Financing zero: The road to emission-free fleets

November 4, 2020 by  
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Financing zero: The road to emission-free fleets Tali Zuckerman Wed, 11/04/2020 – 02:00 In recent years, electric vehicle (EV) adoption has accelerated in the world of personal cars. Now, as ambitious climate goals gain momentum and renewable energy prices drop, attention is turning towards scaling such systems for commercial transport. But before zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) fleets can hit the road, stakeholders must find innovative ways to finance them in a way that is accessible, affordable and attractive to corporate buyers.   At the VERGE 20 conference last week, industry experts working on this very question joined moderator Niki Okuk, alternative fuels program manager at CALSTART, to discuss the biggest financial barriers to making large-scale ZEV deployments a reality and the innovative financial tools being designed to address them. Challenges on the road to commercial ZEVs One key challenge addressed by the panelists is the volatility of renewable energy — both in price and physical availability. Vic Shao, chief executive of charging infrastructure company Amply Power, highlighted that while fossil-fuel prices typically fluctuate about 25 percent per year, renewable energy prices can experience shocks of up to 400 percent in just one day. For large-scale fleet managers, this makes adopting ZEV solutions incredibly tricky.  “The CFOs of the organization can’t really understand the cost structure over weeks, months and years,” said Chelle Izzi, executive director of NextEra Energy Resources. “That makes it difficult for us to scale up.” Prices also vary across countries and states, due to inconsistencies in taxes and policies. Pooling a bunch of these different challenges under 1 contract would manage some of that new technology risk and those demand charge risks. In terms of physical abundance of electricity, Izzi was quick to add: “I had a power outage this week — it’s not just theoretical.” She was referencing proactive power shutdowns in Northern California made in late October to prevent the spread of wildfires. When looking to transition fleets to vehicles that use renewable energy, owners and managers must plan such instability into their operations from the start — a fact that makes financial forecasts and plans quite difficult, the panelists said. This reality is compounded by the lack of expansive infrastructure to support large-scale fleets. While EV charging stations have been popping up around the country, they are not enough to reliably power full commercial fleets, the panelists noted. Developing an ZEV infrastructure requires an immense upfront investment and introduces operational risks related to the general uncertainty and immaturity of the market. Andrew Kessler, a managing director at the NY Green Bank who works on financing such projects, said this risk has translated to limited access to capital for small companies trying to scale innovative solutions. Finance to the rescue Despite these challenges, the panelists remained hopeful. Each has introduced innovative solutions that range from new financing models to investment in research for disruptive innovations and technologies.  Discussing ZEV fleets in New York state, Kessler said that his team hopes to push agencies to evaluate these investments using operational expense financing models rather than considering the cost solely from a capital expenditure perspective. Using an OpEx financing model could make fleet conversion more affordable by providing purchasers the opportunity to make smaller payments over time, he said. Battery leasing is another model gaining traction, according to the panelists. Currently, batteries are the most expensive part of an electric vehicle; this model allows customers to purchase a vehicle upfront minus the battery, which is paid for in small increments comparable in cost to purchasing fuel for traditional trucks or buses. Although battery-leasing programs are still mostly under development, Kessler pointed to one successful collaboration in the field by companies Proterra and Mitsui, currently leasing batteries for an all-electric bus fleet in Park City, Utah. Leasing batteries also could become more affordable for fleets if stakeholders can determine that batteries have a higher residual value (such as for reuse or recycling). If lenders can be guaranteed some value at the end of a lease period, they can charge less for individual lease payments without losing out on profit, the panelists said. Fleets of ZEVs also could become more attractive through innovative bundling of products and infrastructure services, which may help mitigate the current fluctuations in cost and supply of renewable energy. “Pooling a bunch of these different challenges under one contract would manage some of that new technology risk and those demand charge risks,” explained Izzi. We are comfortable with that risk, but how we work with the operators and the degradation as a result of how they actually use the vehicles is a different risk that we all have to figure out together. Shao said Amply aspires to develop software to better understand, monitor and plan a fleet’s energy use, something which also could lower operational risks and make investments easier to justify. Finally, each panelist stressed the importance of finding a way to properly distribute risk between operators, manufacturers and investors in order to unlock more stable financing mechanisms and returns in the future. “We are very comfortable with storage as a technology, understanding degradation and the forward cost curves,” Izzi said. “We are comfortable with that risk, but how we work with the operators and the degradation as a result of how they actually use the vehicles is a different risk that we all have to figure out together.” Key takeaways Throughout the session, several themes reverberated between speakers. First, each panelist stressed the need for public-private partnerships in the industry. While public subsidies have contributed to the preliminary infrastructure for fleet electrification, private investment is necessary to truly scale ZEV fleets. Second, they discussed the ROI of electric fleets, each comparing the current state of the commercial ZEV market to that of solar power in the early days. Although investments now are full of risk, they also promise high rewards over time. Conversely, as ZEVs become commonplace, investment costs will plummet, but so will payoffs.  Third, each panelist mentioned the importance of market-based tools and tactics to prove returns, attract private capital and achieve the flexibility needed to support a growing market.  The tone of the panel was undeniably one of confidence in the promise of innovative financing to get ZEV’s to the finish line. “The appetite for growth is there,” concluded Izzi. “We all believe that we can bring the scalability of what we have done in renewables to EV infrastructure … once the vehicles and pricing are there.” Pull Quote Pooling a bunch of these different challenges under 1 contract would manage some of that new technology risk and those demand charge risks. We are comfortable with that risk, but how we work with the operators and the degradation as a result of how they actually use the vehicles is a different risk that we all have to figure out together. Topics Transportation & Mobility VERGE 20 Electric Vehicles Fleet Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Rendering of Amply’s Anaheim Transportation Network site. Courtesy of Amply Power Close Authorship

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Financing zero: The road to emission-free fleets

Gina McCarthy: Protecting the planet for all people

November 4, 2020 by  
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Gina McCarthy: Protecting the planet for all people Sara Murphy Wed, 11/04/2020 – 01:30 Gina McCarthy thinks we should be more ambitious in our goals for a thriving planet and an equitable society. The former EPA administrator and current president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been a leading advocate for smart, successful strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than 30 years. During a  VERGE 20  virtual event Friday, McCarthy talked with GreenBiz co-founder Joel Makower about how racial justice and climate justice go hand in hand, and what we need to do to assure a bright future for everyone’s children. “We’re facing a lot of challenges at once,” McCarthy noted, “but they’re also an incredible signal about the future we need to deliver and the way to get there.” The first challenge is the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, we are facing a racial reckoning that is long overdue. Third, many people are feeling the painful effects of the economic fallout from the pandemic. Finally, the climate crisis is worse than it’s ever been. For too long, climate change was viewed as a problem for the planet instead of a problem for people. What do these four challenges have in common? “They stem from the system we chose when we grabbed and relied on fossil fuels,” McCarthy said. “For too long, climate change was viewed as a problem for the planet instead of a problem for people. The planet doesn’t give a damn if we’re around — we do!” McCarthy pointed out that we can protect our planet and natural resources in a way that grows jobs and well-being. “We have solutions,” she said. “Let’s grow the demand for them.” Social imperative McCarthy focused strongly on the need for equitable action in the face of society’s four major challenges, noting that data on COVID-19 show the disease is killing twice as many exposed Black people as their white counterparts. McCarthy observed that the pandemic is one more example of how our system has left some communities behind, drawing a parallel to the disproportionate impact of climate change and pollution on communities of color. “They’re in the crosshairs of the danger,” she said. McCarthy thinks that we as individuals must reckon with the fact that we can take action in our own communities. If we commit to doing so, the solutions will come, she said. McCarthy discussed regulators’ role in delivering solutions, noting the EPA’s obligation to protect people’s health. The agency sets standards that send market signals, she said, which supports growth and expansion. Business community role Big business needs to look at its entire supply chain and be transparent in how it tells us what it’s valuing, McCarthy said, so consumers can make choices accordingly. While we’re making progress on this front, we still have a long way to go, she said. “We’re not talking about sacrifices, but rather benefits,” McCarthy explained. I want twofers and threefers. I want something better than survival. Why aren’t we wanting it all and demanding it all? For example, people can make money from technological expansion, among other types of innovation. The transformation we need demands significant work in transportation, McCarthy offered. She sees no question that electric vehicles are the wave of the future, and we just need to work to get the technology up to critical mass by expanding the relevant infrastructure via public-private partnerships and other mechanisms. The same applies to hydrogen technologies for heavy vehicles and more. “If we work at the state level, it won’t matter who’s sitting at the federal level,” McCarthy opined. “If we drive the kind of change we want at every level of government, it will open up markets everywhere.” Trade-offs? “I want twofers and threefers,” McCarthy exclaimed, referring to the idea that we can and should have multiple ambitious goals at the same time. “I want something better than survival. Why aren’t we wanting it all and demanding it all?” She highlighted the imperative to raise up everybody in the process, pointing to the need for better housing, clean air and clean water for communities left behind by systemic racism. McCarthy also emphasized the United States’ outsized obligation to the rest of the world, given that “we’ve been shipping our pollution elsewhere, merrily going on our way as if we didn’t do that. We have a shot at an equitable, healthy, sustainable future. There is no reason we have to compromise on those goals.” Message of hope? Wrapping up her comments, McCarthy enjoined everyone to hug their children and to listen to them about the future they want. She called upon all parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, godparents and caregivers to deliver a future for the children in their lives that would bring them pride. “We humans care about taking care of our families more than anything else,” McCarthy concluded. “Let’s use that to lift all families up.” Pull Quote For too long, climate change was viewed as a problem for the planet instead of a problem for people. I want twofers and threefers. I want something better than survival. Why aren’t we wanting it all and demanding it all? Topics Policy & Politics VERGE 20 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Then EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks to the National Press Club on climate change and power plants in September 2013. Shutterstock Albert H. Teich Close Authorship

