Austin Bridge and Road has been awarded the first Green Fleet Certification by AEMP. In demonstrating its commitment to a cleaner environment, ABR showed 88 percent of its off-road fleet met a condition of being Tier 2 or better, qualifying the company for Bronze Certification, the first level in the four-tiered Green Fleet Certification program.
Equipment director Mike Munson said the certification carries several benefits, but most important to him is the chance for the company to stand out to customers in its design-build and federal pursuits.
“We also want to highlight the benefits of our youthful fleet,” Munson said. “Our fleet averages just over five years for more than 500 pieces of equipment.”
Munson received the certification on behalf of his entire team, and plans to keep up efforts in the program, with the next goal to be achieving Silver Certification.
“Certainly we are pursuing the next level of certification,” Munson said. “We’re currently working on implementing an effective idle policy in the near future, which would bring us up to Silver status.”
The Green Fleet Certification Initiative is an industry-wide program created by AEMP in an effort to increase public awareness of the industry’s efforts in the way of environmental care. The program also serves to educate, incentivize and recognize individual fleets for their efforts.
The Green Fleet Certification Initiative was first developed as a way for mixed fleets across the nation to demonstrate and gain benefit for their commitment to a cleaner environment. As the program evolved, AEMP recognized the constant struggle fleet managers face managing new emission regulations, and documenting their progress in meeting them.
“Equipment managers and their fleets are facing an atmosphere with ever increasing and ever changing emissions requirements, and fleets often aren’t recognized for the progress they’ve made over the decade,” Stan Orr, CAE, AEMP president and CEO said. “AEMP is answering this industry need by recognizing a range of green fleet levels and encouraging those same fleets to take their commitment a step further.”
Four defined levels of certification are offered in the program, which Orr says is meant to challenge, yet realistically allow all fleets to achieve a level of Green Fleet status, regardless of size or funding.
“We want to incentivize and acknowledge companies for taking even the first step towards a greener fleet. That’s why we created four levels of certification,” Orr explained. “Our goal is to offer recognition and certification to all fleets trying to implement green practices, not just the ones who can afford to take the biggest steps, such as upgrading their entire fleet to Tier IV.”
Orr also points out the need to change the public’s inaccurate image of fleets as a primary cause of air pollution as another primary focus of the initiative.
“Fleets are viewed by the public, often unfairly, as the leading contributors to greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “AEMP is looking to bring a more favorable, accurate impression of heavy equipment fleets to the public.” Orr strongly feels a big step in achieving this goal is creating awareness, and doing so by commending those fleets and fleet managers who actively pursue a greener fleet.
Beyond achieving recognition, voluntary green fleet investment allows fleets to take advantage of federal funds to relieve costs associated with reducing emissions. Green Fleet status also gives participating companies a competitive edge in the industry. Across the country, green products and services are in high demand, and those who have achieved Green Fleet status will have a distinct advantage over competitors.
“We feel achieving Green Fleet certification benefits the fleet in several ways, not just the prestige and recognition,” Orr stated. “It’s our belief that it also will give them a competitive advantage in situations like bidding a job. Mr. Munson further reinforced this idea, that Green Fleet status is a notable accolade and an impressive one to tout.”
Finally, Orr points out that the Green Fleet Initiative can help the entire company, by boosting employee health, morale and productivity.
“A decrease in emissions has been shown to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. So the program’s benefits extend across the entire organization, creating a more efficient, productive company,” he said.