Joy Lehman is the Global Sustainability Manager at The Hertz Corporation. Throughout her three-plus years with the company, she has been responsible for the development and implantation of the company’s global sustainability strategies that aim to improve the company’s environmental performance, sustainable transport options, increase efficiency, reduce costs and position the company as an industry leader.
Prior to Hertz, Joy worked at Medicus International, where she was responsible strategic scientific communications, marketing and promotional planning for global brands. She began her sustainability career in Australia as a sustainability consultant for the New South Wales (NSW) Business Chamber and then the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice.
How did you first get involved in the green industry?
I received my bachelor’s degree in life sciences and environmental science from Kansas State University and did my graduate work in sustainability in Australia. After grad school, I became a sustainability consultant for the NSW Business Chamber and also the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice. While there, I led sustainability strategy development and implementation for new and medium-sized businesses and eventually for juvenile justice detention centers and regional offices.
After returning to NYC, I managed strategic scientific communications, marketing and promotional planning for global brands. Next, I joined Hertz, where I was able to jump back into developing and implementing global sustainability strategies.
What interests you most about being green?
To me, tackling the challenge of making “green living” and sustainability interesting to consumers is what excites me the most. I feel as though environmental movements around sustainability are sometimes misdirected in that people and groups often use scare tactics. These tactics actually drive away mainstream audiences that want to hear something more positive. There’s a common misconception that just one person cannot make a difference, which definitely isn’t true. Every individual has a lot of power to make change through simple actions, whether it’s how they travel or where they make their purchases from. It really comes down to the simple decisions people make in their everyday lives.
Another thing that interests me is working with companies and through partnerships to create solutions and strategies that better address environmental issues and also drive business. If we can fundamentally change how we operate and produce goods, the impact potential is incredible, for people and the planet.
I also love taking into account the travel aspect of green. I love to travel and there can obviously be a very large environmental footprint around most forms of travel. The perspective you get from traveling and learning how to be greener while traveling — including from other cultures — is priceless. Again, it all comes back to those little things we can do to make a difference.
What is your biggest “green” pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when people leave the water running while they’re brushing their teeth. Another one that gets to me is “green washing,” as well as when people use scare tactics to get others to be more environmentally friendly.
What green trend is most exciting to you or your industry?
From an industry perspective, one of the most exciting trends to me is the use of innovation and technology to improve travel options and the way people get around. Such as, better utilization of assets through a shared economy and travel planning through apps and collaborative information sites are changing how people experience new places. An example of this would be the Airbnb or car-sharing trends: making use of fixed assets across a large group of people versus individual ownership that often sit idle are great for both the environment and the economy. This will become even more critical as populations grow and shift toward urban living. Another example would be using a Hertz NeverLost Navigation tablet so you can more efficiently and quickly get to your destination, thus saving gas.
March 27, 2015
Across the company, Hertz is focusing on making a major sustainable business-minded impact.