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Gina McCarthy: Protecting the planet for all people

The top 25 most sustainable fleets

October 26, 2020 by  
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The top 25 most sustainable fleets Katie Fehrenbacher Mon, 10/26/2020 – 02:00 However you look at it, 2020 is a turning point for fleets.  Thanks to converging forces — including supportive policies, dropping battery costs and aggressive climate goals — transportation leaders at large and small organizations are increasingly turning to new zero-emission and low-carbon options that decarbonize fleets and in some cases save money. Fleets are often the workhorses that toil behind the scenes: the garbage trucks that pick up your trash before dawn; the long-haul semi-trucks that move goods from the port; the bucket trucks that utilities use to fix power lines and keep your lights on; the delivery vans that drop off your packages and help you stay safe inside your homes. The definition of fleet is evolving. Ride-hailing companies such as Lyft own vehicles, but they’re also working to help drivers that own their own vehicles move into EVs. The young e-scooter companies also own large “fleets,” although not in the traditional sense .  Fleet leaders are also facing increasing pressure. Policies such as California’s Advanced Clean Truck rule are forcing organizations in the state to phase in zero-emission trucks and phase out fossil fuel-based ones. Progressive cities, many in Europe, are building zones in downtown centers that are banning fossil-fuel vehicles and incentivizing zero-emission models. A global company that wants to deliver goods to residents in cities such as London, Paris, Madrid and soon Santa Monica , California, will need zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) fleets or it will lose business. ZEVs are also an opportunity for fleets. Certain types of vehicles — including transit and school buses, delivery vans and light-duty cars — can save fleet owners considerable money when they’re switched to electric. Other types of fleets such as long-haul trucks will take a lot& longer to go electric.  One of the biggest concerns for fleet leaders is how to design, plan, deploy and manage the complicated infrastructure that sometimes can be required to charge or fuel various types of fleets. Investments in software and data, as well as building deep relationships with utilities, will be key to helping fleets navigate this daunting ecosystem. Another chief concern is a lack of electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicle models from major OEMs in the U.S. that fit fleets’ needs. Time and again, fleet leaders say there just aren’t enough ZEV vehicles available for them to buy, and the ones that are available are just too expensive without incentives right now. The pandemic has created unique challenges for fleets, including safety concerns for drivers, additional vehicle cleaning costs and the need to redesign operations around social distancing measures. But the pandemic also has shone a spotlight on just how important many of these fleets are — in midst of the most aggressive lockdowns, trucks were running lifesaving groceries and personal protective equipment to communities and hospitals across the U.S. So here’s our list, in alphabetical order, of 25 organizations taking important steps to decarbonize their fleets, buying (or planning to buy) new zero-emission vehicles and making the still-difficult choice to be an early adopter. The list includes public agencies, big corporations, small companies, school districts, utilities — it runs the gamut.  To hear from some of these fleet leaders — including Seattle’s Philip Saunders, Port Authority NY and NJ’s Christine Weydig, Anheuser-Busch’s Angie Slaughter, Walmart’s Zach Freeze, Amazon’s Ross Rachey, IKEA’s Angela Hultberg, FedEx’s Russ Musgrove, Genentech’s Andy Jefferson and Lime’s Andrew Savage — tune into VERGE 20 across the next five days. The keynotes are free, but you’ll need to buy a pass for the transportation deep-dive sessions .  Media Authorship Amazon Close Authorship Amazon Amazon’s domination of commerce and delivery means it’s got a lot of emissions from the vehicles that deliver orders to our doorsteps every day. But in early 2019, Amazon announced an industry-first for a delivery company: It pledged that half of all of its shipments would be net-zero carbon by 2030. The entire company (including transportation) will be net-zero carbon by 2040. In true Amazon form, the company has written its own vehicle playbook and disrupted the status quo. While many fleet managers are challenged to find vehicles available that they can buy, Amazon routed around that problem by investing in — and planning to buy — 100,000 electric trucks from startup Rivian. Will Rivian eventually be a division of Amazon? Maybe: It would make sense for Amazon to bring vehicle production in-house in its constant bid for vertical integration. But Amazon is also buying electric versions of the Mercedes-Benz sprinter van that dominates delivery markets. For now, we’re eagerly watching and waiting for more details about Amazon’s growing zero-emission and low-carbon vehicle fleet. Media Authorship Anheuser-Busch Close Authorship Anheuser-Busch Beer giant Anheuser-Busch, the U.S. subsidiary of AB InBev, delivers about a million shipments of its beer per year, largely in trucks carrying beers such as Budweiser and Stella Artois to grocery stores and bars around the U.S. Of course, all that trucking delivers a big greenhouse gas footprint: 10 percent of Anheuser-Busch’s carbon emissions come from transportation. But the beverage maker has a big sustainability plan and is taking a first-mover approach to decarbonizing its dedicated fleet of around 1,600 vehicles. The company has an order to buy up to 800 of Nikola Motor’s hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks and 40 Tesla Semi trucks. It could be one of the first fleets in the country to get long-haul zero-emission vehicles, and it has a plan to convert its entire long-haul dedicated fleet to ZEVs by 2025. At the same time, it’s already adopting renewable natural gas to power its natural gas trucks in its short-haul fleet.  Overall, Anheuser-Busch has a goal to slash carbon emissions by a quarter across its entire supply chain by 2025. Just a short five years away. An Antelope Valley Transit Authority bus on the road. Media Source Flickr Media Authorship Hiveminer Close Authorship Antelope Valley Transit Authority This summer, the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) — a transit organization that serves the Southern California cities of Lancaster and Palmdale — hit a milestone : 3 million miles of zero-emission bus operation. The group’s fleet consists of 93 buses, 61 of which are zero-emission buses, and the majority of those are BYD-made electric models. The transit authority was one of the first in the U.S. to make a major commitment to electric buses four years ago, partly thanks to its close proximity to the American headquarters of BYD in Lancaster. A former BYD exec even joined AVTA as its CEO and has helped lead the e-bus transition. AVTA says in addition to slashed carbon emissions and local air pollution, it’s been able to save 769,231 gallons of diesel fuel, the equivalent of more than $1 million in fuel cost savings.  Denver International Airport If you’ve ever flown through Denver’s International Airport, you know the city prides itself on its innovative design and customer-friendly amenities. But it’s also been aggressively adopting zero- and low-emission vehicles.  Our friends at 100 Best Fleets named Denver International Airport the second greenest fleet in America. It’s got close to 300 alternative-fueled vehicles, including electric, hybrid and natural gas buses, sweepers and light-duty vehicles. The airport also incentivizes hybrid taxis and vans by reducing their access fees to the airport. Airport shuttle buses are a key area where electric vehicles will be able to make a dent, given their dedicated and short routes. States such as California are mandating that its 13 largest airports move their shuttle buses to zero-emission operations by 2035. Media Authorship Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com Close Authorship Facebook Facebook might not be thought of as a fleet leader, but two years ago Facebook acquired 43 BYD-made electric on-campus shuttles that can carry employees across its sprawling complex. At the time, the social media giant leveraged a unique financing deal led by Generate Capital to lease the vehicles , lowering the upfront costs. Facebook says it’s investigating how it can electrify its commuter shuttle buses. Facebook started testing out a double-decker electric commuter shuttle bus last year and had planned to test more out this year. However, the pandemic and remote work has thrown a wrench into many companies’ commuter ZEV bus plans. An Earthsmart FedEx zero-emission all-electrical truck in Lower Manhattan on July 17, 2014.  