Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition (CACC) revealed the winners of its 2019 Leadership Awards who are recognized for their efforts in alternative fuels, which included several fleets
This year’s winners include the fleets of Village of Oak Park fleet, Ozinga, and the Village of Downers Grove, according to a release from CACC. The awards are bestowed to organizations and individuals that take actions to locally reduce petroleum consumption and improve air quality, such as by using cleaner-burning alternative-fuel vehicles, electric vehicles or other advanced technologies.
The Village of Oak Park, which was honored as the Best Performing Municipality, recently installed five electric vehicle charging stations and deployed five new all-electric 2019 Nissan Leafs. Oak Park is also a member of CACC and the B20 Club and is a long-time user of low-emissions biodiesel fuel for the village’s diesel fleet vehicles. The village also expanded its use of telematics to coach and educate fleet drivers on proper usage of equipment by decreasing idling, reduce speeding and excessive acceleration, decreasing use of fossil fuels. It also added a hybrid-electric bucket truck, which allows use of the bucket with a battery instead of the vehicle’s engine.
Ozinga, a building materials provider, earlier this year made it so all its natural gas fueling stations pump renewable landfill gas. The company, which received the Above and Beyond Award, can now also help other organizations make the switch to RNG, and it also added more electric vehicle charging stations to its fueling infrastructure. These were featured among several other initiatives that earned them the honor.
The Village of Downers Grove, a municipality in the western suburbs of Chicago that received the Plugged-In Public Safety Award, runs 83% of the village's fleet on some form of alternative fuel. These alternatives included biodiesel, E-85, compressed natural gas, propane, solar power, and hybrid combinations. In 2019, the village began using its first plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. The vehicles, used by the Police Department's Community Support Officers, are averaging over 75 miles-per-gallon, replacing Ford Crown Victoria models that only averaged 14 miles-per-gallon.
The implementation of green initiatives like the use of cleaner, more efficient alternative fuels achieves the village’s strategic sustainability goals.
Also recognized, the Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza was honored for investing more than half a million dollars to build the infrastructure at their truck plaza to begin blending and selling higher blends of premium biodiesel to all their customers.
Personnel who were recognized included Tom Thompson, maintenance supervisor for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, for his Leadership in Public Service. Chicago resident Neda Deylami also was awarded a Community Leadership Award for her efforts to help Chicago transition to environmentally friendly electric vehicles.
The winners were revealed at its annual meeting and reception in early December.