The Township of Langley has been awarded a gold ranking from the E3 Green Fleet Program in recognition of its environmentally friendly and efficient fleet.
The municipality previously held a silver rating in 2008.
Its fleet was the first in B.C. and only the third in Canada to reach that standard at the time.
"We are really pleased that our continued efforts paid off and we were able to surpass our previous E3 level," said Township community energy manager Ryan Schmidt.
"The Township hopes this news will encourage other fleets in our community to take a closer look at their vehicles to identify opportunities for improvement," he said. "In addition to environmental benefits, significant cost benefits are possible."
The national E3 Fleet program was established in 2006 by the non-profit Fraser Basin Council, in partnership with Western Economic Diversification Canada and the BC Ministry of Environment.
The program encourages municipalities to create greener, eco-friendly fleets of vehicles, equipment, and machinery that reduce their impact on the environment while saving money.
As part of the E3 Energy, Environment, Excellence initiative, Township of Langley equipment maintenance manager John McQueen and his staff developed a fleet action plan, provided fuel-efficient drivers' training for employees, and made changes to vehicle purchasing, operations, and maintenance programs.
Eco-friendly fuel biodiesel was introduced, an antiidling campaign was undertaken, and larger vehicles were replaced with smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles such as Smart Cars and Hybrids.
As well, GPS tracking systems were installed to help with route planning and fuel management.
Since achieving silver, McQueen and his staff have been making further improvements with the goal of reaching a higher level in the program. The fleet was recently re-audited, and on Aug. 19, the improved E3 gold ranking was announced.
"Given that the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in our community come from vehicles, it is important for the Township to show that improvements are always possible when we look at what we are driving and how we are operating and maintaining it," said McQueen.
In achieving E3 gold, the Township showed an improvement in overall fleet fuel efficiency of 0.3 litres/100km and a reduction in annual fuel consumption of about 14,000 litres - achieved despite an increase in fleet size by seven units since 2008.
"An E3 Gold Rating is an accolade to be proud of," E3 Fleet Program assistant manager Charlotte Argue said in a letter to Langley
Township staff. "This rating reflects the outstanding work being done to improve the environmental and economic performance of your fleet, and shows the continued dedication of you and your team."
The Township has a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified Civic Facility. A member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Partners for Climate Protection, the Township initiated a corporate action plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, developed B.C.'s first Water Management Plan, and is a signatory to the province's Climate Action Charter, committing to more energy efficient and sustainable communities.
In recognition of its leadership in fleet management, the Township has been profiled by the province of BC on its Climate Action Toolkit website, at toolkit.bc.ca/success-story/langleys-e3-fleet-program-success.
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