Green My Fleet: Be a Vehicle for Change<br />An Analysis of Puget Sound Clean Air’s Evergreen Fleets Methods of Green Fleet Modernization<br />By David Perlmutter<br />CEP 302B<br />Professor Don Miller<br />Community, Environment, and Planning<br />Department of Urban Design & Planning<br />University of Washington<br />March 10, 2010<br />ABSTRACT<br />Many public and private agencies aim to reduce their fleet emissions due to rising fuel costs, global warming, and new funding for “green” vehicles and infrastructure. Evergreen Fleets is a certification program run by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency that awards “Green Fleets” certification to fleets demonstrating reduced emissions and investment in alternative fuel technologies. For my CEP 302 project, my research will focus on how public and private agencies in the Puget Sound region have approached Evergreen Fleets certification and modernized their fleets accordingly. My research question is: what is the best way for large public and private fleets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and achieve Green Fleets certification? More importantly, what changes are needed in similar certification programs to 1) improve their effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG); and 2) what should be the priorities for alternative fuel technology investments for achieving this end? This paper will compare the approaches to Evergreen Fleets certification that members of the Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition have undertaken. While initially I had desired to make wide-ranging national and international comparisons, I have decided to limit the scale for the bulk of this assignment to comparing cities within the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s jurisdiction. I will begin by analyzing the stakeholders involved in green fleet modernization programs, reviewing some of the literature of alternative fuel investment and emissions reductions schemes by cities in the United States and other developed countries, and propose a series of solutions for Evergreen Fleets to increase program effectiveness and fleet participation.<br />STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS<br />The following will aim to describe the various stakeholders involved with the Evergreen Fleets certification regime and their relationships.<br />Evergreen Fleets: This is the certification regime administered by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, a regulatory body charged with maintaining local compliance with the federal Clean Air Act. This program is about two years old. Conceptually similar to the LEED program for green architecture, agencies or municipalities compete to earn anywhere from one to five stars after meeting a series of thresholds in reducing overall carbon emissions and investment in alternative fuel technologies. The Evergreen Fleets program is administered by Leslie Stanton and Stephanie Meyn, of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (Meyn, 2010). One of their main responsibilities is administering policy across the Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition.<br />Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition: A collection of eighty (80) cities in the Puget Sound that have made voluntary, non-binding commitments to reducing their carbon emissions and investing in alternative fuels. The PSCCC is a sub-set of the national Clean Cities Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (Stanton, 2009). Membership in the PSCCC is often the first place where prospective applicant municipalities begin to create the policy statements and make the initial alternative fuel investments necessary to begin their certification process with Evergreen Fleets. The PSCCC is a very important resource for its members because it is the body through which large amounts of federal funding for alternative vehicles is channeled. <br />Candidate Agencies/Cities: These include cities and public agencies that have already become certified with Evergreen Fleets, such as the Cities of Seattle and Mercer Island, as well as King and Snohomish Counties (Stanton, 2009). In addition, many other members of the PSCCC are currently investigating potential certification with Evergreen Fleets. These include the City of Issaquah, with whom I am completing my Senior Project, the Cities of Bellevue, Kirkland, Everett, Tacoma, the Port of Seattle, and the University of Washington (Meyn et al, 2009; “Department”, 2009).<br />Resource Conservation Offices of Agencies: Also known as Environment or Sustainability Offices, or – among smaller cities with similar duties administered by local utility districts – public works or engineering departments, these offices are integral to efforts to become certified with Evergreen Fleets. First, these offices are responsible for producing and continually updating the Best Practices policy documentation that comprises nearly half of the Evergreen Fleets certification score (deBeck, 2009). Second, these offices are responsible for reviewing the behavior of City Fleet Departments to ensure City compliance with their own Best Practices as well as the standards of Evergreen Fleets. This review process includes collaborative data management for fuel expenditures, vehicle purchasing, driver training, preventive maintenance, and many other programs.<br />City Fleet Departments: These departments are responsible for vehicle purchasing, maintenance, inventory, and data management for fuel expenses. The long-term viability of Evergreen Fleets rests upon whether the program criteria (carbon emissions reduction and alternative fuel investment) are practical and actionable for the fleet supervisors (Carlsen, 2009; deBeck, 2009). A significant portion of my Senior Project involves working with fleet supervisors to create an improved form of data management, so that fuel transactions can be better synched with the Evergreen Fleets online Evaluator Tool. A similar data management transition to keep track of vehicle inventory is also an element of my Senior Project. In addition, the creation of the Best Practices documentation in the Resource Conservation Offices must be in concert with the on-the-ground realities the fleet supervisors experience. Which alternative fuels to purchase, how many new vehicles to purchase and for what purpose, how best to create a “right-size” requirement for vehicle trips, or the specifics of a new driver training program are each questions that must engage the Fleets Department. <br />Vehicle Suppliers: These private suppliers for the city fleets are responsible for supplying the cities with the appropriate technologies to fulfill the Evergreen Fleets criteria. Suppliers can include car dealerships, auto body and repair shops (Seattle Department of Planning and Development, 2003), filling station maintenance technicians (for compressed natural gas), chemical distributors for preventive maintenance (Edens, 2008), and even farms and restaurants who help supply biodiesel fuel (Wiley, 2010). The success or failure of implementing new Best Practices in Evergreen Fleets depends on the availability (and affordability) of suppliers who can work with the city fleets department. The process of finding suitable suppliers for alternative vehicles is more challenging in smaller, rural markets that have fewer resources and a smaller scale of operations than wealthier, larger fleets (Knight, 2010).