FedEx Delivery trucks are a key type of vehicle ready for electrification. Bloomberg New Energy Finance earlier this year declared delivery trucks to be the “next segment to cross the tipping point” and an electric “killer app.”  FedEx, which has more than 100,000 vehicles in its Express division across the world, has been working on its zero-emission and low-carbon vehicle program for a couple of years. Two years ago, FedEx announced a partnership with startup Chanje to add 1,000 Chanje electric delivery vehicles to its fleet: 100 bought outright and 900 leased through Ryder. Chanje is also supplying FedEx with EV charging infrastructure  FedEx recently told the New York Times that it added close to 400 electric vehicles in its fleet internationally last year, which brought its total EVs to close to 3,000, including forklifts and airport ground service equipment.   One of Genentech’s electric buses, made by BYD. Media Authorship Genentech Close Authorship Genentech Biotech giant Genentech is a surprising fleet leader: It’s got the most aggressive electric commuter bus programs around, in addition to its other EV fleet goals. Two years ago, the company started running electric BYD-made commuter buses to move its employees across the sprawling San Francisco Bay Area — from as far north as Vacaville to as far south as San Jose — to its headquarters in South San Francisco. While many companies are hesitant to rely on EVs for such long routes, Genentech took the plunge. And the company says it is happy with the results. Today, Genentech is in the process of converting close to half of its 60 buses on batteries.  In addition to its electric commuter buses, Genentech has committed to converting its entire light-duty sales fleet of 1,200 cars to electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. IKEA is using an electric truck fleet in Shanghai to deliver its products to customers. Media Authorship IKEA Close Authorship Ingka Group (IKEA) Inkga Group, aka IKEA, has its own unique take on a ZEV fleet. The company doesn’t own its own vehicles, but its products are delivered via 10,000 vehicles globally, owned by delivery companies such as DHL and UPS. As a result, IKEA is using its large footprint to partner, push and pull its partners into ZEVs. IKEA says by 2025 all last-mile delivery of its goods will be done in electric vehicles. And by the end of this year (yes, 2020), IKEA says it will electrify its last-mile delivery in Shanghai, Paris, Los Angeles, New York and Amsterdam. It’s already happened in Shanghai and other cities are well underway. Los Angeles is proving a little more challenging, IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer Pia Heidenmark Cook said recently during a session at Climate Week. But if companies don’t push themselves, they won’t make progress. LeasePlan Netherlands-based LeasePlan is a large fleet management company that mostly operates in Europe but also has a solid presence in the U.S. We’re including the company because it was a founding member of the Climate Group’s EV100 Program and because of its first-of-its-kind ZEV fleet commitment.  The company has pledged to zero out its emissions for all of its customers’ fleets — at a whopping 1.8 million vehicles — by 2030. What’s more, it also plans to electrify its own employee fleet by 2021. These kinds of commitments are still unheard of broadly in the U.S. Europe is moving at a much faster trajectory toward electric vehicles than the U.S., despite the U.S.’s being the birthplace to EV leader Tesla. Many European countries and cities are committing to provide incentives for electric vehicles and banning fossil-fuel ones from city centers. Lime’s 3.0 scooter. Media Authorship Lime Close Authorship Lime Lime is our wildcard on the top fleets list. The electric scooter company operates a fleet of well over 100,000 electric scooters, as well as owned and leased trucks and vans that the company uses to move around its scooters.  Earlier this year, Lime pledged  — as part of the EV100 — to transition its entire fleet of vehicles to electric by 2030. It’s already powering its scooters and operations with clean energy as well as buying carbon offsets to neutralize emissions. Recently Lime also announced a partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation, which include programs around education, advocacy and carbon innovation. Next up for Lime? The scooter company is looking at new warehouse space where it can optimize charging infrastructure for an electric fleet. It’s also partnered with Ceres to help advocate for policies that will support a transition to electric fleets. Electrify America and Lyft partnered to bring chargers to Lyft EV drivers in Denver. Media Source Courtesy of Media Authorship Electrify America Close Authorship Lyft Electrifying ride-hailing will be tricky, given most ride-hailing drivers own their own vehicles. But this summer, ride-hailing giant Lyft announced it plans to transition to 100 percent electric vehicles — both for the vehicles it owns and driver-owned vehicles — by 2030. It’ll take a big lift, a lot of outside-the-box thinking and major policy support to get there. But the time is now, and Uber set a similar goal after Lyft. Some policies are moving the ride-hailing giants in that direction. Cities, many of them in Europe, are setting incentives and mandates to ban fossil-fuel vehicles and transition to zero-emission vehicles in city centers. States such as California are setting specific rules for the ride-hailing companies to track and reduce their emissions. City of Oakland The city of Oakland in California has a long history of setting climate and sustainability goals, and in 2003 adopted a green fleet policy. As a result of a holistic and innovative approach, the city — which uses 1,500 types of vehicles — no longer uses diesel-powered vehicles and is using a combination of low-carbon fuels, compressed natural gas and electric vehicles. Its circular renewable diesel fueling system is unique in the country. It takes waste grease and oils from local businesses and its partner Neste converts them to renewable diesel, which then powers many of Oakland’s trucks. Richard Battersby, assistant director at Oakland Public Works, is a leader in the green fleet space for his work on Oakland’s fleet. This summer, Oakland adopted an equitable climate plan with ambitious targets for 2030, calling for a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gases relative to 2005 levels. The end goal is carbon neutrality.  PG&E Northern California’s Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has spent the last few years building out an electric fleet of 1,360 electric vehicles to add to the thousands of other vehicles in its low-carbon fleet that use sources such as natural gas and biodiesel. The company uses vehicles such as pickup trucks, bucket trucks and light-duty vehicles for various operations. PG&E’s goal is to electrify 100 percent of its light-duty vehicles, 10 percent of its medium-duty vehicles and 5 percent of its heavy-duty vehicles. There are particular challenges with battery range when it comes to electrifying heavy-duty emergency response vehicles and other work vehicles that don’t have unpredictable and lengthy routes. In addition to transforming its own fleet, PG&E is supporting the uptake of EVs for its 23,000 employees and has installed more than 1,230 charging stations at its facilities. It makes sense for utilities to be early adopters of fleet electrification, given they are helping their customers make a similar transition and need to learn their customers’ experience. PepsiCo Global beverage behemoth PepsiCo has an overarching goal to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2030. It’s got a lot of work to do across packaging, water, the sources for its products and — its fleet. The company runs vehicles such as long-haul trucks, yard trucks and forklifts to move its various products — from soft drinks to snacks to bottled water — across the globe. PepsiCo is building out a pilot facility with various low-carbon and electric vehicles at its Frito Lay campus in Modesto, California. The site, leveraging state incentives, will use 15 electric Tesla Semi Trucks, six electric Peterbilt e220 straight trucks, three BYD electric yard trucks, 12 BYD electric forklifts and 38 Volvo natural gas trucks fueled by renewable natural gas. The facility also will deploy charging and fueling infrastructure as well as solar and onsite battery storage. Media Source Flickr Media Authorship PGE Close Authorship Portland General Electric In September, Portland-based utility Portland General Electric announced that it plans to electrify large portions of its 1,167 vehicles. It already has 91 EVs in use, but the new commitment will deploy 600 electric vehicles and retire 600 fossil fuel-burning vehicles over the next 10 years. The goal is for its fleet to be 61 percent electric within a decade. Like with Pacific Gas & Electric, the really heavy-duty trucks — bucket trucks and dump trucks — will be the hardest to electrify, and Portland General Electric plans to transition 30 percent of those. Beyond fleet electrification, Portland General Electric has been a leader when it comes to trying to proactively find ways to enable the EVs on its network to be a net benefit. It’s been building out smart grid tech and testing out a virtual power plant . The company’s electric vehicles go hand-in-hand with its clean energy goals, and Portland General Electric expects to serve half of its customers with renewable-generated electricity by 2022.  