Fiscal restraint is a reality when it comes to administering public funds, and the City of Vancouver takes that responsibility seriously. It also takes its commitment to being a “green” city just as seriously, setting a goal to be the world’s greenest city by 2020.
One strategy to reduce vehicle emissions is to challenge fleet managers to cut the aggregate consumption of fuel burned by vehicles they manage.
In Vancouver, fleet managers have been asked to implement strategies to immediately reduce fuel consumption by 5% this year without relying upon technology; those strategies will come later as the reduction targets grow substantially over the next few years.
So how to burn less fuel without reducing services to taxpayers? Garbage still needs to be picked up and the police still need to patrol the streets. Creating fuel-efficiency awareness in drivers and abandoning outdated fuel-wasting practices are two immediate tactics that can be applied with little or no cost.
Drivers need to rethink bad habits, such as unnecessary idling and redundant trips. Cutting the engine while awaiting a load of gravel is the new “normal.” Trip planning and trip bundling are also expectations in the eco world.
Other fuel-saving strategies include relocating vehicles to minimize the amount of travel needed to get to worksites, and providing services – such as refueling – closer to work yards. It’s highly wasteful to drive across town to fill a tank when closer alternatives exist.
Pulling 5% out of the rate of fuel consumption is for the most part, proving fairly simple to do but bigger targets require bigger plans. Those strategies will involve technology, such as adopting alternate forms of energy to power vehicles.
Hybrid? Fuel cell? EV? Everything’s on the board for consideration and discussion in Vancouver’s goal to be the world’s greenest city by 2020. And of course, fiscal responsibility must be maintained. We can’t simply buy our way to green.
|Photo: Rob Rothwell/Auto123.com