Presented at the 2009 Green Fleet Conference in Chicago last October, the Environmental Leadership Awards honored individuals at 20 public sector fleets for their significant contributions in promoting environmentally responsible fleet operations. All honorees are listed here.

City of Cambridge, Mass., Sydney Cox, supervisor & master mechanic.

The City of Cambridge, Mass., is currently working to take an existing vehicle, truck, or car and add an electric assist to save gasoline or diesel fuel.

New diesels trucks the City is purchasing will meet the 2010 and 2011 diesel emissions standards.

"One of the biggest thing we are trying to do is purchase more hybrid vehicles and vehicles with smaller engines," said Cox. "One other major item I have been doing in the shop is purchase green chemicals for cleaning shop hands and automotive equipment."

The City also works to keep vehicle engines tuned up and has a strong preventive maintenance program.

City of Chicago, Mayor Richard M. Daley and Commissioner Michael Picardi.

Last fall, Mayor Daley unveiled the Chicago Climate Action Plan, a comprehensive and detailed strategy to help lower greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change throughout the entire City - including businesses, residents, institutions, and the city government itself. Chicago's plan is the first to both identify emission sources and anticipated impacts of climate change and propose ideas that specifically respond to that research.

In October, Mayor Daley announced a $15-million energy efficiency grant award under the federal economic stimulus program. It will lead to the deployment of 554 alternative-fuel and hybrid-electric vehicles and the installation of 153 alternative fueling and re-charging stations throughout the area that will help displace 3 million gallons of petroleum per year.

Under Mayor Daley's leadership, the Green Fleets program already operates 592 alternative-fuel vehicles, 252 hybrid vehicles and eight electric vehicles. The idle-reduction campaign has led to 750 medium- and heavy-duty trucks programmed for automatic idle shutdown and 520 diesel units fitted with exhaust-retrofit technology.

In addition to the greenhouse-gas reduction strategies under the Chicago Climate Action Plan, the Green Fleets program aims to increase the number of hybrid/alternative-fuel vehicles in the fleet by 10 percent annually; to retrofit all possible pre-2007 diesel vehicles with emissions-reduction devices; to reduce or eliminate idling wherever possible; and to take all other practical actions to reduce fuel usage, displace petroleum and reduce pollutant emissions.

To date in 2009, the Green Fleets program has reduced harmful pollutant emissions from the City's fleet by an average of 2.5 tons per month.

City of Columbus, Ohio, Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

Approximately 73 percent of all Columbus bulk diesel purchases are currently biodiesel. More than half of all new vehicles/equipment purchased so far this year are considered "green."

The City is currently working to implement its $1.3 CMAQ grant ($1.068 grant funds with 20 percent City match of $267,000) - projects include emission reduction retrofits (DOCs and DPFs, anti-idling equipment installations (engine coolant heaters and hydraulic oil heaters), and the purchase of 14 CNG heavy duty vehicles.

The City has targets to retrofit 50 percent of eligible vehicles with either DOCs or DPFs by the end of 2009 - and is on track to meet this target. A plan to retrofit 100 percent of eligible vehicle by end of 2010 is in effect as well, and the City is also on track to meet this target as well. All retrofits are being completed with grants funds received through the CMAQ grant.

The City has a target to install engine coolant and/or hydraulic heaters (anti-idling devices) on 100 percent of eligible vehicles by the end of 2009 (also using CMAQ funds).

Part of the CMAQ award will be used to purchase nine CNG Refuse trucks and five CNG heavy-duty vehicles in 2010.

The City was recently awarded a grant through the Department of Energy Clean Cities fund for $1.27 million which will fund the construction of a CNG fueling station and the purchase of seven heavy-duty CNG vehicles and five heavy-duty hybrid vehicles.


City of Culver City, Calif., Paul Condran, equipment maintenance manager.

The Culver City, Calif., Finance Office and Purchasing Division have established citywide "green" purchasing policies which require the purchase of products that have reduced environmental impact because of the way they are made, used, transported, stored, packaged, and disposed. These products minimize waste, maximize use of bio-based or recycled materials, conserve energy and water, and reduce the consumption or disposal of hazardous materials. All are used by our Division in conducting our equipment maintenance and fleet services operations.