<br />Carbon Exchange Markets: Carbon exchange markets are similar to cap-and-trade systems in allowing candidate agencies who cannot reduce their emissions to a desired threshold to buy “carbon credits” from another agency that has successfully reduced their emissions (Stewart and Erickson, 2010). Carbon exchange markets, like the Chicago Carbon Exchange (of which King County is a member), offer candidate cities a series of environmental checks and balances to help in the process of curbing emissions. <br />Venture Capitalists: Venture capitalists are responsible for funding many of the innovative new technologies that currently appear as Best Practices, as well as many more that will be adopted as alternative energies in the near future. Innovative companies must be able to convince potential investors that the technologies they are developing are not only feasible and effective, but will produce a good return on investment. In one high-profile case, a collection of many cities across the San Francisco Bay Area have agreed to partner with the green-tech start-up Better Place, after this firm received over $1 billion in venture capital (Schwartz, 2010). After securing such a large investment, the State of California agreed to build nearly half a million electric vehicle charging stations across the state. This move will ensure that electric vehicles have a reliable refueling network in the United States’ largest commercial market, providing the dealers with a steady economy of scale to ensure affordable vehicles. It is important for Evergreen Fleets and other regulatory regimes to realize that many forms of green fuel infrastructure are difficult to construct in practical ways without similarly large amounts of venture capital funding, which is today much harder to obtain due to the global economic recession.<br />LITERATURE REVIEW<br />The primary motivators for the increased interest in environmentally sustainable fleet modernization are: 1) a greater awareness of the environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions and their contributions to climate change, especially of heavy trucks and diesel vehicles (Peterson and Rose 2006); 2) greater availability of alternative fuel technologies, such as hybrid-electric vehicles, zero-emission electric vehicles, biodiesel vehicles, and diesel retrofit technologies (Wilhelm 2009); 3) increased state and federal funding (“EV infrastructure”, 2009) – through the Washington State Purchasing Cooperative and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 – for agencies investing in alternative fuel technologies; and 4) a widespread desire by public agencies to reduce their fuel emissions and improve fleet efficiency in response to growing budget cuts (Edens, 2008). Evergreen Fleets is a certification program administered by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (through its Clean Cities Coalition) that awards certification to fleets demonstrating emissions reductions and investment in alternative fuel technologies. <br />One of the most prominent members of Evergreen Fleets has been the City of Seattle, which achieved a Green Fleets certification of four out of five stars in October 2009. Seattle is the only candidate city to reach this level of certification. The City achieved this remarkable effort due to meeting objectives clearly outlined in its “Clean and Green Fleet Action Plan” (2007). This initiative stemmed from Mayor Nickels’ 2002 Environmental Action Agenda (Drury & Kerrigan, 2003: 2), in which achieving “an overall reduction in air emissions produced by City vehicles and to reduce the amount of fossil fuels purchased and used for vehicles” was articulated as a City policy objective. Mounting evidence began to show that air pollution negatively impacts Seattle’s quality of life and endangers its public health, over half of which is produced in the transportation sector. In this report, a US EPA study released in 2002 places Seattle and King County in the top five percentile in the nation for concentrations of some of the most hazardous air toxics. Cancer risks in the region top 700 in a million risk levels from these air toxics that are mostly attributable to diesel emissions (Drury & Kerrigan, 2003: 2). In addition, the threats that climate change continues to pose to local drinking water supplies became increasingly apparent (“City”, 2007: 3). Seattle’s fleet of 3,250 cars and trucks constitutes one of the City’s most environmentally consequential choices with regard to public health and the environment. The key platforms of the City’s Green Fleets Plan were the following:<br />By 2005, reduce annual City fuel consumption by 5% compared to 1999 levels<br />Retrofit all of the City’s nearly 400 diesel vehicles with emissions control technology and ultra-low sulfur fuels by 2004<br />Half of all light duty vehicle purchases will be “clean and green” models (excepting police cars and light trucks) – these models are either hybrids or compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles<br />Employ B20 biodiesel fuel in every diesel vehicle in the City’s fleet. (Drury & Kerrigan, 2003)<br />Seattle’s policy efforts stated in its Green Fleets Plan were remarkable in their boldness relative to other American cities and their broader integration into other City endeavors such as the Seattle Climate Action Plan, released in March 2006. <br />The Seattle Climate Action Plan was conceptually based on the city’s Green Ribbon Commission on Climate Protection, which Mayor Nickels appointed in February 2005 to outline a series of measures the City would take to achieve localized Kyoto Protocol thresholds. In light of the notable absence of federal leadership with respect to the Kyoto Protocol at the time, this action elevated the City of Seattle into the status of a national environmental vanguard, which it continues to enjoy today (Wiley, 2010). One of the Green Ribbon Commission’s key recommendations was the formation of a Seattle Climate Partnership, a voluntary pact of a consortium of local employers that pledged to reduce its carbon emissions (“City of Seattle, Mayor”, 2005; Langston, 2007). The Seattle Climate Partnership includes over 100 major employers, including Microsoft, REI, the Port of Seattle, Starbucks, BECU, Vulcan, and the University of Washington, as well as shared resource toolkits such as carbon footprint calculators and publicly available, collaborative corporate climate action plans (Edens, 2008) This partnership represents a unique opportunity to engage the private sector on climate change on an organizational, if voluntary, basis that few other city governments have used. <br />In accord with the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, representing over 1,000 cities and 86 million people nationwide, the City redoubled its efforts to reduce GHG emissions in order to comply with recommendations for meeting or exceeding the Kyoto target of a 7% reduction by 2012, compared to 1990 levels (“Mayor’s”, 2007; Wiley, 2010). For Seattle, this would mean reducing emissions GHG by about 680,000 metric tons, which is roughly the amount produced by 147,000 cars in one year. Given that the City’s fleet comprises a significant and highly visible portion of this total, its Green Fleets Plan became even more substantial. A 