Port Authority New York and New Jersey Port Authority New York and New Jersey has the largest electric bus fleet on the East Coast, including 36 buses and 19 chargers, at the region’s three biggest airports. The organization recently said it had reached its goal to have a 100 percent electric bus fleet by the end of this year (close to three months early). Beyond the bus fleet, 130 of the organization’s light-duty vehicles, used by employees and police officers, are electric. By 2023, Port Authority says over 600 — or 50 percent of its light-duty fleet — will be electric.  Port Authority’s fleet goals are all part of its overarching plan to reach a 35 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050. Salt River Project Tempe, Arizona-based Salt River Project (SRP) provides electricity and power to 1 million residents in central Arizona. The company has spent the past six years investigating and piloting electric vehicle tech for its employees, its fleet and its customers.  Today, SRP uses close to 200 electric vehicles, both on-road and offroad, including light-duty vehicles, bucket trucks, forklifts and utility carts. The organization also has the largest workplace EV charging program in Arizona, with close to 200 employees driving plug-in vehicles to SRP’s facility. SRP says this program is expected to grow to 450 employees (or 7 percent of its workforce) over the next five years. Down the road, SRP’s goals are to electrify 100 percent of its sedan fleet by the end of 2021 and reduce 30 percent of its fleet emissions by 2035. In addition, SRP expects 500,000 customers using EVs by 2035, and it will build plans and programs to help charge 90 percent of those customers’ EV loads.  Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority The Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority, which provides buses, light rail, paratransit and BART stations for greater Silicon Valley, has been an early transit group to codify sustainability goals, to implement clean energy technologies and, two years ago, to deploy electric buses.  In 2018, VTA put its first five electric buses , built by Proterra and using DC fast charging infrastructure made by Chargepoint, into service. The company has plans to procure 35 more electric buses over the next several years, on its way to meeting California’s mandate that says all transit buses must be zero-emission by 2040. VTA closely tracks its energy use for its fleet. Its goals are to reduce its fleet’s energy consumption by 35 percent below 2009 levels by 2025 and 60 percent by 2040.  Schneider Electric Earlier this year, energy company Schneider Electric announced that it’s joining the Climate Group’s EV100 program and will transition its entire 14,000 vehicle fleet to electric by 2030. The company is based in France but has operations across the globe. The company sells EV charging equipment and software, among many other energy and grid products, so it makes sense for it to use this huge commitment to learn more about what its customers are experiencing. Schneider Electric is also installing EV charging equipment at its facilities for its employees.            City of Seattle Over the last decade, the greater Puget Sound region has been looking to reduce its carbon emissions from transportation, which accounts for 60 percent of its total emissions. Alongside that regional issue, the city of Seattle has an aggressive and multi-pronged green fleet strategy for its over 6,000 vehicles, across departments such as police, fire and utilities.  Seattle’s future fleet goals include cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025 and using only fossil-fuel-free vehicles by 2030. The fleet team, led by Philip Saunders, is looking to rapidly electrify, build out EV charging infrastructure, aggressively reduce fuel use, swap in low-carbon fuels for certain types of vehicles and pilot technologies that are not yet cost-effective or widely available. The company uses a wide range of technologies including renewable diesel, biodiesel, propane and EVs.  Twin Rivers School District Three years ago, Twin Rivers School District in California became one of the first school districts in the U.S. to deploy electric school buses. Today the organization operates 35 electric school buses, and over the next three years it plans to convert the bulk of its fleet, or 91 school buses, to electric. In the interim, Twin Rivers has natural gas buses, some of which run on renewable natural gas, and is running all of its diesel buses on renewable diesel from Neste . Following the switch to renewable diesel, it’s entire fleet is fossil-fuel-free.  Twin Rivers Director of Transportation Tim Shannon told GreenBiz in an interview earlier this year that the organization is already using the electric buses to pilot the vehicle-to-grid technology with Sacramento Municipal Utility District. It’s not just about cool tech, though. Shannon explains: “Our green bus program is taking an area that is highly densely populated, we’re transporting a lot of kids, we’re a disadvantaged community and a high rate of air pollution. We’re lowering all that, and we’re making it an eco-friendly place to live.” Look how happy everyone is in this Uber! Uber Following Lyft’s announcement, Uber revealed that it, too, plans to transition to an all zero-emission fleet. Uber says it will reach that goal by 2040. First, it will have 100 percent of its rides in the U.S., Canada and Europe, be electric by 2030.  Uber already has made progress in cities such as London, where it’s moving to an all-electric fleet. Uber says it will commit $800 million to help drivers on its platform move to EVs by 2025. The company also operates scooters and bikes, and its app encourages riders to use public transit.  The ride-hailing giants need to move to ZEV as cities and states pressure them with mandates. The California Air Resources Board recently found that the carbon emissions of Uber and Lyft’s vehicle fleet per passenger mile is over 50 percent higher than regular cars driving on the roads.  Unilever The consumer product company, based in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, says it will commit its entire global fleet of 11,000 vehicles to electric by 2030 as part of the Climate Group’s EV100 program. Its interim goals are 25 percent EV or hybrid by 2020, and 50 percent by 2025. Unilever has broader sustainability goals beyond its fleet, which include becoming “carbon positive” in its operations by 2030; 100 percent of its energy will come from renewables.  The UPS Rolling Laboratory of about 9,300 alternative vehicles includes more than 1,000 electric and hybrid electric delivery trucks in cities worldwide. Source: UPS UPS For several years UPS has been operating its “rolling laboratory” approach to piloting and deploying low-carbon and electric vehicles. Of its fleet of 125,000 package vans, trucks, motorcycles and tractors, UPS has 10,300 alternative-fuels vehicles, and it’s done a substantial project in London with smart grid tech and EVs. Earlier this year, UPS kicked its EV plans into overdrive. UPS announced it plans to buy 10,000 electric vehicles from partner Arrival, purpose-built for UPS. At the same time, UPS made an investment in the startup through its venture arm, UPS Ventures.  The strategy is similar to Amazon’s move with Rivian. The OEMs haven’t been producing the vehicles that these large fleets want and need, so the biggest companies are diving into the supply chain to help create their own. Media Source Courtesy of Media Authorship Walmart Close Authorship Walmart Walmart is just starting its green fleet journey but kicked off the move with a bang by announcing in late 2020 hat it would transition its entire fleet to zero emissions by 2040, including its long-haul trucks. Up until now, much of Walmart’s strategy has been around piloting technology, adopting some zero-emission vehicles at its Canadian facility and aggressively adopting fuel-efficiency measures. Walmart has a fleet of over 10,000 vehicles including 6,500 semi-trucks and 4,000 passenger vehicles. Walmart’s senior director of strategic initiatives and sustainability at Walmart, Zach Freeze, told GreenBiz that “more needs to be done,” and Walmart wants to set the ambitious goal of zero-emission across the company. “In order to get to zero, we need to transition the fleet,” Freeze said.  Topics Transportation & Mobility Fleet Management Shipping & Logistics VERGE 20 Clean Fleets Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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The top 25 most sustainable fleets

