2016 Clean Cities Annual Awards & Recognition Dinner

On June 8, 2017, Western Washington Clean Cities members and friends and partners came together for a festive evening highlighting our region’s clean transportation accomplishments over the past year. We recognized coalition members who are making strides, taking action, and driving the Pacific Northwest toward a more sustainable future.

Before the awards action, the evening featured two exceptionally knowledgeable guest speakers:

  • Charles Knutson, executive policy advisor for Washington Governor Jay Inslee
  • Suzanne Goldberg, director of research and outreach at Simon Fraser University’s Sustainable Transportation Action Research Team (Presentation available)

Western Washington saved 20.6 million gallons of petroleum last year through the use of cleaner, alternative fuels and vehicle efficiencies. These measures prevented more than 115,000 tons of greenhouse gas pollution – the equivalent of taking 24,000 cars off the road.

Many of our members are doing their part to reduce petroleum and fight climate change. Each year we try to shine the spotlight on a few of the fleets taking chances and kickin’ gas.

Ryan Dicks, Pierce County

Best Achievement in Biofuels: Pierce County

There was notable uptick in biofuel use in our region last year – our stakeholders collectively displaced over 1.4 million gallons of petroleum through the use of E85 ethanol, biodiesel blends and renewable diesel.

This year’s awardee honoree goes not to the biggest user, but to a fleet with a big vision for the future. In fact, they intend to reduce fossil fuel use by 20% by year 2020.

Pierce County took a bold step toward realizing that goal in 2016 by installing two new biodiesel dispensers and piloting a B20 biodiesel blend in 21 municipal trucks. They increased their use of B20 to nearly 20,000 gallons in 2016 and plan to expand the biodiesel program even more this year. They also are a top user of cleaner-burning E-85 ethanol in our coalition, with over 350 light-duty vehicles using close to 175,000 gallons last year.

George Carter, Washington State Department of Enterprise Services

Best Achievement in Electricity: Washington State Department of Enterprise Services

When it comes to electric-powered transport, we are in an enviable position with nearly every one of our members proceeding with some form of electrification.

One organization stood out, however, by not only investing in electric vehicles for its own fleet, but by making it easier for other fleets to acquire them too.

Last year the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services operated about 1,500 hybrids and 30 all-electric cars in its own fleet, and implemented an action plan to install over 50 new electric vehicle charging stations. They also placed one of the nation’s largest orders of the all-new Chevy Bolt EVs, one of which they drove in for the evening’s festivities.

But their impact on the electric vehicle market in Washington goes much further. The Department negotiated the state contracts for electric vehicles, giving access to fleets across the state to a wide variety of electric vehicles – including cars, trucks, transit buses, police motorcycles, refuse trucks and EV infrastructure – all at some of the best prices in the country.

Best Achievement in Natural Gas: Pierce Transit

We had strong competition in this category: natural gas (both compressed and liquefied) represents the largest share of alternative fuels used by our stakeholders.

This category’s awardee is a fleet whose commitment to natural gas began over 30 years ago, when they became one of the very first transit agencies in the country to adopt the technology.

With the addition of 10 new buses last year, Pierce Transit now has a total of 139 CNG buses and shuttles – making them the second largest CNG fleet in our membership. These vehicles displaced well over one million gallons of petroleum in 2016, and nearly a thousand tons of greenhouse gases.

1. Sherry Schneider, City of Redmond
2. Keith Swearingen, Kitsap County Public Works

Best Achievement in Propane Autogas: City of Redmond & Kitsap County Public Works

This year saw more than one of our coalition member fleets adopting or expanding their propane autogas fleet.

In fact, there were two fleets that made almost identical investments in propane autogas, so we decided to offer dual awards in this category.

Both made the decision to go big and installed new on-site fueling infrastructure.  Both converted ten vehicles to run on this cleaner burning fuel. Both view this as a starting point and are pursuing opportunities to further expand their propane autogas fleets. We’re glad Kitsap County Public Works and the City of Redmond both decided to go with propane autogas!

Carlton Paulmier, Waste Management

Best Performance by a Private Fleet: Waste Management

For this award, we sought to recognize leadership, innovation and sustainable commitment by private fleets.

Waste Management has been a national partner with the Clean Cities program since 2013, and is in the process of converting its entire nationwide fleet of refuse trucks to run on natural gas. They recently opened a new CNG fueling facility in Bremerton, enabling the conversion of half of their route trucks to CNG, and displacing over two million gallons of petroleum in Western Washington.

But their petroleum reductions don’t stop there. The company utilizes a route optimization program resulting in fuel savings of 4% each year (when adjusted for total miles traveled). They’ve also improved fuel economy and reduced tire costs by 15% through a tire management program that includes checking tire pressures twice a day.

Mark Stephens, Snohomish County Public Utility District

Best Performance by a Public Fleet: Snohomish County Public Utility District

This next category shines the spotlight on public fleets that are implementing clean fuels and vehicle efficiencies, often with limited budgets and competing priorities.

The Snohomish County Public Utility District has shown its commitment to reducing petroleum in several different ways. One of those is simply using less fuel. They outfitted their work trucks with auxiliary power units and automatic engine shut-off systems to reduce engine idle time at work sites. They linked their power outage management system to automated vehicle location software, which allows them to dispatch the closest vehicles to repair sites. All of this saves them both fuel and money. In 2016, Snohomish PUD also upgraded two dispensers at their on-site fuel island to B20 biodiesel, which now serve over 170 of their medium- and heavy-duty work vehicles.

Clean Cities Spirit Award: Andrea Pratt, City of Seattle

The Clean Cities Spirit award each year honors one individual who makes our Coalition that much stronger.  This year’s deserving winner, Andrea Pratt, is a tenacious and passionate leader who has helped build one of the largest alternative fuel public fleets in the nation.

Along with managing a fleet of over 600 hybrids and electric vehicles, Andrea is developing one of the largest municipal electric vehicle charging station infrastructure projects in the country; and last year, helped the city’s Fire Department become the first in the nation to add XL Hybrids electric drive systems to a portion of its ambulance fleet.

In the field of biofuels, Andrea manages nearly 1,000 trucks running on local B20 biodiesel derived from used cooking oil, and is looking toward to future with a renewable diesel pilot project in the works.

Andrea can often be found speaking at green transportation conferences and events all over the country, sharing best practices and lessons learned with peers – a clean transportation advocate that truly exemplifies the inspiration behind the Clean Cities Spirit Award.

Matt Kuharic, King County

Sustainable Commitment: King County

Our Clean Cities Sustainable Commitment award recognizes one organization that year after year, ups its investments in cleaner fuels and goes above and beyond to reduce petroleum and improve air quality.

This year, we recognize King County – a fleet that uses nearly every alternative fuel available.

  • They are the top consumer of propane autogas in our membership, and last year converted 64 shuttle buses and installed new fueling infrastructure.
  • They’re a leading user of biodiesel, running both boats and buses on biodiesel blends.
  • They’re making big strides in electrification and garnered national attention for their early adoption of three zero-emission Proterra battery electric buses, with many more on the way.
  • They also operate the largest publicly owned VanPool program in the country. Last year its combined Rideshare programs helped local commuters save over 2.3 million gallons of gasoline.
  • As if that’s not enough, King County formed and currently leads a collaborative of municipal partners who are creating regional momentum by taking action on climate change.
  • Overall, King County saved close to seven million gallons of petroleum and reduced nearly 70,000 tons of greenhouse gases last year.

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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