2007 analysis (“City”, 2007: 4) indicates that Seattle has met or exceeded three out of its four Green Fleets policy goals: By the end of 2005, the City’s fuel use was down 7.6% compared to 1999. The City began using ultra-low sulfur diesel in 2001 and retrofitted 100% of its eligible vehicles by the end of 2002, both well before the identified target dates. The fleet’s transition to ultra-low sulfur diesel accounted for a significant portion of the City’s overall fuel reduction. In addition, the City had by 2005 purchased 78% of its new vehicles as “clean and green” models, well above the 50% target. The vast majority of these new vehicles were hybrid-electric cars. Finally, the City nearly completed its final goal of supplying 100% of diesel trucks with B20 fuel, which is 20% biodiesel and 80% ultra-low sulfur diesel, reaching 97%. <br />Near-term goals for the City’s Green Fleets plan focus on expanding upon these accomplishments in the 2000-2005 period. First, the City aims to further reduce its petroleum fuel consumption in 2010 by 10% from 2005, representing a 16.8% decline in fuel consumption from 1999 levels. Second, the City aims to purchase 90% of its compact sedans and 50% of its SUVs as “clean and green” models achieving 20% above-average EPA fuel efficiency. The City’s partnership with Evergreen Fleets since 2008 has not only earned the City the honor of a four-star certification, but also has helped provide Seattle with more rigorous standards to measure future Green Fleets endeavors, such as anti-idling policies, driver education and training programs, ethanol fuel purchases, Electric Vehicles (“EV infrastructure”, 2009), and medium-duty hybrid truck use (Wiley, 2010). <br />In February 2010, Seattle City Council released a proposal to make the City of Seattle "
by 2030 (Barnett, 2010). This proposal, first suggested by Alex Steffen (the president of the local think tank WorldChanging) has generated a great deal of controversy over whether this significant of a carbon reduction scheme is even feasible, how carbon neutrality will be defined , and how the carbon neutrality scheme would be administered (Steffen, 2009). Council members Richard Conlin and Mike O'Brien were the main sponsors of this proposal, announced as one of the City's top legislative priorities of 2010 (Barnett, 2010). The proposal materialized in print form on a public forum called Ideas for Seattle, a blog started by the mayoral campaign of Mike McGinn.<br />Despite the McGinn campaign's initial receptivity to the idea (the forum's 4th most popular), now that Mayor McGinn has been sworn into office his response to carbon neutrality has been more lukewarm. “Let’s be very clear,” he told Barnett (2010). “I support carbon neutrality as a goal. But we’ve been down this path of politicians setting ambitious goals and not following through before”—a reference to his predecessor Greg Nickels’ vow to reduce emissions below 1990 levels, in line with the Kyoto Protocols, by 2012 (Langston, 2007).<br />McGinn continued: <br />“We have a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but we’re building a bigger 520, we’re building an auto-only facility on our waterfront, we’re not funding the bike master plan. The question isn’t what the goals should be. The question should be, how do you get there? … If we want to spend a year or two setting up a new goal and creating a work plan to do it while we’re taking actions that accomplish the opposite, that’s not what I think we should be doing.” (qtd. in Barnett, 2010)<br />Part of the problem in implementing any carbon neutrality scheme stems from criticism that the City will not be able to meet its goal of adhering to its Kyoto Protocol targets by 2012 (Langston, 2007; “Budget”, 2007). The City and former Mayor Greg Nickels in particular, has been the environmental vanguard of American cities in encouraging other municipalities to reduce their emissions through informal, voluntary agreements set through the US Mayors Conference on Climate Change. In this conference, over 1,000 US cities have agreed to cut their emissions to 7% below 1990 levels by 2012. Seattle successfully achieved this milestone in October 2007 (Cornwall, 2007), although whether this emissions reduction can be maintained is being called into question.<br />According to The Seattle Times, most gains from 1990 to 2005 came from cutting pollution associated with residential, commercial and industrial energy use, the study found (Langston, 2007). Seattle City Light is responsible for most of these emissions reductions (about 60%) through investments it made in carbon offsets for alternative energy projects and selling its stake in ownership of a coal-fired power plant in Centralia. However, emission from the transportation sector increased 3% during this period, even as total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita decline 2%. Emissions from the transportation sector are expected to spike between 2007 and 2012, and this increase will put Seattle behind its (currently already achieved) Kyoto goal 700,000 tons of carbon annually, according to a City report (“Budget”, 2007). Clearly, achieving the City's Kyoto targets as well as carbon neutrality will take a large investment in alternative fuel vehicles, reduced VMTs by city drivers, and an expanded infrastructure car-pooling, car-sharing, walking, bicycling and public transit to make the latter a reality. Evergreen Fleets, whose certifications criteria Seattle could easily supersede within the next several years, was designed partly with carbon neutrality in mind through achieving the former.<br />There is also significant debate as to what a working definition of carbon neutrality would encompass. Scientists have already established that in order to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming, we must avoid reaching an atmospheric concentration of CO2 of 350ppm (McKibben, 2009). Some estimates show that we have already passed this threshold and are approaching 380ppm globally. This threshold is the scientific basis of the Kyoto Protocol's goal of reducing emissions 80% by 2050, informally called the "
80 by 50 rule"
(Steward and Erickson, 2010). The Kyoto Protocol currently has been signed by mostly the world's most developed countries, of course with the notable exception of the United States. The dilemma is that even if the world's developed countries and the US meet the 80 by 50 goal, developing countries could still increase their emissions to levels more commensurate with their population sizes and put the world well over the important 350ppm threshold. If richer nations do not help rapidly growing poor nations reduce their emissions - and this is by no means a given - then the 80 by 50 goal will lose its effectiveness and make the entire Kyoto regime an international joke.