Five leaders in green transport and logistics -- AT&T, PepsiCo, United Parcel Service, FedEx and Verizon -- have become charter members of a national effort to reduce use of diesel fuel and gasoline with cleaner, greener fleets.
The National Clean Fleets Partnership, an Obama Administration initiative announced last week, is a public-private venture designed to help big companies reduce fuel consumption through the use of more electric vehicles, alternative fuels and fuel-saving measures.
The charter members members operate five of the 10 largest corporate fleets in the United States. Together, the five companies are responsible for some 275,000 vehicles. Though none has a completely green fleet, all five firms have made headlines for their work in integrating electric or hybrid vehicles, alternative fuels and fuel efficiency strategies into their operations and for setting ambitious goals to reduce emissions.
As GreenBiz.com has reported, rivals FedEx and UPS are also arch-competitors in their pursuit of sustainability, particularly regarding their fleets; AT&T and Verizon have taken steps to reduce the environmental tread of their vehicles; and PepsiCo's Frito-Lay has added all-electric delivery trucks to its fleet, in addition to taking other measures.
Three of the five firms also are longtime members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay program to help companies cut fuel consumption, costs and greenhouse gas emissions. PepsiCo, UPS and FedEx are SmartWay participants, with the two logistics firms being charter partners.
In the National Clean Fleets Partnership, the Department of Energy will provide participating companies specialized resources as well as technical expertise and support in efforts to further reduce fuel use and increase efficiency.
The new partnership is part of the DOE Vehicle Technology Program's "Clean Cities" initiative. It is also a part of President Obama's larger campaign to increase the country's energy security by reducing reliance on foreign oil. Ramping up energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption are key to the push that began when the president took office. The announcement of the Clean Fleets Partnership on Friday capped a week in which the president delivered a much-anticipated speech on energy security and his administration issued a challenge to American entrepreneurs to help bring next-gen energy technology to market.