2011 Case Study/Success Story
Presented By: GREATER WASHINGTON REGION CLEAN CITIES COALITION
Topic Increasing Knowledge and Acceptance for Alternative Fuels/Vehicles Among Local College and University Fleets in DC Metro Region
Coalition Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC)
Description of Project and Accomplishments
- Research and report on feasibility for local universities to engage in joint procurement of biodiesel fuel for fleet use.
- Develop a preliminary assessment, report, and/or slideshow outlining the best practices and guidelines for use and handling of biodiesel fuels in campus environment
- Disseminate information to fleet managers and other decision-makers at each participating University.
- In addition to Georgetown University, the other colleges and universities includes George Washington University, American University, Howard University, University of Maryland, the University of the District of Columbia and the University of the District of Columbia College.
- Staff support will be provided to lead institution (Georgetown University) by GWRCCC in conjunction with its Internship program
The project under leadership of James A. Reuter, GWRCCC board member and Vice President for Special Projects, Georgetown University led the first meeting of the area university fleets and sustainability officers, in which GWRCC has become an active participant. The purpose of this alliance is to push forward the agenda of driving the demand for alternative fuel vehicles and fuels with educational institutions in the DC region. The goal is to share knowledge with local academia on providing greening their fleets and to set in motion a process whereby other colleges and universities and coalitions may be encouraged to start similar initiatives. The collaboration began in early summer of this year with the first meeting held at Georgetown University campus. GWRCCC assigned its intern to support the project for a period of four weeks and also assisted with bringing in speakers on AFV topics of interest.
Highlights of Accomplishments
Cooperative Purchasing – American University is taking the lead in working with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments regional fuel-buying cooperative purchasing department. Others are utilizing cooperative state run programs as well.
The focus is to utilize this service to address the collective consumer demand for biodiesel for the schools’ mutual benefit – for example, through joint purchasing for reduced pricing, and ensuring developing a means to establish acceptable standard of fuel quality from suppliers.
Training Opportunities – Following the organizational meeting, University fleets held its next meeting at the University of Maryland, College park to learn more about electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. A presentation was provided by a local vendor followed by questions and answers periods, and discussions and how the colleges and universities could best utilize electric vehicles in their respective fleets. Also, UMD demonstrated its newly installed charging stations located as at its central parking facility. Several electric vehicles were demonstrated along with operational aspects of the charging station.
With research and administrative support provided GWRCCC’s intern, under Georgetown’s sustainability office, a joint publication was produced and disseminated entitled “Bio-Do’s and Bio-Don’ts: Bio-fuel Best Practices for Colleges and Universities” (see attached copy).
Future meetings will address issues dealing various aspects of alternative fuels and vehicles, such as ethanol, compressed natural gas (CNG), electric vehicles, biofuels, bio heating, and hybrids.
Participation of this joint program has involved offices of sustainability and fleet managers from the various participants.
Significance of Accomplishments
- Establishing and increasing new stakeholder partnership base involving local colleges and university in a mutually beneficial manner which is a first for the GWRCCC/DC metro region
- Promoting and increasing awareness and acceptance of use of AFVs and fuels among local colleges and universities
- Exploring ways to reduce fuel costs thru use of regional cooperative purchasing arrangements
Lessons Learned include the following:
- Think outside the box and collaborate with parties with divergent but mutual interests.
- Push ideas to broaden the stakeholder base with new or different institutions
- Local colleges and universities are highly interested and motivating in pushing the use clean energy vehicles and fuels as part of their core mission which includes overall sustainability efforts
- Be persistent in identifying areas of mutual interest and work hard to gain participation of minority educational institutions
Next Steps will include the following:
- Continue to collaborate on areas and joint participation in coalition projects
- Support the updating and dissemination of the “Bio-fuels Best Practices…”
Where to Find More Information:
Audrey Stewart, Audrey Stewart, MCRP
Program Coordinator for Sustainability
Office of the Senior Vice President
Claude Willis, Deputy Director
GWRCCC, 202-671-1579 or firstname.lastname@example.org