<br />What this means is that we may have to define carbon neutrality in a way that squares the 350ppm threshold with our own disproportionate responsibility for global greenhouse gas emissions, as the United States produces the largest share of emissions of any country on earth. Taking this element of social equity into account would mean that we would need to take responsibility for emissions reductions that amount to greater than our total emissions (Stewart and Erickson, 2010). We would, in this sense, become carbon negative and not just carbon neutral. One Swedish study suggests that we would need to become substantially carbon negative through a combination of two processes: reducing our own emissions to nearly zero, already an extremely expensive proposition; and funding green infrastructure in developing countries to simultaneously reduce their emissions even as their populations grow tremendously (Baer et al, 2008: 12). This could be put into practice through a global cap-and-trade system, although it would have to have much stronger enforcement mechanisms than Kyoto, which currently has no means of achieving or enforcing the 80 by 50 goal.<br />In addition, there is an emerging debate about how to calculate the City's total carbon emissions under such a policy. Would all emissions created by City residents be the measure, even if the emissions take place outside of the City, such as through travel? Would the measure be limited to just activities within the City limits? How would the life cycle costs of production and consumption of commercial products be calculated for the City's progress? What about the emissions of a port that ships goods all over the world? There are no easy answers to these questions because no other city has been forced to make these decisions.<br />SOLUTIONS<br />What measures can public and private agencies take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and become certified with Evergreen Fleets?<br />Evergreen Fleets uses the following Best Practices to evaluate candidate agencies for certification. The Best Practices component constitutes half of the Green Fleets total certification score. Best Practices documents are certain policies that ensure investment in alternative fuel technologies and a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.<br />Green Fleets Plan – Fleets must have a copy of a Green Fleets Plan outlining their overall strategy for reducing their emissions and investing in alternative fuels. This document summarizes the goals or key objectives for the organization and describes steps to achieving those objectives or goals. The document contains a policy statement or objective, an examination of the current state of the fleet, and an outline of the best options available to the fleet (per its size, available funding, staff resources…etc.). The City of Seattle’s Green Fleets Action Plan, for instance, outlines the thresholds of carbon emission reductions it aimed to achieve in its 2003 original document and a 2007 update summarizing its progress to date. <br />Green Vehicle Purchasing Policy - Fleets must have a written policy document outlining how the agency intends to seek out the most fuel-efficient vehicle when new vehicle purchases are necessary. In addition, a written justification is required when non-green vehicles are purchased/leased. Documentation must be provided in the form of receipts or other evidence that new green vehicles are being purchased. Fleets most often assess which green vehicles are suitable to purchase based on life cycle analysis – the total cost, in CO2 emissions, of manufacturing, purchasing, maintaining, and disposing of the new vehicle (EPA, 2009; Wiley, 2010; Meyn, 2009). If the total life cycle cost of acquiring a new green vehicle is less than the cost of continuing to use older conventional vehicle models, then fleets are more likely to purchase newer green vehicles and are more likely to meet the targets set by their Green Fleets Plan. <br />Certain “green” vehicles have been found to have failed the test of life cycle analysis despite their environmentally-friendly reputation. Biodiesel fuel, for instance, has been found by the City of Seattle to offer a negligible overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when viewed from a life cycle analysis perspective, if the biodiesel source is Midwestern corn or soy. Waste vegetable oil biodiesel, however, has much lower transportation costs from its source and converts a costly waste (oil that clogs pipes as it collects, costing Seattle Public Utilities labor and maintenance costs) into a locally-sourced renewable fuel. Similarly, when King County tested plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV’s) in comparison with conventional hybrids like the Toyota Prius, the test of life cycle analysis invalidated PHEV’s in many circumstances (Wiley, 2010). Tests found that PHEV’s, while achieving admirable fuel efficiencies (75-100 miles per gallon, versus the conventional hybrid’s 45-60), produced more carbon emissions in their manufacture than could ever be recouped by this added fuel efficiency. Agencies are increasingly finding that only with “fuel-efficient driving methods” can the vehicle’s full fuel efficiency be achieved, and only within a trip range of between 10-40 miles (Wiley, 2010). Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles offer excellent reductions in fuel emissions, yet the construction of an adequate fueling network for these vehicles often outweighs any potential carbon savings they would achieve. Often the financial viability of CNG vehicle investment is dependent on massive government investment to help localities construct and maintain a new fueling network for CNG vehicles, as the nation of Spain has successfully done (Goncalves et al., 2009). Agencies must take into account the purchase of new technologies from a life cycle analysis perspective rather than blindly purchase a new vehicle because it is newer and “greener” on the surface.<br />In a typical Green Vehicle Purchasing Policy, fleets should which vehicle technology is most appropriate for each vehicle class. For instance, Toyota Prius is the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan available on the commercial market (Meyn et al, 2009). However, Honda Insight is arguably more efficient for the compact class. For larger trucks, a hybrid may or may not be the most apt choice; in some cases biodiesel may be more economical and green than a hybrid. For utility vehicles, a PHEV may be practical in operating forklifts or bucket trucks (in which the engine becomes fully electric when the vehicle is parked). Making the distinction between various green vehicles for each class of vehicle and each type of city labor is crucial to meeting the fleet’s green purchasing requirements outlined in its Green Fleets Plan as well as to providing justification when green vehicles, for whatever reason, are not purchased.<br />“Right Size” Policy for Vehicle Purchases – According to the Evergreen Fleets manual, “fleet efficiency can be optimized when the most appropriate size and class of vehicle for the intended application is purchased.” Similar to the life cycle analysis mode of testing new vehicles for their “green” credentials, it is important that agencies evaluate the purchasing of new vehicles based on their intended use. Specifying a procedure for evaluating the most appropriate vehicle for an intended purpose consists of analyzing the frequency of vehicle trips, number of passengers, and duties assigned to the vehicle (Meyn et al, 2009). Additional criteria, such as the physical size, age, gender, and job of the driver, the length of downtime (idling) required, the weight of the cargo (towing capacity), operating costs, and costs of acquisition must be included. Before a new vehicle is purchased, these measures must be made to justify the purchase of a particular vehicle make and model.