The top 25 most sustainable fleets

October 26, 2020 by  
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The top 25 most sustainable fleets Katie Fehrenbacher Mon, 10/26/2020 – 02:00 However you look at it, 2020 is a turning point for fleets.  Thanks to converging forces — including supportive policies, dropping battery costs and aggressive climate goals — transportation leaders at large and small organizations are increasingly turning to new zero-emission and low-carbon options that decarbonize fleets and in some cases save money. Fleets are often the workhorses that toil behind the scenes: the garbage trucks that pick up your trash before dawn; the long-haul semi-trucks that move goods from the port; the bucket trucks that utilities use to fix power lines and keep your lights on; the delivery vans that drop off your packages and help you stay safe inside your homes. The definition of fleet is evolving. Ride-hailing companies such as Lyft own vehicles, but they’re also working to help drivers that own their own vehicles move into EVs. The young e-scooter companies also own large “fleets,” although not in the traditional sense .  Fleet leaders are also facing increasing pressure. Policies such as California’s Advanced Clean Truck rule are forcing organizations in the state to phase in zero-emission trucks and phase out fossil fuel-based ones. Progressive cities, many in Europe, are building zones in downtown centers that are banning fossil-fuel vehicles and incentivizing zero-emission models. A global company that wants to deliver goods to residents in cities such as London, Paris, Madrid and soon Santa Monica , California, will need zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) fleets or it will lose business. ZEVs are also an opportunity for fleets. Certain types of vehicles — including transit and school buses, delivery vans and light-duty cars — can save fleet owners considerable money when they’re switched to electric. Other types of fleets such as long-haul trucks will take a lot& longer to go electric.  One of the biggest concerns for fleet leaders is how to design, plan, deploy and manage the complicated infrastructure that sometimes can be required to charge or fuel various types of fleets. Investments in software and data, as well as building deep relationships with utilities, will be key to helping fleets navigate this daunting ecosystem. Another chief concern is a lack of electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicle models from major OEMs in the U.S. that fit fleets’ needs. Time and again, fleet leaders say there just aren’t enough ZEV vehicles available for them to buy, and the ones that are available are just too expensive without incentives right now. The pandemic has created unique challenges for fleets, including safety concerns for drivers, additional vehicle cleaning costs and the need to redesign operations around social distancing measures. But the pandemic also has shone a spotlight on just how important many of these fleets are — in midst of the most aggressive lockdowns, trucks were running lifesaving groceries and personal protective equipment to communities and hospitals across the U.S. So here’s our list, in alphabetical order, of 25 organizations taking important steps to decarbonize their fleets, buying (or planning to buy) new zero-emission vehicles and making the still-difficult choice to be an early adopter. The list includes public agencies, big corporations, small companies, school districts, utilities — it runs the gamut.  To hear from some of these fleet leaders — including Seattle’s Philip Saunders, Port Authority NY and NJ’s Christine Weydig, Anheuser-Busch’s Angie Slaughter, Walmart’s Zach Freeze, Amazon’s Ross Rachey, IKEA’s Angela Hultberg, FedEx’s Russ Musgrove, Genentech’s Andy Jefferson and Lime’s Andrew Savage — tune into VERGE 20 across the next five days. The keynotes are free, but you’ll need to buy a pass for the transportation deep-dive sessions .  Media Authorship Amazon Close Authorship Amazon Amazon’s domination of commerce and delivery means it’s got a lot of emissions from the vehicles that deliver orders to our doorsteps every day. But in early 2019, Amazon announced an industry-first for a delivery company: It pledged that half of all of its shipments would be net-zero carbon by 2030. The entire company (including transportation) will be net-zero carbon by 2040. In true Amazon form, the company has written its own vehicle playbook and disrupted the status quo. While many fleet managers are challenged to find vehicles available that they can buy, Amazon routed around that problem by investing in — and planning to buy — 100,000 electric trucks from startup Rivian. Will Rivian eventually be a division of Amazon? Maybe: It would make sense for Amazon to bring vehicle production in-house in its constant bid for vertical integration. But Amazon is also buying electric versions of the Mercedes-Benz sprinter van that dominates delivery markets. For now, we’re eagerly watching and waiting for more details about Amazon’s growing zero-emission and low-carbon vehicle fleet. Media Authorship Anheuser-Busch Close Authorship Anheuser-Busch Beer giant Anheuser-Busch, the U.S. subsidiary of AB InBev, delivers about a million shipments of its beer per year, largely in trucks carrying beers such as Budweiser and Stella Artois to grocery stores and bars around the U.S. Of course, all that trucking delivers a big greenhouse gas footprint: 10 percent of Anheuser-Busch’s carbon emissions come from transportation. But the beverage maker has a big sustainability plan and is taking a first-mover approach to decarbonizing its dedicated fleet of around 1,600 vehicles. The company has an order to buy up to 800 of Nikola Motor’s hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks and 40 Tesla Semi trucks. It could be one of the first fleets in the country to get long-haul zero-emission vehicles, and it has a plan to convert its entire long-haul dedicated fleet to ZEVs by 2025. At the same time, it’s already adopting renewable natural gas to power its natural gas trucks in its short-haul fleet.  Overall, Anheuser-Busch has a goal to slash carbon emissions by a quarter across its entire supply chain by 2025. Just a short five years away. An Antelope Valley Transit Authority bus on the road. Media Source Flickr Media Authorship Hiveminer Close Authorship Antelope Valley Transit Authority This summer, the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) — a transit organization that serves the Southern California cities of Lancaster and Palmdale — hit a milestone : 3 million miles of zero-emission bus operation. The group’s fleet consists of 93 buses, 61 of which are zero-emission buses, and the majority of those are BYD-made electric models. The transit authority was one of the first in the U.S. to make a major commitment to electric buses four years ago, partly thanks to its close proximity to the American headquarters of BYD in Lancaster. A former BYD exec even joined AVTA as its CEO and has helped lead the e-bus transition. AVTA says in addition to slashed carbon emissions and local air pollution, it’s been able to save 769,231 gallons of diesel fuel, the equivalent of more than $1 million in fuel cost savings.  Denver International Airport If you’ve ever flown through Denver’s International Airport, you know the city prides itself on its innovative design and customer-friendly amenities. But it’s also been aggressively adopting zero- and low-emission vehicles.  Our friends at 100 Best Fleets named Denver International Airport the second greenest fleet in America. It’s got close to 300 alternative-fueled vehicles, including electric, hybrid and natural gas buses, sweepers and light-duty vehicles. The airport also incentivizes hybrid taxis and vans by reducing their access fees to the airport. Airport shuttle buses are a key area where electric vehicles will be able to make a dent, given their dedicated and short routes. States such as California are mandating that its 13 largest airports move their shuttle buses to zero-emission operations by 2035. Media Authorship Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com Close Authorship Facebook Facebook might not be thought of as a fleet leader, but two years ago Facebook acquired 43 BYD-made electric on-campus shuttles that can carry employees across its sprawling complex. At the time, the social media giant leveraged a unique financing deal led by Generate Capital to lease the vehicles , lowering the upfront costs. Facebook says it’s investigating how it can electrify its commuter shuttle buses. Facebook started testing out a double-decker electric commuter shuttle bus last year and had planned to test more out this year. However, the pandemic and remote work has thrown a wrench into many companies’ commuter ZEV bus plans. An Earthsmart FedEx zero-emission all-electrical truck in Lower Manhattan on July 17, 2014.  FedEx Delivery trucks are a key type of vehicle ready for electrification. Bloomberg New Energy Finance earlier this year declared delivery trucks to be the “next segment to cross the tipping point” and an electric “killer app.”  FedEx, which has more than 100,000 vehicles in its Express division across the world, has been working on its zero-emission and low-carbon vehicle program for a couple of years. Two years ago, FedEx announced a partnership with startup Chanje to add 1,000 Chanje electric delivery vehicles to its fleet: 100 bought outright and 900 leased through Ryder. Chanje is also supplying FedEx with EV charging infrastructure  FedEx recently told the New York Times that it added close to 400 electric vehicles in its fleet internationally last year, which brought its total EVs to close to 3,000, including forklifts and airport ground service equipment.   One of Genentech’s electric buses, made by BYD. Media Authorship Genentech Close Authorship Genentech Biotech giant Genentech is a surprising fleet leader: It’s got the most aggressive electric commuter bus programs around, in addition to its other EV fleet goals. Two years ago, the company started running electric BYD-made commuter buses to move its employees across the sprawling San Francisco Bay Area — from as far north as Vacaville to as far south as San Jose — to its headquarters in South San Francisco. While many companies are hesitant to rely on EVs for such long routes, Genentech took the plunge. And the company says it is happy with the results. Today, Genentech is in the process of converting close to half of its 60 buses on batteries.  In addition to its electric commuter buses, Genentech has committed to converting its entire light-duty sales fleet of 1,200 cars to electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. IKEA is using an electric truck fleet in Shanghai to deliver its products to customers. Media Authorship IKEA Close Authorship Ingka Group (IKEA) Inkga Group, aka IKEA, has its own unique take on a ZEV fleet. The company doesn’t own its own vehicles, but its products are delivered via 10,000 vehicles globally, owned by delivery companies such as DHL and UPS. As a result, IKEA is using its large footprint to partner, push and pull its partners into ZEVs. IKEA says by 2025 all last-mile delivery of its goods will be done in electric vehicles. And by the end of this year (yes, 2020), IKEA says it will electrify its last-mile delivery in Shanghai, Paris, Los Angeles, New York and Amsterdam. It’s already happened in Shanghai and other cities are well underway. Los Angeles is proving a little more challenging, IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer Pia Heidenmark Cook said recently during a session at Climate Week. But if companies don’t push themselves, they won’t make progress. LeasePlan Netherlands-based LeasePlan is a large fleet management company that mostly operates in Europe but also has a solid presence in the U.S. We’re including the company because it was a founding member of the Climate Group’s EV100 Program and because of its first-of-its-kind ZEV fleet commitment.  The company has pledged to zero out its emissions for all of its customers’ fleets — at a whopping 1.8 million vehicles — by 2030. What’s more, it also plans to electrify its own employee fleet by 2021. These kinds of commitments are still unheard of broadly in the U.S. Europe is moving at a much faster trajectory toward electric vehicles than the U.S., despite the U.S.’s being the birthplace to EV leader Tesla. Many European countries and cities are committing to provide incentives for electric vehicles and banning fossil-fuel ones from city centers. Lime’s 3.0 scooter. Media Authorship Lime Close Authorship Lime Lime is our wildcard on the top fleets list. The electric scooter company operates a fleet of well over 100,000 electric scooters, as well as owned and leased trucks and vans that the company uses to move around its scooters.  