The purchase of CNG vehicles using AB2766 Subvention Funds has been projected and planned through 2012. These funds are allocated to the City specifically for air quality projects. Culver City uses these funds exclusively for alternative fuel vehicle purchases. 

A full analysis of the City's fleet usage was conducted in the past year, resulting in fleet right-sizing of under-utilized vehicles, which have been "recycled" back into the fleet and assigned to departments standing by for replacement vehicles, thus keeping costs down, maintaining fleet size, and preventing "fleet creep."

In the past year, Culver City has replaced seven heavy-duty diesel sanitation vehicles, and six additional new transit buses with more efficient CNG powered vehicles to suit the needs of the department.

In the past year, the City has strengthened its citywide anti-idling policy in conjunction with new training presentations to operators of heavy-duty vehicles.

The City recently implemented a new EcoDriving Program which provides information to all City employees on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through "green" driving practices, reducing weight in the vehicle, etc.

Culver City's 2009 Employee Commute Reduction Plan was submitted to AQMD for review, and was accepted; it incorporates enhanced incentives to employees who use alternative modes of transportation to get to work

Lead wheel weights and have been replaced with steel wheel weights, significantly reducing lead content and lead waste, following green shop practices and EPA requirements. Traditional oil filters have are being replaced with new Pure Power reusable Filters, which are cleaned and reused, reducing considerable (to 3900 oil filters) environmental waste and improving vehicle performance.

Due to proactive planning strategies, the City became fully compliant two years ahead of the mandate by retrofitting all diesel powered trucks by 2008, producing 85-percent fewer emissions.  One hundred percent (100 percent) of all of the City's heavy-duty vehicles are now powered by clean-burning CNG and/or are compliant with emissions reduction devices.

Our current initiatives include our continuing commitment to the purchase and application of natural gas powered vehicles. The City has instituted a citywide Eco-Driving program, providing driving techniques to all City employees to help instruct them in being proactive about their driving habits.

Due to the City's progressive use of CNG powered vehicles, it has displaced more than 800,000 gallons of diesel fuel and saved the City an estimated $1.2 million in annual fuel costs. Plus in the past eight years, the City reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2,133 tons of CO2 and more than 40 tons of N2O, and continues to increase these reductions with each vehicle replacement.

City of Denver, Ernie Ivy, fleet director.

Ivy has been a champion of efforts to green Denver's fleet for the past decade. He spearheaded the purchase of a fleet of hybrid-electric vehicles back in 2001-the first year the Toyota Prius was available for purchase in the United States. From there, he moved the City into the use of alternative fuels including biodiesel and many other environmentally friendly fleet products, such as self-cleaning parts washers and water-based automotive paint. 

Ivy is in continual pursuit of alternative-fuel vehicles in the medium- and heavy-duty categories and is launching projects aimed at electrification of Denver's fleet.

His latest efforts involve turning a gasoline-powered right-hand drive parking enforcement vehicle into a zero-polluting all-electric plug-in unit.

Ivy is co-chair of an eco-partnership between Denver and Chongqing, China, which is working to bring Chinese-made electric vehicles to Denver to test in City government applications.

City of Fort Wayne, Ind., Larry Campbell, CPFP, fleet manager.


The City of Fort Wayne, Ind., fleet is always trying to improve its carbon foot print, according to Larry Campbell, CPFP, fleet manager, and as vehicles are due for replacement in the City's lifecycle program, the City is always looking where to place hybrids and flex-fuel vehicles in fleet.

Fleet "green" initiatives and statistics include:

  • 48 percent of the City fleet is flex-fuel capable.
  • 100 percent of the diesel fleet is fueled by biodiesel (B-20).
  • 4 percent of the city vehicle fleet is hybrid, with the percentage expected to grow.
  • 11 percent of the diesel fleet has diesel particulate filters installed.

The City of Fort Wayne is not only looking at exhaust emissions, but the shops carbon footprint and proper disposal of shop products.    

Achievements recognized in the government fleet awards and locally include:

  • Indian Central Clean Cities award for use of hybrids in fleet 2009.
  • State Paul Dana award or environmental award in 2009.
  • Top green shop award in 2009.

City of Houston, Mayor Bill White.

