County fleet earns green certification
The fleet management team in Lee County (Fla.) has been designated a platinum-certified Green Fleet by the Glenwood Springs, Colo.-based Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP). The award honors Lee County’s heavy equipment fleet for meeting current governmental requirements for emissions.
“When we submitted our application, we hoped for the platinum status,” said Lee County fleet manager Marilyn Rawlings, CEM, noting the award categories include bronze, silver and gold. “We knew we were close. We were pleased when AEMP confirmed our status at the highest possible level.”
In addition to ensuring that more than 50 percent of the county’s diesel equipment over 25 horsepower have higher emission controls, 10 percent of the fleet meets the highest emission standard. Lee County also has a “No Idle” policy that prohibits county diesel equipment— except emergency responders—from idling more than five minutes at a time. Many of the county’s heavy trucks are equipped with automatic shutdowns, which turn off the equipment after five minutes unless ancillary equipment is in use.
To date, only one other fleet—from the private sector—has been recognized as achieving platinum status. Go here for additional information regarding the Green Fleet designation.
The Lee County fleet has a total of 1,850 vehicles. The fleet includes about 650 cars and light and medium-duty trucks. The balance includes ambulances, dozers, excavators, dump trucks, lift trucks, loader, trailers and tractor-trailers.
Govpro talked to Lee County’s Marilyn Rawlings to learn more about the platinum designation of her fleet.
Govpro: The AEMP has recognized the Lee County fleet as a platinum-certified Green Fleet. Has earning that certification generated some favorable publicity for the county’s fleet?
Marilyn Rawlings: Yes, I think the Green Fleet certification is one of several of the fleet’s recent accomplishments. We have a strong push for sustainability and green management here in Lee County. Being a beach community, Lee County is concerned about the environment, because so much of our business revolves around our environment.
Govpro: So the platinum certification has increased the status of the Lee County fleet?
MR: Yes, it has. Here’s another of our recent accomplishments. We were the first government fleet, I believe, in the U.S. to achieve non-generating status for our hazardous waste. So we do not generate any hazardous waste out of this fleet facility. Everything is recycled, reclaimed, re-used, re-something. So we are very green here in Lee County. Our lights go off if there’s no movement or activity in the office. Our soda machines turn off at night so they are not draining electricity.
Govpro: Do you have any advice for government fleet managers as we head into 2013?
MR: I think government fleet managers are some of the nicest and most helpful people I have ever met in my life. So my advice to government fleet managers is to get to know fleet administrators in your geographic area. Get to know fleet managers who are the best in their field and pick their brains. Do some field trips and learn from the best. Don’t benchmark against people that have crummy programs. Benchmark against the best-managed fleets. That will challenge you to get your benchmarks up.