Earlier this year, Lime pledged  — as part of the EV100 — to transition its entire fleet of vehicles to electric by 2030. It’s already powering its scooters and operations with clean energy as well as buying carbon offsets to neutralize emissions. Recently Lime also announced a partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation, which include programs around education, advocacy and carbon innovation. Next up for Lime? The scooter company is looking at new warehouse space where it can optimize charging infrastructure for an electric fleet. It’s also partnered with Ceres to help advocate for policies that will support a transition to electric fleets. Electrify America and Lyft partnered to bring chargers to Lyft EV drivers in Denver. Media Source Courtesy of Media Authorship Electrify America Close Authorship Lyft Electrifying ride-hailing will be tricky, given most ride-hailing drivers own their own vehicles. But this summer, ride-hailing giant Lyft announced it plans to transition to 100 percent electric vehicles — both for the vehicles it owns and driver-owned vehicles — by 2030. It’ll take a big lift, a lot of outside-the-box thinking and major policy support to get there. But the time is now, and Uber set a similar goal after Lyft. Some policies are moving the ride-hailing giants in that direction. Cities, many of them in Europe, are setting incentives and mandates to ban fossil-fuel vehicles and transition to zero-emission vehicles in city centers. States such as California are setting specific rules for the ride-hailing companies to track and reduce their emissions. City of Oakland The city of Oakland in California has a long history of setting climate and sustainability goals, and in 2003 adopted a green fleet policy. As a result of a holistic and innovative approach, the city — which uses 1,500 types of vehicles — no longer uses diesel-powered vehicles and is using a combination of low-carbon fuels, compressed natural gas and electric vehicles. Its circular renewable diesel fueling system is unique in the country. It takes waste grease and oils from local businesses and its partner Neste converts them to renewable diesel, which then powers many of Oakland’s trucks. Richard Battersby, assistant director at Oakland Public Works, is a leader in the green fleet space for his work on Oakland’s fleet. This summer, Oakland adopted an equitable climate plan with ambitious targets for 2030, calling for a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gases relative to 2005 levels. The end goal is carbon neutrality.  PG&E Northern California’s Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has spent the last few years building out an electric fleet of 1,360 electric vehicles to add to the thousands of other vehicles in its low-carbon fleet that use sources such as natural gas and biodiesel. The company uses vehicles such as pickup trucks, bucket trucks and light-duty vehicles for various operations. PG&E’s goal is to electrify 100 percent of its light-duty vehicles, 10 percent of its medium-duty vehicles and 5 percent of its heavy-duty vehicles. There are particular challenges with battery range when it comes to electrifying heavy-duty emergency response vehicles and other work vehicles that don’t have unpredictable and lengthy routes. In addition to transforming its own fleet, PG&E is supporting the uptake of EVs for its 23,000 employees and has installed more than 1,230 charging stations at its facilities. It makes sense for utilities to be early adopters of fleet electrification, given they are helping their customers make a similar transition and need to learn their customers’ experience. PepsiCo Global beverage behemoth PepsiCo has an overarching goal to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2030. It’s got a lot of work to do across packaging, water, the sources for its products and — its fleet. The company runs vehicles such as long-haul trucks, yard trucks and forklifts to move its various products — from soft drinks to snacks to bottled water — across the globe. PepsiCo is building out a pilot facility with various low-carbon and electric vehicles at its Frito Lay campus in Modesto, California. The site, leveraging state incentives, will use 15 electric Tesla Semi Trucks, six electric Peterbilt e220 straight trucks, three BYD electric yard trucks, 12 BYD electric forklifts and 38 Volvo natural gas trucks fueled by renewable natural gas. The facility also will deploy charging and fueling infrastructure as well as solar and onsite battery storage. Media Source Flickr Media Authorship PGE Close Authorship Portland General Electric In September, Portland-based utility Portland General Electric announced that it plans to electrify large portions of its 1,167 vehicles. It already has 91 EVs in use, but the new commitment will deploy 600 electric vehicles and retire 600 fossil fuel-burning vehicles over the next 10 years. The goal is for its fleet to be 61 percent electric within a decade. Like with Pacific Gas & Electric, the really heavy-duty trucks — bucket trucks and dump trucks — will be the hardest to electrify, and Portland General Electric plans to transition 30 percent of those. Beyond fleet electrification, Portland General Electric has been a leader when it comes to trying to proactively find ways to enable the EVs on its network to be a net benefit. It’s been building out smart grid tech and testing out a virtual power plant . The company’s electric vehicles go hand-in-hand with its clean energy goals, and Portland General Electric expects to serve half of its customers with renewable-generated electricity by 2022.  Port Authority New York and New Jersey Port Authority New York and New Jersey has the largest electric bus fleet on the East Coast, including 36 buses and 19 chargers, at the region’s three biggest airports. The organization recently said it had reached its goal to have a 100 percent electric bus fleet by the end of this year (close to three months early). Beyond the bus fleet, 130 of the organization’s light-duty vehicles, used by employees and police officers, are electric. By 2023, Port Authority says over 600 — or 50 percent of its light-duty fleet — will be electric.  Port Authority’s fleet goals are all part of its overarching plan to reach a 35 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050. Salt River Project Tempe, Arizona-based Salt River Project (SRP) provides electricity and power to 1 million residents in central Arizona. The company has spent the past six years investigating and piloting electric vehicle tech for its employees, its fleet and its customers.  Today, SRP uses close to 200 electric vehicles, both on-road and offroad, including light-duty vehicles, bucket trucks, forklifts and utility carts. The organization also has the largest workplace EV charging program in Arizona, with close to 200 employees driving plug-in vehicles to SRP’s facility. SRP says this program is expected to grow to 450 employees (or 7 percent of its workforce) over the next five years. Down the road, SRP’s goals are to electrify 100 percent of its sedan fleet by the end of 2021 and reduce 30 percent of its fleet emissions by 2035. In addition, SRP expects 500,000 customers using EVs by 2035, and it will build plans and programs to help charge 90 percent of those customers’ EV loads.  Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority The Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority, which provides buses, light rail, paratransit and BART stations for greater Silicon Valley, has been an early transit group to codify sustainability goals, to implement clean energy technologies and, two years ago, to deploy electric buses.  In 2018, VTA put its first five electric buses , built by Proterra and using DC fast charging infrastructure made by Chargepoint, into service. The company has plans to procure 35 more electric buses over the next several years, on its way to meeting California’s mandate that says all transit buses must be zero-emission by 2040. VTA closely tracks its energy use for its fleet. Its goals are to reduce its fleet’s energy consumption by 35 percent below 2009 levels by 2025 and 60 percent by 2040.  Schneider Electric Earlier this year, energy company Schneider Electric announced that it’s joining the Climate Group’s EV100 program and will transition its entire 14,000 vehicle fleet to electric by 2030. The company is based in France but has operations across the globe. The company sells EV charging equipment and software, among many other energy and grid products, so it makes sense for it to use this huge commitment to learn more about what its customers are experiencing. Schneider Electric is also installing EV charging equipment at its facilities for its employees.            City of Seattle Over the last decade, the greater Puget Sound region has been looking to reduce its carbon emissions from transportation, which accounts for 60 percent of its total emissions. Alongside that regional issue, the city of Seattle has an aggressive and multi-pronged green fleet strategy for its over 6,000 vehicles, across departments such as police, fire and utilities.  Seattle’s future fleet goals include cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025 and using only fossil-fuel-free vehicles by 2030. The fleet team, led by Philip Saunders, is looking to rapidly electrify, build out EV charging infrastructure, aggressively reduce fuel use, swap in low-carbon fuels for certain types of vehicles and pilot technologies that are not yet cost-effective or widely available. The company uses a wide range of technologies including renewable diesel, biodiesel, propane and EVs.  Twin Rivers School District Three years ago, Twin Rivers School District in California became one of the first school districts in the U.S. to deploy electric school buses. Today the organization operates 35 electric school buses, and over the next three years it plans to convert the bulk of its fleet, or 91 school buses, to electric. In the interim, Twin Rivers has natural gas buses, some of which run on renewable natural gas, and is running all of its diesel buses on renewable diesel from Neste . Following the switch to renewable diesel, it’s entire fleet is fossil-fuel-free.  Twin Rivers Director of Transportation Tim Shannon told GreenBiz in an interview earlier this year that the organization is already using the electric buses to pilot the vehicle-to-grid technology with Sacramento Municipal Utility District. It’s not just about cool tech, though. Shannon explains: “Our green bus program is taking an area that is highly densely populated, we’re transporting a lot of kids, we’re a disadvantaged community and a high rate of air pollution. We’re lowering all that, and we’re making it an eco-friendly place to live.” Look how happy everyone is in this Uber! Uber Following Lyft’s announcement, Uber revealed that it, too, plans to transition to an all zero-emission fleet. Uber says it will reach that goal by 2040. First, it will have 100 percent of its rides in the U.S., Canada and Europe, be electric by 2030.  Uber already has made progress in cities such as London, where it’s moving to an all-electric fleet. Uber says it will commit $800 million to help drivers on its platform move to EVs by 2025. The company also operates scooters and bikes, and its app encourages riders to use public transit.  The ride-hailing giants need to move to ZEV as cities and states pressure them with mandates. The California Air Resources Board recently found that the carbon emissions of Uber and Lyft’s vehicle fleet per passenger mile is over 50 percent higher than regular cars driving on the roads.  Unilever The consumer product company, based in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, says it will commit its entire global fleet of 11,000 vehicles to electric by 2030 as part of the Climate Group’s EV100 program. Its interim goals are 25 percent EV or hybrid by 2020, and 50 percent by 2025. Unilever has broader sustainability goals beyond its fleet, which include becoming “carbon positive” in its operations by 2030; 100 percent of its energy will come from renewables.  The UPS Rolling Laboratory of about 9,300 alternative vehicles includes more than 1,000 electric and hybrid electric delivery trucks in cities worldwide. Source: UPS UPS For several years UPS has been operating its “rolling laboratory” approach to piloting and deploying low-carbon and electric vehicles. Of its fleet of 125,000 package vans, trucks, motorcycles and tractors, UPS has 10,300 alternative-fuels vehicles, and it’s done a substantial project in London with smart grid tech and EVs. Earlier this year, UPS kicked its EV plans into overdrive. UPS announced it plans to buy 10,000 electric vehicles from partner Arrival, purpose-built for UPS. At the same time, UPS made an investment in the startup through its venture arm, UPS Ventures.  The strategy is similar to Amazon’s move with Rivian. The OEMs haven’t been producing the vehicles that these large fleets want and need, so the biggest companies are diving into the supply chain to help create their own. Media Source Courtesy of Media Authorship Walmart Close Authorship Walmart Walmart is just starting its green fleet journey but kicked off the move with a bang by announcing in late 2020 hat it would transition its entire fleet to zero emissions by 2040, including its long-haul trucks. Up until now, much of Walmart’s strategy has been around piloting technology, adopting some zero-emission vehicles at its Canadian facility and aggressively adopting fuel-efficiency measures. Walmart has a fleet of over 10,000 vehicles including 6,500 semi-trucks and 4,000 passenger vehicles. Walmart’s senior director of strategic initiatives and sustainability at Walmart, Zach Freeze, told GreenBiz that “more needs to be done,” and Walmart wants to set the ambitious goal of zero-emission across the company. “In order to get to zero, we need to transition the fleet,” Freeze said.  Topics Transportation & Mobility Fleet Management Shipping & Logistics VERGE 20 Clean Fleets Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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Walmart drives toward zero-emission goal for its entire fleet by 2040