<br />Green Fuels Procurement – Alternative, “green,” low-carbon, or renewable fuels generate lower carbon emissions in their acquisition and consumption than conventional petroleum fuels. Fuels must use at least one of the following fuels in a calendar year if they are to earn credit from Evergreen Fleets under these criteria:<br />Biodiesel (corn, soy, or vegetable oil-based), in blends of B20 or higher<br />Ethanol blends (E85 or higher, corn-based or cellulosic)<br />Natural gas (CNG)<br />Propane<br />Electric<br />Hydrogen/fuel cells<br />Whether or not the life cycle costs overall of each of these alternative fuels will net the agency a reduced overall rate of greenhouse gas emissions for its desired purpose is something that must be delineated in the agency’s Green Vehicle Purchasing Plan. <br />Fuel Consumption and Vehicle Use Tracking – Fleets typically assess their performance in reducing their emissions by tracking their consumption of both conventional and alternative fuels. A system of fleet management software or spreadsheet program is typically how fleets will account for their effectiveness on this measure.<br />Fleet Efficiency Technologies – A series of measures can be made to ensure that fleets best optimize the use of their vehicles. These measures include:<br />No-idling policies (installation of idle reduction timers set to 10 minutes or less).<br />Route-planning software to ensure optimal vehicle travel patterns. These systems typically track vehicle location (by GPS) and monitor or control vehicle speed en route.<br />Automatic tire inflation systems – these systems can improve fuel consumption by long-haul trucks of up to 1 metric ton of carbon per year (or 100 gallons per year), according to an EPA study.<br />Fuel- Efficient Driving Practices and Training – Drivers are naturally essential to the success of any effort to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. <br />Key concepts to any fuel-efficient driver training program include:<br />Reducing idling<br />Adhering to speed limits<br />Fuel-optimized driving (knowledge of the most fuel-efficient torque ranges for each vehicle)<br />Slow acceleration<br />Proper vehicle maintenance, care, and inspection suited to the vehicle class<br />A US Department of Energy study found that driver behavior can have an overall impact of up to 30% on a new vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Driving at 55 miles per hour versus 65 can increase fuel efficiency by up to 15%, for instance. Frequent acceleration and braking can lead to a loss of 2-3 miles per gallon alone. <br />Fuel-efficient and defensive driving practices lessen the likelihood of on-road collisions as well, which reduces the fleet’s overall vehicle maintenance costs. <br />Incentive/Reward Program for Fuel Efficiency – Offering incentives for fleet users and managers can encourage fuel savings for those who significantly reduce their fuel consumption. It can also inspire innovation for new methods to improve fuel efficiency and invest in alternative fuel technologies from the grassroots level – the fleet’s users.<br />Any such incentive or rewards program should address the following questions:<br />What are the awards criteria and what type of behavior is incentivized? <br />Fewer vehicle miles traveled (VMT)?<br />Reduced fuel consumption<br />Greater miles per gallon, fuel efficiency<br />How is achievement measured?<br />Percentage reduction goal or threshold over time for individual drivers or departments<br />Organization-wide target – may be more apt for larger fleets<br />How is recognition awarded? Do awards increase in value for longer driving periods or for senior-level employees?<br />Who is eligible to participate?<br />Time parameters for the awards – quarterly, semiannually, yearly<br />Preventive Maintenance Program – This program includes methods for tracking and recording maintenance on vehicles, according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. The preventive maintenance program should include the following components: engine, steering, tires and wheels, electrical, fuel tank and lines, brakes, and radiator system. According to a US Department of Energy study, vehicle preventive maintenance can result in an estimated 12-18% cost savings over that found in a reactive maintenance program. Preventive maintenance also results in greater fuel efficiency, lower overall emissions, increased effectiveness of capital investment in new technologies, and reduced equipment failures. <br />Recover, Reduce, and Reuse (RRR) Program for Maintenance Products – This Best Practice includes a schedule for examining current maintenance products and identifying opportunities to reduce the amount of product used in vehicle and equipment maintenance. <br />EnviroStar recommends the following practices for auto repair shops:<br />Hazardous materials are appropriately treated, stored, and disposed of.<br />Response plans are articulated in the event of a hazardous material spill.<br />Documentation is available for all hazardous materials, and spreadsheets are available to track wastes and monitor maintenance product costs.<br />Systems such as the Industrial Materials Exchange are used to purchase or exchange unused hazardous or extra materials. This reduces the overall economic demand for hazardous materials, locally sources the acquisition of new products when they are needed, and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions inherent to the manufacture of maintenance products. <br />Another key step of this Best Practice is the systematic use of environmentally friendly products. Two initiatives, the Green Seal Program and the USDA BioPreferred program, are dedicated to procuring environmentally-friendly maintenance products. The former is a non-profit that specializes in producing less toxic industrial cleaning products, while the latter is a procurement program for Federal agencies and their sub-contractors. <br />Some RRR policies, such as the City of Seattle’s, go even farther in their commitment to sustainability. The City of Seattle’s social equity policy for this Best Practice is to purchase products from local (within the city limits), family-owned firms, firms that have shown a commitment to providing their workers a living wage, and firms that are owned by women or people of color, whenever possible (City of Seattle Department of Planning, 2003). The policy also commits the City to buying products that are recyclable, compostable, reusable, or created with renewable sources of energy, whenever possible.<br />While this Best Practice may not directly reduce fuel consumption or improve fuel efficiency, the use of more environmentally friendly maintenance products and participation in the Industrial Materials Exchange helps to reduce waste in public landfills, in addition to water and air pollution created by the manufacture of these chemicals. <br />Diesel Vehicle Retrofits – Diesel engines are disproportionate generators of fine particles and toxic emissions. Retrofitting or replacing older diesel engines can have a dramatic impact in reducing a fleet’s overall emissions. Evergreen Fleets requires at least 50% of the fleet’s diesel vehicles to have at least one of the following retrofit devices if they are older than 2007 models:<br />Diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC)<br />About 30% of the total particulate matter of diesel exhaust is attributed to liquid hydrocarbons, or soluble organic fraction (SOF), according to a Washington State University study. Under some conditions, DOCs have achieved SOF removal of up to 90%. DOCs require little or no maintenance after installation and cost under $1,500 to install. <br />Diesel particulate filter (DPF)<br />This is a ceramic device that collects particulate matter in the exhaust stream of a diesel vehicle. DPFs achieve 85% or greater reduction in particulate matter exhaust. DPFs need to be cleaned or replaced every 100,000 miles and work best on vehicles made after 1995. The equipment and installation costs of DPFs average about $20,000.