2023 Green Fleet Award Winners Announced at Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference

On August 14, 2023 the winners of the 16th annual Green Fleet Awards were announced by NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA) during the pre-conference day at the 2023 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo. The Green Fleet Awards recognizes peak-performing fleet sustainability efforts and honors fleets who have enhanced practices to make a positive impact on the environment.

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) hosts the annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo to facilitate a forum for prominent fleets and technology providers to share industry ideas, trends, strategies and technologies that will improve efficiency and sustainability of fleet operations.

Rick Sapienza, Director of Industry Partnerships for NCCETC’s Clean Transportation Program, encourages fleets big and small to apply for the Green Fleet Awards contest since entries can be submitted at no cost and are open to both government and commercial fleets in North America. “When it comes to sustainability, my advice is always to just get started by taking the first step,” Sapienza said. “Take the actions that are within your capacity to set things in motion and establish momentum to achieve a sustainable and successful fleet.”

The Green Fleet Award recognizes organizations that execute groundbreaking and incentive programs for their green initiatives. The award is a comprehensive set of criteria specifically tailored around the challenges and requirements of fleet professionals. 

Some of the criteria evaluated includes fleet composition and alternative fuel use, environmental benefits of your actions, green driving programs, facilities improvements, green procurement initiatives, and more. Rhea Courtney Bozic, who serves as a judge for the Green Fleet Awards, noted that applicants are also asked what policies or procedures have been implemented to reduce fleet size, vehicle usage and fuel consumption. 

Meet the Green Fleet Winners

Special Recognitions

The Town of Warrenton, Virginia was recognized as Rookie of the Year to acknowledge the accomplishments of this small fleet and its efforts in community outreach. “The Town of Warrenton has done its best to be an environmental steward,” noted Bozic.

Johnny Switzer, who serves as the Facilities & Fleet Manager for the Town of Warrenton, accepted the award and expressed pride for the efforts of his small town fleet. “We’re 50% hybrid in our police department and then, in just a couple of years, we’ll have 100% compatibility there,” Switzer said.

Chesterfield County, VA was awarded Best Fuel Technology Integration for their efforts to reduce fuel consumption by their fleet. They have 64 propane school buses and 42 bi-fuel propane vehicles which can use either gasoline or propane in the same internal combustion engine.

“Last year they used over 211 gallons of propane, but they weren’t done,” Bozic said. Chesterfield County recently became the first public fleet in the greater Richmond area to implement electric school buses with the addition of four electric buses to their fleet. 

“So with these first four buses, they’ve reduced emissions and saved over $357,000, which is a 504% increase compared to fiscal year 2020,” announced Bozic. The use of electric buses has saved Chesterfield County approximately 17,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

The City of San Diego, California was awarded Best Policies & Procedures due to its thorough and comprehensive approach to standardizing and categorizing their organizational goals. As Bozic described, policies and procedures are the heart of every successful green fleet. “Everything is built up from there,” she said. 

Top Green Fleet of 2023

Top Green Fleet of 2023 was awarded to the City of Phoenix, Arizona for its unwavering commitment to green fleet practices over the last 15 years. The fleet is composed of compressed natural gas vehicles, E20 and E85 fuel vehicles, electric vehicles, liquefied natural gas vehicles, and a considerable number of hybrid vehicles totaling over 2,300. Additionally, the City of Phoenix has entered an agreement to use renewable natural gas derived from biogas, which is expected to provide surplus funds of $370,000.

“The City of Phoenix has an all of the above approach and has been able to make significant progress. They show diversity in alternative fuel usage with CNG, LNG, LPG, biodeisel and E-85, as well as deployment of hybrid vehicles. I really liked the statement in their application that “it’s critical to do it right the first time”. They are doing their research on options to best meet their goals and making decisions based on both the financial and environmental numbers for the greatest impact. It is a coordinated effort with defined policies and procedures that align with their goals. They are doing the right things across the board.” – Richard Sapienza

“The City of Phoenix really does it all.  First of all, its clean fuel integration is the best in the country.  They have over 2,500 hybrids, 120 EV’s, and they use renewable natural gas, biodiesel, E-54 ethanol, liquified natural gas and propane. That covers all the bases right there. Their renewable natural gas  use is expected to recoup $378K for the city each year, while lowering its carbon footprint substantially! They have excellent training for staff, a strong organizational commitment to GHG reduction, and wonderful participation in events like the Fleet Forward conference held in Mesa earlier this year. It believes in “participative management” and encourages employees to make suggestions for improving operations on a continual basis. All four of the contest judges agreed that Phoenix should take the #1 spot in the contest this year.” – Rhea Courtney Bozic

The Top 10 Green Fleets:

  1. City of Phoenix
  2. Alameda County
  3. Denver International Airport
  4. Miami-Dade County
  5. Department of the Air Force
  6. UCLA
  7. City Furniture
  8. City of Durham
  9. City of New York
  10. County of Ventura

The fleets recognized by the 2023 Green Fleet Awards contest have showcased an extraordinary level of commitment to diminishing their carbon impact. They have embraced alternative fuels, integrated energy-efficient technologies, and welcomed endeavors that prioritize sustainability without undermining effectiveness.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Green Fleets Award program or how to apply for the 2023 program, visit NAFA’s website by clicking here.