September 23, 2020 by  
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Walmart drives toward zero-emission goal for its entire fleet by 2040 Katie Fehrenbacher Wed, 09/23/2020 – 01:50 If you needed any more evidence that America’s vehicle fleets are driving toward zero-emission status, it’s this: Walmart just announced that it will electrify and zero out emissions from all Walmart vehicles, including long haul trucks, by 2040.  That includes more than 10,000 vehicles, including 6,500 semi-trucks and 4,000 passenger vehicles. Up until this point, Walmart largely had emphasized fuel efficiency , although it also ordered several dozen Tesla electric semi-trucks for a Canadian fulfillment center.  Why the change? Zach Freeze, senior director of strategic initiatives and sustainability at Walmart, told GreenBiz that “more needs to be done,” and Walmart wanted to set the ambitious goal of zero emission “In order to get to zero, we need to transition the fleet,” Freeze said.  The semi-trucks will be the trickiest vehicles to adopt zero emission technologies, be that batteries, hydrogen or alternative fuels. Some heavy-duty truck fleets are opting for swapping in alternative fuels today, while the electric semi-truck market matures (check out this webcast I’m hosting Oct. 1 on the city of Oakland’s circular renewable diesel project). Expect Walmart’s 4,000 passenger vehicles to go electric much more quickly. Passenger EVs today can help fleets reduce their operating costs (less diesel fuel used) and maintenance costs, leading to overall lower costs for the fleets.  Walmart is just at the beginning of its zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) journey, but the strategy with its announcement is to “send a signal” to the market. “We want to see ZEV technology scaled, and we want to be on the front lines of that trend,” Freeze said.  Jason Mather, director of vehicles and freight strategy for the Environmental Defense Fund, described Walmart’s new goals in a release as “a critical signal to the industry that the future is zero-emissions.” However, these commitments only cover Scope 1 and 2 zero-emission commitments, not Scope 3. Of course, Walmart isn’t the only big company using ZEV goals to send market signals. Last year, Amazon announced an overall goal to deliver all of its goods via net-zero carbon shipments, and the retailer plans to purchase 100,000 electric trucks via startup Rivian.  Utility fleets will be another key buyer for electric trucks. Oregon utility Portland General Electric tells GreenBiz it plans to electrify just over 60 percent of its entire fleet by 2030. Utilities commonly use modified pick-up trucks, SUVs, bucket trucks, flatbed trucks and dump trucks. PGE says that 100 percent of its class 1 trucks (small pickups, sedans, SUVs) will be electric by 2025, while 30 percent of its heavy-duty trucks will be electric by 2030. Its entire fleet includes more than 1,000 vehicles. “It’s really important for us as a utility to be doing this. At the end of the day, we’ll be serving our customers’ electric fleet loads,” said Aaron Milano, product portfolio manager for transportation electrification at PGE. “It’s necessary that we learn and help our customers through this process.” I’ll be interviewing PGE CEO Maria Pope at our upcoming VERGE 20 conference , which will run half days across the last week in October, virtually of course. Tune in for a combination of keynotes and interactive discussions with leaders such as IKEA’s Angela Hultberg, Apple’s Lisa Jackson, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Amazon’s Kara Hurst, InBev’s Angie Slaughter, the city of Seattle’s Philip Saunders and the Port Authority New York and New Jersey’s Christine Weydig.  Topics Transportation & Mobility Clean Fleets Featured Column Driving Change Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Courtesy of Walmart Close Authorship

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Walmart drives toward zero-emission goal for its entire fleet by 2040

