, which will enable us to reduce emissions significantly in the longer term.