<br />Diesel multi-phase filter (DMF)<br />These devices are similar to DPFs but require little to no maintenance after installation, as they contain a multi-stage filter to fully capture particulate matter in the exhaust stream. DMFs generally achieve 50% or greater particulate matter reduction, and in this measure are slightly less effective at curbing emissions than DPFs. DMFs typically cost $6,000 including equipment and installation. <br />Green Rental Car/ Car-share Vehicle Use – This Best Practice entails a written policy statement encouraging a fleet’s drivers to select the greenest vehicle when using rental car or car-share services. Many rental car companies, notably Enterprise, have made extensive investment in hybrid-electric, ethanol, and biodiesel vehicles. Car-sharing services are ideal for consolidating the vehicle use demand of a large department (with mostly light-duty tasks) into a smaller number of shared vehicles. According to ZipCar, the nation’s most prominent car-sharing service, a typical ZipCar replaces 15-20 cars on the road and causes vehicle miles traveled per driver to decrease by nearly 40%. Car-sharing entails significant cost savings as well, as members can typically save up to $500 monthly compared to owning a car. Car-sharing also has the external benefit of promoting sustainable neighborhood design by encouraging development or residence within a walkable radius of car-sharing locations (Steffen, 2010).<br />NEXT STEPS<br />Improved Data Management Mechanisms - Evergreen Fleets must recognize that the scale of its candidate cities/agencies will vary significantly, from wealthy cities that have a dedicated staff person to coordinate their Green Fleets certification (like the City of Seattle) to budget-strapped smaller cities that have only a city manager or auditor responsible for fleet management and budgeting. <br />The raw reduction in fuel emissions that Evergreen Fleets uses to comprise half of its certification score is computed using an online Evaluator Tool available only to registered fleet managers. The Evaluator Tool compares emissions data from two calendar years, the current year (last full year) and baseline year (the previous year). For each calendar year, fleet managers are asked to submit the total number of vehicles they operate in each class (Compact, Medium-sized sedans to Small SUVs and Class 4-8 Trucks) with total annual fuel consumption tallied for each vehicle class. A separate section is used to calculate Diesel Emissions for diesel vehicles and Best Practices documentation.<br />Using the City of Issaquah, a medium-sized suburban municipality, as a prototype, I came up with the following recommendations for Evergreen Fleets with respect to data management:<br />One urgently needed addition to the Evaluator is an online vehicle database that will allow fleet managers to store vehicle emissions data by their Vehicle ID Number, the unique vehicle identifier that allows mangers to quickly look-up vehicle information within each month. Evergreen Fleets currently has no mechanism to individually store a vehicle’s history of fuel consumption. Fleet managers would then be able to compile vehicle emissions data on a per-transaction basis, removing the burden of sorting through the entire fleet by Vehicle Class and Fuel Type and producing monthly totals for each. After fleet records are updated weekly (or another short-term interval), the Tool could accommodate per-transaction data entry by recording the Vehicle ID Number, Vehicle Class, Fuel Type, and VMT (drawn from the recorded difference between the current and previous vehicle odometer readings). Including this tool would allow a much faster upload of emissions data that would ease the manpower requirements of applying for Green Fleets certification and negate much of the need for an external Data Diary. <br />Included in this database would be a search-engine device that allows fleet managers to look up each vehicle’s Vehicle Class according to the Make and Model, and thereafter by the Vehicle ID after the vehicle is entered into the database. This feature would save a large amount of effort required in the current system in classifying each vehicle’s Make and Model by gross weight in order to sort the vehicles by Vehicle Class. As soon as each vehicle ID was stored in the database, the requirement of the Evaluator Tool to list the number of vehicles in each Vehicle Class would have already been met.<br />Another necessary modification is to create monthly sub-sections within the Evaluator Tool to better accommodate fleet managers’ methods of recording their emissions data. Manually creating sums of 12 months of data in the Evaluator Tool is a taxing process that few fleet managers are likely to appreciate (deBeck, 2009; Wiley, 2010). In addition to monthly sub-sections, quarterly sub-sections that aggregate each 3-month data cycle would be useful for cities that need to report their fleet’s finances on a quarterly basis. In each case, the Evaluator Tool should create auto-sums that tabulate monthly or quarterly totals to form the Current and Baseline Year comparisons.<br />The under-reporting of vehicle emissions data is likely to be a problem for many cities due to driver inattention, under-staffing and under-funding, and other demands on the fleet managers’ time and resources. One useful metric that could help to ensure a high rate of data entry into the Evaluator is a bar graph juxtaposing the City’s Departmental Totals and the current totals reported to Evergreen Fleets. Evergreen Fleets should require candidate agencies to report their monthly Departmental Totals of VMT’s, fuel consumption (gallons), and fuel expenditures ($) along with the entry of these data on a per-transaction basis as described previously. A penalty of certification points could be issued to cities that demonstrate a low rate of data entry or high discrepancy between monthly Departmental Totals and monthly sub-totals entered into the Evaluator Tool.