ABBOTT PARK, Ill. --- Health care provider Abbott announced plans to go "carbon neutral" with its entire U.S. fleet of company sales vehicles. At Abbott, the company's fleet represents close to 11 percent of the company's total emissions. Abbott plans to reduce the carbon emissions from its 6,000-vehicle fleet in the United States by offering a hybrid vehicle option starting immediately. The company will then purchase carbon offsets in early 2008 to neutralize the balance of the fleet's impact on the environment to become "carbon neutral." "I drive thousands of miles a month," said Lisa Valtierra, advocacy relations manager for Abbott and a driver of one of the company's fleet vehicles. "Being able to select a car that is friendlier to the environment is important to me because I believe, as Abbott does, that we all need to do our part." "We were happy to help Abbott take a hard look at its fleet and figure out how to improve efficiency, cut fuel use and offset greenhouse gas emissions -- while saving money. This is green business strategy at its best," said Gwen Ruta, director of corporate partnerships at Environmental Defense. "We urge other companies to follow Abbott's example." Abbott's new energy policy outlines several commitments the company is making to further improve its impact on the environment, including a 30 percent reduction in overall CO2 emissions by 2011.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials