40 Sustainability All-Stars

September 2011, Green Fleet Magazine - Cover Story

by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

Click here for a pdf version of this article.

The first-ever Sustainability All-Star award recipients will be recognized Oct. 4 at the Green Fleet Conference in Texas. Green Fleet magazine staff reviewed nominees submitted online based on professional longevity, accomplishments (significant sustainability achievements), innovation (innovative ways individuals have contributed to reducing emissions and fuel consumption), and overall industry involvement.

Altogether, these fleet professionals have reduced greeenhouse gas emissions, created green fleet and sustainability policies, and have dedicated their time and energy to ensuring the path to sustainability is clear.
The following are the 40 individuals, including commercial and public sector fleet managers as well as vendors/suppliers recognized for their outstanding achievements in green fleet sustainability in 2011.

Armstrong has been in the fleet industry for 20 years. Because ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas is an industry leader in sustainability for vertical transportation, Armstrong has had a dedicated focus on fleet sustainability for the past three years. With fleet being a major contributor to the company’s overall carbon footprint, it was necessary to establish goals for environmental impact reductions.

The first goal was to reduce fleet fuel consumption 20 percent by 2015 through the reduction of engine and vehicle size. Over the past three years, Armstrong converted 18 percent of ThyssenKrupp’s total fleet to four-cylinder engines.

The second goal was to find and implement the best alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) for Fleet. While Armstrong wanted to reduce fleet’s carbon footprint through the use of AFVs, he also wanted to be mindful of the function required of that vehicle for the driver. Another challenge to this process was today’s competitive and political environment, which makes it difficult to understand and find the best AFVs for a fleet.

To help analyze all the different choices, Armstrong created the five Cs of analyzing AFVs:

   1.      Is it Clean?
   2.      Does it Conserve? 
   3.      Is it Cost effective?
   4.      Does it make Common sense?
   5.      Can you Commit?

This approach allowed him to effectively and objectively analyze each fuel/vehicle type for the ThyssenKrupp fleet. He said, the five Cs approach can work for any fleet. However, the end results would vary depending on a company’s operation, available infrastructure, vehicle types, etc. For ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas, propane/autogas was the only source that qualified in each of the five categories.

As a result, the ThyssenKrupp fleet has 37 propane vehicles either on the road or on-order with a goal of 300 propane vehicles in the fleet by 2015, or roughly 10 percent of its U.S. fleet. ThyssenKrupp also put its first EV (Ford Transit Connect Electric) on the road in Seattle, Wash. While Armstrong said he has found the EV to be a viable option for the future of the fleet and the automotive industry, this technology will need plenty of advancement in the mileage range capabilities and be more cost-effective before EVs can be utilized in any volume for ThyssenKrupp’s fleet. He said he has “dabbled” in the use of hybrid vehicles. However, due to the lack of city driving, he has found hybrids are not a viable option for ThyssenKrupp’s fleet.

In order to share his knowledge of and experience with propane/autogas fleet vehicles, he has been very active in industry organizations and events. For instance, he participated in the San Diego Green Fleet Conference in October 2010. During the conference, Roush Performance unveiled ThyssenKrupp’s propane van as part of the introduction of Roush Clean Tech.  In addition, he served as a keynote speaker at the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in May 2011 for the Propane Engine Fuel Summit. ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas as a whole also supports and participates in the Clean City Coalition and attended the Clean Cities Coalition annual meeting in Indianapolis in June 2011.


Battersby has 25 years of experience in the fleet industry with 15 years in alternative-fuel vehicles, including the implementation of the first ever alternative-fuel vehicle program for Airborne Express freight company, the EV Sacramento program, and the State of California CNG and hybrid electric vehicle expansion programs. He is responsible for fielding over 2,500 alternative-fuel and advanced-technology vehicles, and was involved in the design and construction of numerous alternative-fuel and EV charging stations throughout California. Richard has spoken frequently on clean air vehicle grant funding at industry events, and, in the past two years, has participated in the successful award of $10.9 million in clean air vehicle project funding. He has also served as the Coordinator for the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition since 1996 and currently Chairs the ARB Advisory Council for the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) and sits on the Steering Committee of the Bay Area EV Strategic Council.


Bibbo has managed fleets for almost 22 years, first with Pharmacia/Amersham/GE Healthcare and currently with Novo Nordisk Inc. She has grown Novo Nordisk’s fleet from 1,265 vehicles five years ago to 3,100 vehicles today.  

The company is very concerned with being environmentally responsible, and, thus, it has had a “green” initiative since 2007.  Novo Nordisk has done the following: downsized to four-cylinder engines, included hybrid options, and included diesel options. It is currently exploring the idea of charging personal use based on the fuel efficiency of the vehicle being driven, and taking the monies collected and donating them to an environmental cause. 

Novo Nordisk has decreased its fleet’s average CO2 per mile by 7.8 percent from 2007 to 2010, and has increased fuel mileage by 8.4 percent all without sacrificing the provision of family-sized (seven-passenger) vehicles to its drivers.  




Remaining active in the fleet industry for more than 50 years, Bobit is chairman and founder of Bobit Business Media (BBM), Automotive Fleet editor, and a founding AFLA member. Established in 1961, BBM now produces more than 20 publications, seven targeted specifically to the fleet industry. Bobit Business Media was founded in 1961 with the launching of Automotive Fleet in Glenview, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. By 1964, Bobit acquired two more publications, Metro and School Bus Fleet, to strengthen its position in the transportation market. Seeking warmer weather, the company moved to Southern California in 1977 and established an office in Redondo Beach.

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