<br />Another category of analysis that Evergreen Fleets should include in its Evaluator Tool is total vehicle emissions data by the dollar value ($) of each transaction. Cities recognize the economic as well as environmental interest inherent in reducing their fuel emissions and becoming certified with Evergreen Fleets. In addition to the positive publicity of cutting emissions and implementing environmentally sound Best Practices, cities could use a monetary comparison between Baseline and Current Years to justify their efforts towards certification on a fiscal basis. By demonstrating the cost savings that often accompany fuel-efficiency and Best Practices, cities would be better able to publicize their fiscal responsibility as well as environmental integrity to their constituents (Edens, 2008). Analysis of emissions data by dollar expenditures can also pinpoint individual vehicles that overspend by buying inappropriate types of fuel for their Vehicle Class. Recording the monetary value of fuel transactions in our Data Diary was important because it reflected a collective picture of rising gas prices that have motivated many cities to reduce their total emissions through programs like Evergreen Fleets in the first place. Furthermore, this analysis of City fuel spending can illustrate seasonal variations in fuel consumption that the City could target in order to meet its emissions reduction goals. <br />One excellent function that the Evaluator Tool has provided in its design is the product of various graphs upon completing data entry for the Baseline and Current Years. This series of graphs is a meaningful accomplishment that fleet managers can easily reproduce and publicize to promote their fuel-efficiency efforts. This Analysis page of the Evaluator Tool should be preserved for all future candidate agencies because it offers a powerful and compelling visual incentive to demonstrate progress in meeting Green Fleets goals. To improve this function, Evergreen Fleets should take the monthly sub-totals of emissions and VMT’s data outlined previously and create similar graphs comparing the changes between the same months of the Baseline and Current Year. This addition would help fleet managers to further analyze the seasonality of their progress in meeting emissions reduction thresholds. <br />New Best Practices and Technological Partnerships – Evergreen Fleets should adopt the following new “green” policies into the Best Practices component of its certification score. Doing so will keep the regulations up to date with grassroots activism at the metropolitan scale and will make the program more flexible to a wider variety of innovations from candidate cities.<br />Green Taxi Cab Policies – Currently Evergreen Fleets has yet to form any partnership with taxi cab operators, who likely represent a significant share of local emissions in airport and hotel/tourist districts due to their low-efficiency models and their idling frequency. The Cities of Chicago and New York have pioneered green taxi cab policies promoting several initiatives:<br />Cab-sharing – this relatively simple New York program has introduced a flat-rate charging system along several highly trafficked routes in Manhattan, encouraging carpooling among strangers and reducing overall taxi cab emissions (Liggett, 2010). By discouraging single-passenger cab use through competitive pricing, Evergreen Fleets could work to reduce cab emissions along several routes leading to Downtown Seattle or SeaTac International Airport. <br />Compressed natural gas (CNG) taxi cabs – the City of Chicago has just funded a $1.5 million project to build two CNG filling stations designed for the city’s taxi fleet but also open to the general public (Bogdan, 2010). CNG vehicles, under ideal conditions, are estimated to produce 30% fewer emissions than conventional petroleum, although the reality of this will likely be assessed from a life cycle analysis perspective.<br />Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NHEVs) are already promoted through Evergreen Fleets’ Best Practices, yet little concern is made to the source of the vehicles’ electric energy. Where the vehicles source their energy – from coal, hydropower, natural gas, or nuclear sources – has a great impact on the overall carbon footprint of using electric vehicles (Zhang, 2005; EPA, 2009). The Cities of New York and San Francisco have each dedicated more than $100 million in local grants to coordinate a network of charging stations for electric vehicles, recognizing that these vehicles are impractical without such a network. Chicago, New York, and Vienna have each demonstrated prototypes of solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations, although none of these cities have made renewable energy sources a priority in bringing this form of energy to the market (Schwartz, 2009; Yoneda, 2009; Chapa, 2009). Evergreen Fleets should capitalize on the potential of electric vehicles and prioritizing renewable sources (solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, nuclear) of electric energy above those of conventional petroleum or natural gas. <br />Waste Vegetable Oil Biodiesel – Evergreen Fleets does not currently recommend using this fuel as a Best Practice because of concerns that the fuel is not reliable and not practical for smaller diesel fleets (Meyn, 2010). However, the aggregate carbon footprint of using waste vegetable oil biodiesel is often far smaller than that of corn or soy-based biodiesel, even if it is less fuel-efficient. This is because waste vegetable oil, unlike corn or soy, is a naturally occurring restaurant industry byproduct that can easily be locally sourced and does not require long distances to transport. <br />Carbon Neutrality and Cap-and-Trade Schemes – Evergreen Fleets should award additional certification points to cities that commit to joining carbon neutrality agreements, like the Cities of Seattle and Vancouver have already done (Barnett, 2010; Steffen, 2009). Management of carbon emissions could take place through a carbon exchange market like the Chicago Climate Exchange. In this scheme, cities compete to reduce their emissions sufficiently below defined thresholds to earn economic advantage. Cities that are unable to make these reductions must purchase “carbon credits” from cities that have done so. <br />Works Cited<br />Baer, P, Athanasiou, T, Kartha, S, & Kemp-Benedict, E. (2008). The Greenhouse development rights framework: the right to development in a climate constrained world. Stockholm Environment Institute. Heinrich Boll Foundation: Stockholm, Sweden. 12-38.<br />Barnett, E.C. (2010, Feburary 22). Council wants city to go carbon neutral in 20 years. Publicola, Retrieved from http://www.publicola.net/2010/02/22/council-wants-city-to-go-carbon-neutral-in-20-years/<br />Bogdan, L. (2010, February 4). Chicagoans to hail green cabs instead of inhaling fumes [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/02/04/chicagoans-to-hail-green-cabs-instead-of-inhaling-fumes/2/. <br />Budget committee pm 10/1/2007: agenda items: neighborhood plans, office of sustainability and the environment. [Television series episode]. (2007). Seattle Channel. Seattle, WA: City of Seattle. Retrieved from http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=2060762<br />Chapa, J. (2009, April 28). Chicago unveils first solar plug-in charging station [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/04/28/chicago-unveils-first-solar-plug-in-charging-station/. <br />City of Seattle, Fleets and Facilities Department, Office of Sustainability and Environment. (2007). A Clean and green fleet: an updated action plan for the city of seattle Seattle, WA: Retrieved from http://www.cityofseattle.net/fleets/docs/ClnGrnFltPlan_Sea_07Update.pdf<br />City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development. (2003, November 6). Sustainable purchasing policy (6.14.14). Seattle, WA: Retrieved from http://www.seattle.gov/DPD/cms/groups/pan/@pan/@sustainableblding/documents/web_informational/dpds_007568.pdf<br />City of Seattle, Mayor Nickels’ Green Ribbon Commission On Climate Protection. (2005). Seattle, a climate of change: meeting the kyoto challenge Seattle, WA: Retrieved from http://www.seattle.gov/climate/PDF/SeattleaClimateReport.pdf<br />Cornwall, W. (2007, October 27). Seattle meets Kyoto global-warming targets. The Seattle Times.