Are you interested in reducing your fleet vehicles’ emissions? One route municipalities can take is to get certified. The Association of Equipment Management Professionals offers green fleet certification through its Green Fleet Initiative.
Certification highlights the progress and steps fleets have taken to meet emission regulations and help the environment. Beyond recognizing achievements, AEMP’s certification provides incentives for cities that are seeking to reduce emissions. Since it uses California Air Resources Board guidelines it also creates a challenging yet achievable goal for equipment managers.
AEMP offers certification for combined on and off road equipment in addition to an exclusively off-road certification. In each category, fleets can choose the level they wish to attain — from bronze, silver, gold to the highest, platinum. Each level requires different commitments, including raising the percentage of equipment that is of a higher tier or EPA 2004 and 2010. “We try to keep it simple,” said Sara Sanderman, AEMP vice president of program development. “The fleet tier system is very accurate for emissions.”
When applying, fleet managers submit an inventory of their fleet equipment and their tiers. “They send their inventory to us and we make sure all is in order,” said Sanderman. She added that when fleets renew, they have to keep working toward improvements but are rewarded through halved prices.
Managers are encouraged to add after-market parts to make older equipment more efficient or replace old vehicles with higher tier equipment. “The EPA offered grants, which helped a lot of fleet mangers,” Sanderman noted.
For all levels, fleets are required to submit an idling policy. Idling reduction, whether changing practices or implementing idle reduction technologies, can reduce emissions of greenhouse gas and other harmful pollutants, in addition to cutting down on wasted fuel.
Euless, Texas, is the first municipality to be certified and is at the silver level. Lee County, Fla., is another public fleet that has received certification at the platinum level. Sanderman expects more public fleets to follow as the economy rebounds since many fleets have been working with tight budgets. “We’ve received a lot of city and county requests for applications,” said Sanderman. “We like seeing public fleet managers see the need,” she noted. Beyond reducing emissions, fleets also see cost savings and public health improvements from reduced emissions.