The City of Houston's green fleet accomplishments include:

  • Replacing 683 passenger vehicles with hybrids through the Mayor's Hybrid Initiative, as well as scheduled replacement of 34 heavy-duty vehicles with hybrid and clean diesel vehicles.
  • Reducing fleet fuel consumption from 9.4 million gallons in 2005 to 8.8 million gallons in 2009.

The first initiative to reduce the environmental impact of city vehicles is a pilot vehicle electrification project the City entered into with a major energy company. Ten gasoline-hybrid vehicles were converted into Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and plug-in electric charging stations are being built.

Houston plans to expand this project and will build vehicle charging stations around the City as part of a public/private partnership, for City and public consumption. The City has entered into preliminary talks with a major automotive manufacturer for the purchase of 100 fully battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

As the nation's largest government purchaser of renewable energy, according to City officials, the reduction in fleet GHG emissions is expected to be substantial.

City of Inglewood, Calif., Rick Longobart, fleet manager.

Through the use of technology, forward thinking, and changing the mindset of human behavior, the City of Inglewood, Calif., Fleet Management has migrated more than 40 percent of the City fleet into alternative energy, hence providing $1.5 million in savings and producing more than $4.5 million in grant funds, while providing a more reliable and efficient fleet and good stewardship within the community and a model for other public and private fleets, and businesses.

The City of Inglewood is dedicated to its mission of operating a fleet of vehicles and equipment that are powered by 100-percent renewable and sustainable energy. In 2003, the City adopted a six-year alternative-fuel plan, identifying 143 vehicles replace with alternative-fuel units. All vehicles will be replaced with fuel-efficient and alternative-powered cars, trucks, and equipment. 

Currently, the City owns five on-road diesel vehicles in the fleet, which will be replaced by the end of 2010 creating a 100-percent alternative-fuel fleet.


City of Kansas City, Mo., Samuel Swearngin, CAFM, fleet administrator.

Samuel Swearngin, CAFM, fleet administrator for the City of Kansas City, Mo., implemented compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles into fleet. He also participates in the mid-America Regional Counsel's CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation Air Quality).

The City's current green initiatives, goals and achievements include implementing an automated fuel management system. The City has obtained several grants to purchase CNG vehicles. The City also has in place an "anti-idling Policy."

Also, the City has in place an "Environmental Protection" procedure on the recycling of materials.

City of Milwaukee, Venu Gupta, superintendent, buildings & fleet.

To improve environmental performance in the City of Milwaukee fleet operations, the City has:

  • Reduced fleet operating costs.
  • Reduced staff by 28.5 percent since 2000.
  • Met and exceeded vehicle availability goals:
    • Light equipment: 95 percent.
    • Police equipment: 95 percent.
    • Heavy equipment: 90 percent.

Fleet highlights include 24 car and light-truck hybrid vehicles; one hybrid aerial truck; 215 flex-fuel vehicles; 798 recapped tires in 2009; 57.3 tons of recycled tires in 2008; and 950 recycled batteries in 2009. Also, 35 percent of the fleet's tires are filled with nitrogen.

City of Seattle, Chris Wiley, green fleets coordinator.

Chris Wiley, green fleets coordinator for the City of Seattle has increased citywide awareness around green fleet program; started the waste grease biodiesel test program; and participated in developing the successful $15M Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition grant proposal.

The City's current green initiatives, goals, and achievements include:

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions from fleet operations by 13 percent in one year.
  • Testing the use of waste grease biodiesel to eventually use in the entire diesel fleet.
  • Electrification of transportation efforts including participation on citywide team to make Seattle "Plug-In Ready."

City of Vancouver, B.C., Doug Smith, manager, equipment services.

Doug Smith worked for the City of Vancouver, British Columbia for more than 18 years in a variety of roles, the last five of which he managed the City's fleet and Equipment Services group. 

Smith is a professional Engineer and his previous roles included being the City's Bicycle Coordinator and Managing the City's Greenways (bike and pedestrian facilities) program. This experience gave him a strong background in green and sustainable practices which he brings with him to the City's fleet operations.

