Greening the Region's Fleet of Vehicles
What is this indicator and why measure it?
The Region's fleet of vehicles consumes significant quantities of gasoline, diesel and natural gas to provide various essential services such as transit, emergency services (police and ambulance), roads, waste management, and water. Tail-pipe emissions from vehicles impact our air quality and community health while greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. Compounded with the rising cost of fuel, managing fuel efficiency of our fleet grows ever more important.
This indicator monitors fuel consumption relative to kilometres travelled or hours of service delivered. This information assists managers in optimizing service delivery and performance while prioritizing fuel efficiency.
Fuel efficiency of Regional vehicles
The graph below shows fuel efficiency and total number of vehicles owned by the Region. The corporate fleet has increased from 2008 as a response to growing service demands with a higher service population. However, fuel efficiency has also notably increased. Higher fuel efficiency means less fuel is needed to operate the same distance or amount of time.
Off-road vehicles, such as landfill vehicles, are also reflected in the efficiency measurement. However, they are measured by hours operated and not distance because they function primarily within a small area.
Green Fleet Strategy
To enable Regional programs to continue to provide current levels of service to a growing service population while reducing air emissions from operations, a Green Fleet Strategy has been implemented. Operating the Region's fleet in an environmentally sustainable manner includes actions to:
- Enhance driver training and awareness of environmental outcomes of vehicle operations.
- Reduce idling.
- Review all vehicles and where appropriate downsize the vehicles to meet operational needs.
- Improve fuel efficiency by introducing new technology.
- Review current fleet practices and improve where necessary trip and route planning to reduce impact on the environment.
- Measure and report on results.
Notable accomplishments include:
- In 2013, a pilot project installed anti-idling devices with results compared to control vehicles to extrapolate the impact of this technology on the Regional fleet.
- Facilities Division has purchased two electric vehicles in 2013 for use by staff for travel to work sites.
- All fleet operators are trained in Smart Driver program.
- In 2011, right-sizing vehicles achieved a reduction of 100 tonnes of greenhouse gases, saving $40,000 in fuel costs.
- The Region has 12 hybrid-diesel transit buses. These buses use 30% less fuel than traditional diesel buses.