Green Operations

Bright Ideas: Going Green

July 2009, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Staff

Click here for full article.

Evergreen Fleet Initiative Explores Standards
A coalition of more than 25 fleet managers in the state of Washington has developed an initiative focused on how to efficiently and cost-effectively “green” public fleets. Named the Evergreen Fleet Initiative, the group is attempting to define what constitutes a green fleet and communicate those findings to the entire Puget Sound region and beyond. The leadership-driven coalition strives to build strict standards that can be realistically achieved and formally certify the fleets as “best practice” examples.

More than 90 percent of coalition members provided answers to “greening” questions based on their own experiences. Fleet profiles were entered on a master spreadsheet where greenhouse gases were calculated. A grouping of assets in conjunction with National Fleet Management Association (NAFA) guidelines helped classify vehicles appropriately to develop accurate rating schemes and measure progress effectively.

The initiative’s guidelines will help fleet managers determine the impact of operating hours, drive time, and fuel consumption. Members will get a better handle on how best to manage the fleet at macro and micro levels.

In addition to testing strategies with existing county and local fleets, the group has developed case studies and cost-benefit analyses of private fleets that have experienced recent success using alternative fuels and other green measures. One local wood product manufacturer has saved more than $100,000 with a 2,000-percent return on his alternative-fuel investments by implementing such policies.

Documentation will be supplied to any fleet interested in Evergreen Fleet Initiative certification. More information on the coalition is available at www.evergreenfleets.org.

NAFA Applauds Green Leaders
The County of Riverside, Calif.; the City of Inglewood, Calif.; and the Snohomish County Public Works Department in Everett, Wash, were all recipients of NAFA’s 2nd Annual Green Fleet Awards, designed to reward individuals helping green their organization while improving their fleet’s efficiency.

Riverside County’s fleet introduced two green initiatives to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors that were unanimously approved. The first initiative instituted a policy calling for the use and purchase of county vehicles and included a 25-mpg minimum for fleet vehicle purchases and an annual review/revision of minimum mile per gallon limits. The second initiative implemented environmentally preferred purchasing and included the creation of an E-85 fuel infrastructure for County of Riverside vehicles as well as mandating all patrol vehicle purchases to be flex-fuel models.

The City of Inglewood instituted a six-year alternative-fuel plan that focused on replacing 143 vehicles and implementing a green depot fueling infrastructure. The total annual savings from these programs is more than $100,000. Future goals include the replacement of 100 percent of city vehicles using alternative zero emission equipment.

Snohomish County Public Works, has developed a biodiesel infrastructure, retrofitted 109 diesel-powered vehicles and equipment with diesel oxidation catalysts, and developed and tested the “Evergreen Fleets Initiative.” In addition, the department has reduced CO2 by over 2 million lbs.

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