Equipment Service's green initiatives range from how fleet repairs are done and how the garage is set up to the actual fleet itself.  Green products, such as bio-degradable hydraulic fluids and water based degreasers, are commonly used.  The main garage was built in 1966 and is undergoing a major overhaul to ensure the lighting, heating and other systems are as energy efficient as possible.

The Green Fleet practices used by Equipment Services include the following:

  • Right-sizing all equipment to be a fuel efficient as possible.  Smart Cars are the default units and a business is required to up-size.
  • Alternate fuels such as biodiesel and propane are used. A program is underway investigating the use of methane from the City's landfill to power the equipment and trucks that haul the garbage.
  • Low energy LED and strobe lights on vehicles as well as cab heaters are used to reduce idling so City staff can conform to the City's anti-idling bylaws.
  • Alternate vehicles, such as plug-in electric hybrids (light- and medium-duty) as well as all electric production vehicles like the Mitsubishi iMiEV are being used.
  • Driver training is provided to teach staff to drive efficiently.


City of West Covina, Calif., Shannon Yauchzee, public works director/city engineer.


The City of West Covina has been a leader in energy efficiency for more than a decade. Even before it became recently popular, the City was installing CNG fueling stations and running all-electric vehicles. 

The City plans to add as many alternative-fuel, electric, and fuel-efficient vehicles to its fleet as possible. 

King County, Wash., Melody Bennett, climate change program manager.

New York City, Ariella Maron, DCAS deputy commissioner, energy conservation; Steve Weir, DCAS\DMSS director, fleet administration; and Robert Riccelli, executive director, DCAS/DMISS IT & special projects group.

Ariella Maron, DCAS' deputy commissioner for Energy Conservation has been instrumental in building a new organization within DCAS that, among it's many responsibilities, has already become a central point of contact and coordination for the City's efforts to successfully develop and apply for ARRA and related funding for clean technology vehicles such as a plug-in hybrid truck development and demonstration program and a Clean Cities grant award for DOT ferry retrofits.

Steve Weir, DCAS/DMSS director of the Office of Fleet Administration has a long history of developing and implementing the City's wide ranging 'green fleet' initiatives for more than 15 years. These efforts have directly led to the introduction of a variety of clean vehicle technologies including CNG, bio-fuels, electric vehicles and most recently hybrid electric sedans and SUVs.

Robert Riccelli, executive director of the DCAS/DMSS IT & Special Projects group has been the division's primary lead in developing and implementing the City's PlaNYC Green Fleet initiatives. These efforts have resulted in the dramatic growth of the City's hybrid electric fleet which is now recognized as the largest such fleet in the nation.

The combined efforts of these DCAS managers and their staff has led to the completion of three extensive fleet studies that have detailed a transition plan that will allow the City to reduce GHG emissions by 30 percent over the next eight to 16 years. Their efforts are also encouraging and supporting a variety of pilot projects throughout the City to identify and test new technology vehicles for a wide range of applications, especially in the medium and heavier duty classes. Hybrid electric trucks, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles are all being researched and/or are already being pilot tested.

One of the City's major achievements is the introduction of hybrid sedans into the emergency response fleets of the city's police, fire and sheriff's departments. These fleets offer the largest remaining opportunity for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in the City's already clean light-duty fleet.

A high priority goal is the development and implementation of a citywide fuel management system that will track fuel usage by vehicle, user/driver, agency and/or location. Having accurate fuel usage data is essential to controlling the fleet's GHG emissions. To even more effectively manage the City's efforts, fuel usage must be accurately tracked and easily reported back to the agency managers that are leading the City's GHG reduction efforts.

DCAS is also actively pursuing the development and roll out of all-electric trucks in various configurations. Emissions from the fleet's diesel vehicles is the largest contributor to the fleet's emissions profile and the identification of electric, as well as plug in hybrid and/or hydraulic hybrid technology vehicles will be an important and on-going goal of the agency over the next few years.


Orange County, Fla., David Roussel, fleet manager.

Through the end of 2009FY, the Orange County, Fla., fleet has reduced its overall fossil fuel usage by 15 percent (238,578 gallons) compared to 2005.The County's goal is a 20-percent reduction by 2010. 

When comparing the County's average fossil fuel usage per active asset hour, usage has been reduced by 23.5 percent compared to 2005.

