Auto Insurer Downsizes SUV Fleet to Go “Climate Neutral”
Infinity Property and Casualty Corp., located in Birmingham, Ala., is joining an effort to fight transportation-related global warming by switching its vehicle fleet to more fuel-efficient models.In August, Infinity kicked off a focus on the environment with programs that include recycling. At the same time, officials started looking at how the fleet department could participate through the PHH GreenFleet program. Developed by fleet management services provider PHH Arval and the nonprofit Environmental Defense, the program aims to reduce operating costs, improve efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle fleets. Infinity is replacing its fleet of about 400 Jeep Liberty SUVs with Jeep Compass SUVs, which are lighter, have a smaller engine and get better gas mileage. About 40 percent of the fleet has been replaced, and the company expects to replace the rest by the end of the first quarter. Infinity expects to reduce annual fleet operating costs by about 10 percent and improve fuel economy by 25 percent. The company also expects to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 16 percent. In addition, Infinity purchased greenhouse gas offsets for the remaining emissions and made its entire fleet “climate neutral” before the new vehicles hit the road in 2007. The offsets were purchased from a project in Chino, CA that reduces methane emissions from local dairy farms. The PHH GreenFleet program is designed to help companies cost-effectively measure, reduce, and offset their greenhouse gas emissions. Participation includes: in-depth analysis and recommendations to improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; quarterly measurement and reporting of emissions; and resources to offset remaining emissions.