<br />deBeck, MaryJoe. (2009, October 22). Personal communication. Issaquah, WA.<br />Department of energy grant will assist UW move to hybrid, electric vehicles. (2009, October 8). University Week, Retrieved from http://uwnews.org/uweek/article.aspx?id=52560<br />Drury, K, & Kerrigan, D. Office of Sustainability and Environment, Fleets and Facilities Department. (2003).A Clean and green fleet: an action plan for the city of Seattle Seattle, WA: Retrieved from http://www.seattle.gov/environment/Documents/CleanGreenFleetAP.pdf<br />Edens, J. (2008). Go green and keep your city in the black. Proceedings of the 2008 League of California Cities, http://www.uscommunities.org/gpa/lib/pdf/resources/green/CityofSeattle.ppt<br />Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality and Transportation, Assessment and Standards Division. (2009). EPA lifecycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from renewable fuels Ann Arbor, MI: Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/otaq/renewablefuels/420f09024.htm. <br />“EV infrastructure plans underway for Seattle.” (2009, December 15). Automotive Fleet Retrieved from http://www.automotive-fleet.com/Channel/Green-Fleet/News/Story/2009/12/EV-Infrastructure-Plans-Underway-for-Seattle.aspx?interstitial=1 <br />Goncalves, Maria, Jimenez-Guerrero, P, & Baldasano, J.M. (2009). High resolution modeling of the effects of alternative fuels use on urban air quality: introduction of natural gas vehicles in Barcelona and Madrid greater areas (Spain). Science of the Total Environment, 407, 776-790.<br />Knight, C. (2010, January). City of Seattle moves to an all-green fleet. Government Fleet, Retrieved from http://www.government-fleet.com/Article/Story/2010/01/City-of-Seattle-Moves-to-an-All-Green-Fleet/Page/1.aspx <br />Langston, J. (2007, October 27). City beats its goal, but auto emissions still are growing. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.<br />Liggett, B. (2010, February 24). New York city: share a cab with a stranger to save emissions [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/02/24/new-york-city-share-a-cab-with-a-stranger-to-save-emissions/ <br />McKibben, B. (2009, October 9). The Science of 350, the most important number on the planet [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/10/the-science-of-350-the-most-important-number.php. <br />Meyn, S, Stanton, L, Cline, C, & Gilpin, E. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Evergreen Fleets. (2009). Evergreen fleets: certification & emissions reporting guidance manual (Version 1.2). Seattle, WA.<br />Meyn, S. (2010, February 23). Personal communication. Seattle, WA.<br />Peterson, T.D., & Rose, A.Z. (2006). Reducing conflicts between climate policy and energy policy in the US: the important role of the states. Energy Policy, 34(5)<br />Schwartz, A. (2009, September 17). Solar filling stations: on-demand fuel for electric cars and bikes [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/09/17/solar-filling-stations-on-demand-fuel-for-electric-cars-and-bikes/. <br />Schwartz, N.D. (2010, January 25). Sites to refuel electric cars gain a big dose of funds. The New York Times.<br />Stanton, L. (2009, October 8). Personal communication. Seattle, WA.<br />Steffen, A. (2009, December 3). Seattle as north America’s first carbon-neutral city [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/010780.html. <br />Stewart, J, & Erickson, P. (2010, February 22). Defining a ‘carbon neutral’ city [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/010988.html. <br />Wiley, C. (2010, February 12). Personal communication. Seattle, WA.<br />Wilhelm, S. (2009, October 2). ‘Green’ standards catching on with large vehicle fleets in Seattle area. Puget Sound Business Journal, Retrieved from http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2009/10/05/story9.html<br />Yoneda, Y. (2009, December 15). New York gets its first solar electric vehicle charging station [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/12/15/new-york-gets-its-first-ever-electric-vehicle-charging-station/. <br />Zhang, T.W. (2005). Ecological Footprint Budgeting: Environmental Analysis of the Generic<br />American Car. UC Berkeley: Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability. Retrieved from:<br />http://escholarship.org/uc/item/55z9v0f2. <br />A second section of this report would outline similar green fleets certification regimes in other US cities and internationally. The goal of this report would be to glean important ideas from other cities as case studies to make Evergreen Fleets certification more efficient, environmentally sound, and actionable for candidate cities. <br />University of Washington:<br />Mercer Island<br />Mercer Island City Council, (2007). City of Mercer Island resolution 1389<br />City of Issaquah. (2007). Commute Trip Reduction Plan. Public Works Engineering, Resource Conservation Office/Planning Department, Issaquah, WA.<br />Gingrich, S. City of Toronto, Toronto Fleet Services. (2008). Green fleet plan 2008-2011 Toronto, Ontario, CA: Retrieved from http://www.toronto.ca/fleet/pdf/gfp.pdf<br />Khan, M.I., Chhetri, A.B., & Islam, M.R. (2007). Community-based energy model: a novel approach to developing sustainable energy. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 2(4), 353-370.<br />Mayors push for ‘climate of change.’ (2007, February). American City and County, 20.<br />Ream, A. U.S. Department of Energy, FEMP O&M, Industrial, Metering, Commissioning Energy Savings Expert Team (ESET). (2007). Predictive maintenance Retrieved from http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/operations_maintenance/om_predictive_main.html<br />Rodier, C. California Department of Transportation, California Air Resources Board. (2009). A Review of the international modeling literature: transit, land use, and auto pricing strategies to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions. Berkeley, CA: Transportation Sustainability Research Center, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Berkeley.<br />Campbell, S, & White, S. (2005). Integrated resource planning for transport: asking better questions..Proceedings of the Urban Transport 2005 Conference: Algarve, Portugal, http://www.utsydney.cn/isf/publications/SC_SW_2005.pdf<br />Carlsen, R. (2009, March 9). California budget deal gives contractor fleets more time to phase out dirty diesel machines.. Engineering News Record, 18.<br />Goodspeed, B. (2006 , July/August). It's not easy being green: 10 green cities to watch. E Magazine, 31.<br />Rahm, D, & Coggburn, J.D. (2007). Environmentally preferable procurement: greening u.s. state government fleets. Public Works Management Policy,12(2), 400-415.<br />Lumbreras, J. (2008). Assessment of vehicle emissions projections in madrid (spain) from 2004 to 2012 considering several control strategies.Transportation Research Part A, 42, 646-658.<br />Kahn, M.E., & Schwartz, J. (2008). Urban air pollution progress despite sprawl: the “greening” of the vehicle fleet. Journal of Urban Economics, 63, 775-787.<br />