The NAFA Fleet Management Association honored four fleets with its 2011 Sustainable Fleet Awards.

The Sustainable Fleet Awards were presented during the Association's 2011 Institute & Expo in Charlotte, N.C. This was the fourth consecutive year that NAFA has presented these awards to individuals who have implemented creative programs to help with their company's overall sustainable or green initiative. Entries were judged on originality, innovativeness, and demonstrated accomplishment for reducing energy consumption.

Angela Sherick-Bright, Acting Assistant General Manager for the City of Los Angeles General Services Department.

Within the city's heavy-duty, on-road fleet of nearly 1,800 vehicles, the City currently has roughly 500 units running on LNG. This makes it the largest municipal LNG refuse collection fleet in the country. The city's sweeper fleet has 103 of 159 units running on CNG. The Department of General Services operates four LNG fueling sites and a multitude of CNG sites in the city.

As part of their role, the Department of General Services also provides maintenance support for 24 City departments. To accommodate the alternative fueled vehicles, they constructed and retrofitted five maintenance facilities with plans to retrofit more.

The city's sustainability plan also seeks to eliminate driving as much as possible through a robust commuter program that offers stipends and subsidies to City employees who participate in vanpool programs, who bicycle to work, or who use public transportation.

Gerry Calk, Fleet Manager for the City of Austin

The Austin City Council made a resolution in 2007 to have a carbon neutral fleet by the year 2020. In just three years, the city's plan helped raise the city's alternative fuel and hybrid vehicle count from 8 percent to 60 percent, and reduce its carbon footprint by 16 percent in just three years.

Before embarking on their plan, the city determined the carbon footprint of the fleet; gathered data on conversion and purchase options for the existing fleet; prioritized the earliest possible conversion to alternative fuels; developed a purchase and conversion plan; identified mitigation offsets; and created an annual reporting mechanism.

Today, more than 2,000 of the vehicles within the City's fleet (roughly half) run on alternative fuels, including 224 hybrids, 34 all-electric vehicles, 540 ethanol vehicles, 244 propane vehicles, 7 CNG vehicles, and more than 1,300 running on B20 biodiesel.

Plus Segways, bicycles, and electric bicycles for downtown transportation between city facilities.

To support its vehicles, the city has six propane sites, three E85 sites, one slow-fill CNG site capable of fueling 28 vehicles, and one public access CNG fast-fill site. The city encourages its employees to get involved in the sustainability plan by offering free bus passes to interested employees. To date, more than 900 City employees have received a pass and over 500 use them regularly.

Amy Leddy, Manager of National Program Management at Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual, based out of Boston, has made a strong commitment to operating its fleet in an environmentally responsible manner. With a sales, consulting, and claims fleet of more than 2,700 vehicles covering the United States, increasing fuel efficiency without detrimentally affecting driver productivity became the primary objective for the Liberty Mutual fleet team.

Through a combination of driver education, training, and implementation of flex-fuel vehicles, the insurance leader was able to decrease its carbon footprint by 8 percent in just one year. That's a 5 million pound reduction in CO2 emissions between 2009 and 2010.

As part of the company's overall commitment to green practices, replacement vehicles will either meet Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) standards, or be capable of operating on E85. The company also provides several options to help employees limit their travel time and reduce fuel consumption. They encourage the use of public transportation by offering payroll deduction for commuter passes, and by partnering with public transportation organizations across the country to increase employee awareness and pass through any discounts on fares. Every driver must also review the fleet policy, including the sustainable driving section, and then complete a 10 question quiz to ensure they have understood the concepts.

Gary Polito, Global Commodity Manager for Travel, Fleet and Meetings at EMD Millipore

Three years after EMD Millipore decided to incorporate the company's fleet into its overall sustainability plan, hybrid vehicles now comprise one-third of its entire U.S. fleet.

EMD Millipore's combined efforts of right-sizing vehicles according to job responsibilities and integrating hybrid vehicles contributed to a significant decrease in fuel consumption and carbon emissions. On an annual basis, fuel spending was reduced by nearly 150,000 gallons, which also prevented more than 2.8 million pounds of CO2 from being expelled into the atmosphere.

Within the company's sustainability plan, vehicles larger than a sedan are only provided if the extra space is critical for the driver to complete the tasks associated with the job being performed; otherwise, each driver that is assigned a sedan receives a cash incentive for choosing a hybrid model. Even employees who do not drive a company car are awarded a monthly cash benefit if they purchase a "Smartway Elite" labeled vehicle for their personal use.