"This is a real win for us since it shows that even though we have increased assets they are more efficient in fuel use and driver use," said Roussel.

Orange County Fleet has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 16.5 percent (4.67 million lbs.) as compared to 2005 and its rolling stock fleet is 46.1-percent hybrid or powered by alternative fuels.

A countywide anti-idling policy is being initiated and the County will be auditing all take-home and remote-parked vehicles to insure they are following County policy, establishing a centralized process for pooled vehicles, and reviewing PM process for fluids and filters change cycles.

Riverside County, Calif., Robert Howdyshell, director of purchasing & fleet services.

Robert Howdyshell, director of purchasing & fleet services for the County of Riverside, Calif., directed staff to prepare a green vehicle purchasing policy of 25 mpg minimum. He achieved a 28 percent alternative-fuel fleet and established a policy that all Patrol Vehicles must be flex-fuel models.

Concerning current green initiatives, goals, and achievements, the County authorized a GPS pilot program to identify opportunities to reduce green house gas emissions; will have five E-85 capable fuel sites by the end of the year; and upgraded rideshare program vehicles to more fuel-efficient models.

Snohomish County, Wash., Allen Mitchell, CPFP, fleet manager.

To date, achievements Snohomish County, Wash., has made in greening its fleet include:

  • Implemented a locally grown biodiesel fuel supply chain in which the County uses B-20 in 70 percent of its diesel fleet; successfully piloted the use of B-40 between June and September 2009.
  • Completed 132 exhaust retrofits of diesel equipment; currently more than 50 percent of the diesel fleet is using clean emission technology.
  • Use more than 50 GPS/AVL systems for efficient routing of solid waste vehicles; reduced idling in those vehicles by 25 percent.

Current initiatives, goals, and achievements include:

  • Plan 15 percent of annual equipment replacements with alternative-fuel vehicles to be able to attain 100-percent bio-fuel and electric vehicle use by 2015. The County intends to reduce CO2 emissions by 2 percent annually.
  • The County piloted the "Evergreen Fleets Initiative" and achieved a 3-star certification for the first national effort to certify green fleet practices.
  • The County will use awarded-ARRA funding to add two biodiesel tanks, one E-85 tank, and five solar/electric charging facilities with smart-grid technology in 2010 as well as purchase 20 hybrids or electric vehicles.

University of California, Los Angeles, Sherry Lewis, associate director.

UCLA maintains a Fleet Optimization Program consisting of the following key initiatives and achievements: 

  • Eliminate under-utilized, high-maintenance vehicles (right-size).
  • Purchase low-emission, zero emission, and other alternative-fuel vehicles utilizing a fuel-efficiency formula (mpg + emission cost factor + lowest bid price).
  • Replace with fuel-efficient, alternative configuration vehicles (e.g. ICEs to LSVs, hybrids, CNG, ZEVs) when available. 
  • Educate and promote the use of green vehicles - GO GREEN Program.
  • Current initiatives include the operation of two CNG refueling stations on campus; one is public access. 
  • Program goal to have a 50 percent green fleet within five years.

Future program goals include the implementation of fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). Ongoing projects are under discussion with OEMs and regulatory agencies to bring these demonstration projects to fruition.  

University of Michigan, Renee Jordan, administrative associate 1, parking & transportation services.

The University of Michigan (U-M) is committed to purchasing alternative-fuel vehicles whenever possible which can meet business functionality needs.  The University has been offering alternative fuels on campus since 2000 by using B-20 biodiesel and E-85 ethanol.

U-M is currently are marketing its "Go Blue, Think Green" campaign to the campus, with a goal to reduce the University's carbon footprint through alternative transportation programs such as transit, carpooling, vanpooling, fleet sharing, walking, and biking.

Goals for U-M include:

1.       Continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil
2.       Purchase of electric vehicles
3.       Purchase a light weight plug in hybrid transit coach

U-M Achievements include:  

1.       84 percent of the passenger auto fleet is alternative-fuel vehicles.
2.       Secured Department of Energy funds through Michigan Green Fleet Project for additional hybrid vehicles.
3.       Increased the campus vanpool program - currently 88 vanpools operating for staff for the commute into Ann Arbor, Mich.


Originally posted on Automotive Fleet