2014 Clean Cities Award Winners!

The Results are In! Congratulations to the 2014 Clean Cities Award Winners!

Each year we recognize members who are leading, innovating, and going above and beyond to help our region reduce its use of imported petroleum. Ten amazing member organizations and one remarkable individual received awards this year, as follows.

Paul Hanna, Danelle MacEwen, Debbie Sullivan – City of Olympia

Best performance by a small public fleet: City of Olympia

A founding member of our coalition (a member since 1998!), the City of Olympia is also an early experimenter with electric vehicles. Though early experimentations weren’t very satisfying, City of Olympia persevered, and found a creative a way to adopt electric vehicles – using leases, rather than purchasing outright. This allows them to benefit from the federal tax credits, and provides flexibility to return the vehicles in the future should they want to upgrade to newer electric vehicles. The City of Olympia subsequently became the first public fleet in Washington to lease electric vehicles. What’s more, this fleet has demonstrated exemplary leadership in the past year by:

  • Increasing its use of biodiesel and propane autogas
  • Expanding their hybrid fleet
  • Launching a telematics pilot project

Fred Chun – City of Tacoma

Best performance by a large public fleet: City of Tacoma

The City of Tacoma is a Big City with a Big Vision. Tacoma is the second largest user of biodiesel in the state – second only to Washington State Department of Transportation – and last year used over 70,000 gallons. They also require that their biofuel be sourced from Washington producers. Tacoma’s fleet has deployed electric vehicles and has the largest fleet of neighborhood electric vehicles of any of our member organizations. They are finalizing a no-cost employee charging policy to encourage city employees to adopt EVs. And as if that’s not enough, the city is installing CNG infrastructure, so they can use biogas from their wastewater treatment plant to fuel city vehicles.

Best performance by a small private fleet: Click Wholesale Distributing

Click is a small fleet taking big actions to make its operations sustainable AND profitable. In 2014 they continued their aggressive push towards adopting compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, rolling out an additional six trucks. They have also turned their attention to their diesel fleet: initially adopting B5 and ramping up to a B20 blend within months of their initial switch. With the additional CNG vehicles and the use of biodiesel, this company is now more than halfway to its goal of completely eliminating its diesel use.

Kevin Kelly, Forest Gary – Recology CleanScapes

Best performance by a large private fleet: Recology CleanScapes

Recology CleanScapes is making a full court press on petroleum reduction. Having started a bit of a petroleum reduction rivalry through our Evergreen Fleets program several years ago, Recology CleanScapes has been investing heavily in alternative fuels and vehicles. In 2014 they purchased 32 CNG vehicles, and now two-thirds of their fleet runs on CNG. Additionally, Recology CleanScapes is increasing the biodiesel used for the diesel vehicles. Layering this on top of a robust driver fuel economy program and leading edge sustainability practices in the shop and we have a green fleet worthy of award.

Tonia Buell – Washington State DOT

Best achievement in electricity: Washington State Department of Transportation

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is the first state agency in the nation to take advantage of Nissan’s electric vehicle leasing program to secure several LEAFs. They also integrated Chevy Volts into their fleet, making them the first fleet (that we know of) in our membership to have both EVs and PHEVS. Their commitment to electric vehicles doesn’t stop there. In 2014 they also installed EV charging for fleet and employee use; developed and adopted an employee EV charging policy; continued to manage and promote the West Coast Electric Highway; and authored the State’s first EV action plan, which details strategies the state can consider to advance EVs throughout Washington.

Ben Farrow – Puget Sound Energy

Best achievement in natural gas: Puget Sound Energy

In 2014, Puget Sound Energy quietly rolled out a significant product that could pave the way for other organizations. They wanted to convert its critical response vehicles to natural gas, which has been difficult because these vehicles need to be able to reach remote areas during emergencies – and the regional infrastructure simply wasn’t robust enough. Puget Sound Energy solved this problem by procuring what are believed to be the first bi-fuel utility service trucks in the nation. These trucks allow the critical response team to use alternative fuels, but still have the ability to switch back to regular fuels when circumstances require it. Puget Sound Energy also worked with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to establish a compressed gas tariff for utility customers, which gives fleets greater flexibility to make the switch.

Todd Shepler, Paul Andersson, Kyle Powers, Sean Pownell – City of Bellevue

Best achievement in biodiesel: City of Bellevue

The City of Bellevue is demonstrating progressive leadership in investing in biodiesel, at a time when other organizations are scaling back. This fleet views biodiesel as a cost-effective strategy for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions — without many changes to operations or infrastructure. In 2014 they more than doubled their use of biodiesel, and began experimenting with higher biodiesel blends in low-turnover tanks. For 2015 they are evaluating new contract options to allow for competitive pricing and access to higher blend levels. And, while not strictly related to their biodiesel use, they recently adopted a “green fuel” surcharge on every gallon of fossil fuel dispensed by city pumps, which helps fund green fleet projects.

Darren Engle – Blue Star Gas

Best achievement in propane autogas: Blue Star Gas

Blue Star Gas has been a significant driving force for petroleum reduction in our region. In the past three years they have scaled dramatically, facilitating the displacement of over a half million gallons of petroleum. Last year, they nearly doubled the amount of propane autogas used among their customers. What’s more, they have built a reputation in the region of being a dependable and fervent advocate of all alternative fuels.

Andrea Pratt – City of Seattle

Sustainable Commitment: City of Seattle

Every year we award an organization with the Clean Cities Sustainable Commitment award, which recognizes organizations that go above and beyond to reduce petroleum use. The City of Seattle, this year’s winner, is one our coalition’s founding members, and has remained a stalwart supporter of coalition activities ever since. It’s an organization that continues to set the bar high for other fleets – and also pave the wayso that others can learn from their experiences. In the past year the City of Seattle’s accomplishments include publishing an updated green fleet action plan; rolling out idle-reduction systems on all police enforcement vehicles; and amassing the largest light-duty hybrid vehicle fleet our membership has ever seen, as well as the largest light-duty EV fleet.

Spirit Award: Mary Ann Lobdell, Port of Seattle.

Our Alternative Fuels Spirit Award honors individuals who walk the talk, drive the jive, and make our coalition stronger just by being active in it. Mary Ann Lobdell fits that bill, and is someone who hasbeen a steady contributor to the region’s petroleum reduction activities, an active participant in Clean Cities and former Steering Committee member. She has helped her organizationbe an early adopter of clean technologies, introducing CNG vehicles in 2002, hybrids in 2003, and biodiesel in 2006. Within her organization she has been a champion for better data, maintenance, and fuel tracking systems. During her tenure as fleet manager, her organization has been repeatedly ranked among top performing government fleets and is recognized as having catalytic impacts on the alternative fuel market in the region. Through her participation in the Public Fleet Managers Association, she regularly shares Clean Cities information and encourages fleets to get involved.

  • Darren Engle – Blue Star Gas.

  • Jennifer Lindwall – King County Fleet Administration.

  • Randy Winders – King County Metro.

  • JJ McCoy – Seattle Electric Vehicle Association.

  • Andrea Pratt – City of Seattle.

  • Matt Stewart – Jefferson County.

Honorable Mention:

This year we had many amazing candidates for the Spirit Award, all of whom are worthy of recognition! We thank them all for their contributions to our collective efforts!

Note: Awards are based on information we cull through our annual data collection – as well as information provided to us by you, and ultimately voted on and selected by our Steering Committee. 

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