A corporate water strategy manifesto: We can and will do better

September 23, 2020 by  
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A corporate water strategy manifesto: We can and will do better Will Sarni Wed, 09/23/2020 – 01:30 We have decided to craft this brief manifesto to challenge the status quo, accelerate innovation, solve wicked water problems and achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” The pandemic has strengthened our resolve to do better. Our observations and point of view for 2020 so far are: The pandemic has been an accelerator of trends, such as the digital transformation of the water sector, attention on lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and the appalling underinvestment in water infrastructure in the U.S. and globally. The recent interest and commitment to water pledges has diverted scarce resources and funds from actions such as watershed conservation and protection, reuse, technology innovation and adoption, public policy innovation, etc. The corporate sector has too narrow of a view of the opportunities to solve wicked water challenges. We no longer can be silent on the tradeoff between pledges versus actions. The belief that more of the same is unacceptable. We also believe that scale of investment in solving wicked water problems is grossly inadequate, whether at the watershed level, supply chain, operations or engagement on public policy and with civil society. The statistics on water scarcity, poor quality, inequity and lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene remain appalling and unacceptable. We held these beliefs before the pandemic, which have only accelerated this year and prompted us to share our view. Most important, the statistics on water scarcity, poor quality, inequity and lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene remain appalling and unacceptable. For example: About 4 billion people, representing nearly two-thirds of the world population, experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year ( Mekonnen and Hoekstra, 2016 ). 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030 ( Global Water Institute, 2013 ). Globally, it is likely that over 80 percent of wastewater is released to the environment without adequate treatment ( UNESCO, 2017 ). The World Resources Institute has revised its predictions of the water supply-demand deficit to 56 percent by 2030. Our intention is not to offend or not acknowledge the work done to date by those dedicated to solving water. Instead, it is to push all of us towards doing better together, not more of the same. All of us means the private sector, governments and civil society (community groups, NGOs, labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations and foundations). None of us is doing the job required fast enough. We realize this is hard, complex work and that your efforts are important. We do believe the answers exist but not the fortitude to take on big water risks and make the necessary investments. So, consider the questions below and let’s do more, invest more and scale efficient and effective solutions. Less talk, more action. For businesses: Is sustainability and water stewardship integrated into your business or is it a fringe activity from a sustainability, corporate social responsibility or water team? Does it support your business strategy? If the answer is no, your efforts will be underfunded and understaffed because they, at best, create partial business value. How many “non-sustainability” colleagues from other areas of your business participated in sustainability or water-related conferences/webinars over the last five years? If not many, see the question above. Do you have a water replenishment/balance/neutrality/positive goal? If yes, why, and do you believe these goals actually solve water problems at scale and speed to have an impact? Did you commit to these goals because your competitors have done so, for communications, or to drive the needed improvements at the local level? Is your goal designed to improve access to water and sanitation for everyone at a very local level? Asked another way, in five or 10 years when you claim success, will you have really improved water security in that basin? Can you more effectively use your resources to improve water policies or leverage resources by working collaboratively with others? Water is not carbon, it isn’t fungible and as a result, achieving water-neutral or water-positive goals can be misaligned with watershed impacts. We believe these kinds of goals are complex and can lead to chasing numbers that may not yield the desired business, environmental and community benefits. See WWF for important considerations before developing and issuing them. For all: Are the pledges, memberships and carefully worded water stewardship statements and goals on path to produce the necessary long-term results? Do we really need more private-sector pledges? How about fewer pledges, more actions? In the last five years, from all the water conferences you attended, how many ideas did you take back and implement? Why not take those travel dollars you’re saving in 2020 and what you’ll save in the future because you found new ways to work and invest in actions with others at the basin level? We believe in learning by doing. When did you last talk with a government agency in charge of water or wastewater about improving policies (allocations, cost of water, enforcement of water quality standards, development, tax dollars for green and grey infrastructure, etc.)? We believe improving water-related policies is the ultimate prize, and we need to start taking action, now. How much time do you spend on positioning your organization as a water stewardship leader? Too often, we sustainability professionals at NGOs, businesses and trade organizations get bogged down with labor-intensive marketing and communication efforts instead of focusing on execution. Let your actions speak for themselves. The bottom line: Less talk, more action and investment. Let’s recommit and focus so we can solve water in our lifetime. It is possible. Pull Quote The statistics on water scarcity, poor quality, inequity and lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene remain appalling and unacceptable. Contributors Hugh Share Topics Water Efficiency & Conservation Water Scarcity Water Operations Featured Column Liquid Assets Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock

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A corporate water strategy manifesto: We can and will do better

A corporate water strategy manifesto: We can and will do better

September 23, 2020 by  
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A corporate water strategy manifesto: We can and will do better Will Sarni Wed, 09/23/2020 – 01:30 We have decided to craft this brief manifesto to challenge the status quo, accelerate innovation, solve wicked water problems and achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” The pandemic has strengthened our resolve to do better. Our observations and point of view for 2020 so far are: The pandemic has been an accelerator of trends, such as the digital transformation of the water sector, attention on lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and the appalling underinvestment in water infrastructure in the U.S. and globally. The recent interest and commitment to water pledges has diverted scarce resources and funds from actions such as watershed conservation and protection, reuse, technology innovation and adoption, public policy innovation, etc. The corporate sector has too narrow of a view of the opportunities to solve wicked water challenges. We no longer can be silent on the tradeoff between pledges versus actions. The belief that more of the same is unacceptable. We also believe that scale of investment in solving wicked water problems is grossly inadequate, whether at the watershed level, supply chain, operations or engagement on public policy and with civil society. The statistics on water scarcity, poor quality, inequity and lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene remain appalling and unacceptable. We held these beliefs before the pandemic, which have only accelerated this year and prompted us to share our view. Most important, the statistics on water scarcity, poor quality, inequity and lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene remain appalling and unacceptable. For example: About 4 billion people, representing nearly two-thirds of the world population, experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year ( Mekonnen and Hoekstra, 2016 ). 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030 ( Global Water Institute, 2013 ). Globally, it is likely that over 80 percent of wastewater is released to the environment without adequate treatment ( UNESCO, 2017 ). The World Resources Institute has revised its predictions of the water supply-demand deficit to 56 percent by 2030. Our intention is not to offend or not acknowledge the work done to date by those dedicated to solving water. Instead, it is to push all of us towards doing better together, not more of the same. All of us means the private sector, governments and civil society (community groups, NGOs, labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations and foundations). None of us is doing the job required fast enough. We realize this is hard, complex work and that your efforts are important. We do believe the answers exist but not the fortitude to take on big water risks and make the necessary investments. So, consider the questions below and let’s do more, invest more and scale efficient and effective solutions. Less talk, more action. For businesses: Is sustainability and water stewardship integrated into your business or is it a fringe activity from a sustainability, corporate social responsibility or water team? Does it support your business strategy? If the answer is no, your efforts will be underfunded and understaffed because they, at best, create partial business value. How many “non-sustainability” colleagues from other areas of your business participated in sustainability or water-related conferences/webinars over the last five years? If not many, see the question above. Do you have a water replenishment/balance/neutrality/positive goal? If yes, why, and do you believe these goals actually solve water problems at scale and speed to have an impact? Did you commit to these goals because your competitors have done so, for communications, or to drive the needed improvements at the local level? Is your goal designed to improve access to water and sanitation for everyone at a very local level? Asked another way, in five or 10 years when you claim success, will you have really improved water security in that basin? Can you more effectively use your resources to improve water policies or leverage resources by working collaboratively with others? Water is not carbon, it isn’t fungible and as a result, achieving water-neutral or water-positive goals can be misaligned with watershed impacts. We believe these kinds of goals are complex and can lead to chasing numbers that may not yield the desired business, environmental and community benefits. See WWF for important considerations before developing and issuing them. For all: Are the pledges, memberships and carefully worded water stewardship statements and goals on path to produce the necessary long-term results? Do we really need more private-sector pledges? How about fewer pledges, more actions? In the last five years, from all the water conferences you attended, how many ideas did you take back and implement? Why not take those travel dollars you’re saving in 2020 and what you’ll save in the future because you found new ways to work and invest in actions with others at the basin level? We believe in learning by doing. When did you last talk with a government agency in charge of water or wastewater about improving policies (allocations, cost of water, enforcement of water quality standards, development, tax dollars for green and grey infrastructure, etc.)? We believe improving water-related policies is the ultimate prize, and we need to start taking action, now. How much time do you spend on positioning your organization as a water stewardship leader? Too often, we sustainability professionals at NGOs, businesses and trade organizations get bogged down with labor-intensive marketing and communication efforts instead of focusing on execution. Let your actions speak for themselves. The bottom line: Less talk, more action and investment. Let’s recommit and focus so we can solve water in our lifetime. It is possible. Pull Quote The statistics on water scarcity, poor quality, inequity and lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene remain appalling and unacceptable. Contributors Hugh Share Topics Water Efficiency & Conservation Water Scarcity Water Operations Featured Column Liquid Assets Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock

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A corporate water strategy manifesto: We can and will do better

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