City's green vehicle fleet wins environmental award

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City of Ottawa

The City of Ottawa's environmentally-friendly approach to operating and acquiring its fleet of vehicles has earned it the top award presented annually by Fleet Challenge Ontario, a not-for-profit program supported by the Ontario government.

"The City's green vehicles and sustainable fleet practices are designed to make Ottawa a healthier, greener community; while controlling fuel costs for the benefit of taxpayers," said Mayor Jim Watson. "This award recognizes the City's ongoing efforts to deliver services and programs that respect our environment and our residents."

Ottawa's Municipal Green Fleet Plan was chosen as the recipient of the 2012 Green Fleet Leadership Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of Ontario's public and private sector fleet managers in making their fleets environmentally responsible and/or having reduced fuel consumption, harmful greenhouse gas emissions and smog causing air contaminants within the previous one-year period.

"Implementing a sustainable green fleet was an opportunity for the City to demonstrate that we are serious about green technologies that make both economic and environmental sense," said Councillor Marianne Wilkinson, Chair of the Transportation Committee.

"Ottawa has taken on a leadership role amongst Canadian municipalities in the integration of sustainable policies and practices into our everyday operations, which will result in long-term environmental benefits for our community," said Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the Environment Committee.

The City's Municipal Green Fleet Plan has several components and, since its inception in 2009, has involved many initiatives:

• Increasing the use of hybrid vehicles and purchasing electric vehicles where appropriate

• Instituting a policy that favours the purchase of green vehicles

• Reinstituting ethanol blended gasoline at City-owned fuelling stations

• Focusing the replacement plan on older vehicles

• Introducing Life Cycle Cost Management

• Using a procurement approach that ensures vehicle specifications do not exceed requirements