Viewpoints

Why green fleets matter

By Kelly Reagan

Columbus, Ohio, aggressively drives green fleet technologies that save money, reduce carbon emissions and promote greater use of domestic fuels. Yet, we are not unique among Ohio public sector agencies, which also are working hard to make their communities a healthier and leading-edge place to live. Those include the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, The Ohio State University, The Central Ohio Transit Authority and the city of Dublin.

Efficient use of public funds and creating livable communities are just two reasons why green fleets matter.

In addition, with the help of Clean Fuels Ohio, our city’s Clean Cities coordinator helps identify opportunities through grants and investment strategies to identify the right solutions for “greening” our fleets.

Ohio is not unique in this area. Every year, the number of green fleets continues to grow nationwide. That’s why hundreds of fleet managers from around the country will be coming to the Midwest Green Fleet Forum & Expo in Columbus on Sept. 23 and 24 to receive national as well as statewide recognition for their Green Fleet Award.  Clean Fuels Ohio, Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association and the 100 Best Fleets in North America host the event.

The expo features a group of elected officials who are committed to the green fleet movement, such as Mayor Michael B. Coleman of Columbus and Mayor Gregory A. Ballard of Indianapolis, and some seasoned fleet professionals such as Keith Leech, Director of Fleet, in the County of Sacramento, Calif., and Keith Kerman, Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Fleet in New York City.

Tours featuring the Honda Marysville production plant, Parker Hannifin hydraulic hybrid facility, and the Center of Automotive Research at The Ohio State University will expose our guests to existing and emerging green fleet technologies.

Becoming a successful green fleet manager requires all of us to break from traditional fleet management practices and explore fuel efficiency technologies and ways to reduce using petroleum based fuels. Doing otherwise is not a sustainable option, because there are real solutions with real savings that will effect change.

The question is, are you willing to become an agent of change by driving a vision of renewed carbon reduction and savings to your administration?

Kelly Reagan is the Fleet Administrator for Columbus, Ohio. Reagan oversees a fleet of 6,400 units and a budget of $34 million. In 2011, Columbus placed 1st in the Government Green Fleet Award. For more information about the Midwest Green Fleet Forum and Expo, visit the website.

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