Local governments have direct control over fleet management, operation, and procurement. The strategies required to successfully reduce GHG emissions are already developed and well-documented. By targeting GHG reductions local governments can influence employee satisfaction, health, and safety and extend these benefits into the community, all while reducing annual spending and improving management capabilities.
Plans | Policies | Projects | Processes
Different Sized Local Governments
Small and large local governments face different challenges in successfully implementing climate action plans. In all cases, success with any of these measures requires local governments to gain active participation from employees and different departments. Employee and stakeholder input are vital to gaining buy-in and seeing marked changes in behavioural patterns. Input is also useful for generating the most robust and implementable plans possible.
Smaller Local Governments
Smaller local governments have fewer people to consult. Smaller teams tend to make decision making easier and the local government's responsiveness more swift, making implementation decisions and actions easier. However, smaller local government fleet managers often having crosscutting priorities as they are responsible for other local government sectors, such as waste or buildings. This additional scope can make taking priority actions on fleets more difficult. The important thing to remember is that if reducing GHG emissions is a priority within your local government, you must address your fleet operations.
Larger Local Governments
Larger local governments often have an employee or team dedicated to fleet management along with extra resources such as software, labour, and financial support. However, they also have more employees and stakeholders to engage, get input from, and gain buy-in from. More vehicles, more responsibilities, and larger staff teams increase the complexity and time required to undertake fuel efficient fleet management. Larger governments will still see great success, but will need to use their extra resources to push harder and ensure plans are implemented.
Fortunately, all sizes of local governments have opportunities to garner extra support. Temporary or part-time students or employees are an excellent resource to work on fleet management, given the fact that a clear path has been laid out to achieve success already. Non-profit organizations, such as the Fraser Basin Council and the Pembina Institute, are available to support smaller government initiatives as well. E3 Fleet regularly offers local government participation incentives and is working to gather greater support across the Province. The City of Vancouver and the Corporation of Delta are the first municipaliies to earn Gold E3 Fleet ratings.
Each of the tools listed below is designed to reduce GHG emissions and improve air quality. The tools have proven to result in numerous other benefits as well. These benefits are listed on the individual tool pages.
Green Fleet Action Plan
Includes goals and targets, implementation strategies, milestones, roles and responsibilities, and monitoring and reporting commitments and ensure continuous improvement. A key element to their success is getting all user groups on board. Senior management support and commitment is critical so that the plan has the resources, direction, and accountability at the implementation level necessary to succeed. They provide the foundation and overall direction for fuel efficient fleet management and reflect business needs, costs, and technical opportunities and restraints. Communication is an important aspect of successful adoption and implementation. 
Benchmarking is the comparison of a process to a certain standard. Internal benchmarking programs provide comparison between vehicles, employees, and departments and can be extended throughout local governments to reveal opportunities to improve fuel efficiency and overall performance. They provide a strong basis for goal setting and insight into strategies. Comparison can be done for any number of indicators, including fuel efficiency, preventative maintenance and repair costs, and idling. 
Preventative Maintenance Program
Proper and time-sensitive maintenance is critical to optimal fuel efficiency. These programs reduce vehicle downtime and help optimize fuel and emissions performance by identifying regular maintenance and inspection criteria and scheduling accordingly. Filter changes, proper tire pressure, vehicle tune-ups, and more are all involved in achieving optimal engine performance and should be scheduled according to driving distance, engine hours, and/or time period. 
Fuel Efficiency Policies
Mandate key factors that lead to reduced fuel consumption. They ensure the environmental performance of vehicles and provide a framework for purchasing decisions. When accompanied with driver training, fuel efficiency policies can set a standard for employee performance and a reference point for evaluation. 
Idling Reduction Policies
Sometimes, idling is necessary. Most often it is not. As part of an idling reduction strategy, these are an easy way to avoid the wasteful financial and environmental impacts of getting zero miles per gallon. They will also reduce unnecessary engine wear and related maintenance. The policies should be supported by a cost evaluation and implemented as part of an idling reduction strategy, including awareness and training programs and corporate reporting. 
Fuel Efficient Vehicle Purchasing Strategy
Prioritize the buying or leasing of energy efficient vehicles, equipment, and components during new asset acquisitions and replacements, as defined by technical and financial feasibility. Key consideration is given to optimal fuel performance and ability to complete required tasks. Lifecycle analysis is used to evaluate options based on upfront cost, operating and maintenance costs, reliability, warranties, depreciation, and resale value. The strategy should be developed through a vehicle procurement policy. 
Using Low Carbon Fuels
More efficient fuels present opportunities to reduce GHG emissions and lower fuel bills. Many local government fleets now rely on fuels such as biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas, and hydrogen. Some biodiesel releases 16% less carbon dioxide than regular diesel. More recently, controversy has surrounded the use of some biofuels due to increasing competition between fuel and food, and their significant energy inputs. Local governments can avoid these problems with fuels derived from waste fibres, grease, or biological matter with low energy inputs on marginal land. 
Corporate Car Share Program
A way to avoid unnecessary assets and one strategy to accomplish fleet right-sizing. Fleet managers analyze the vehicle needs of the local government and develop opportunities to share automobiles between employees. It reduces the assets the local government needs to maintain and helps eliminate unnecessary fuel consumption and GHG emissions. 
Ensuring the most direct / efficient route is always taken is an excellent way to reduce unnecessary fuel consumption. With larger fleets, computerized tools, such as GPS, can help map and plan regular routes, two-way communication, and strategic scheduling. 
Alternative Transportation Fleet Options
Sometimes the most fuel efficient way to get from A to B is simply to not use a vehicle. Bicycles and related share programs are becoming more popular with local governments and their employees.
Fuel Data Management System
What cannot be tracked cannot be managed. Tracking fuel consumption and vehicle performance greatly enhances effective management. A system for monitoring and measuring performance on a continuous basis allows fleet managers to alter strategies used to increase fuel efficiency. 
Life Cycle Costing
Involves evaluating purchase options based on upfront cost as well as operating and maintenance costs, reliability, warranties, depreciation, and resale value. It provides a long-term understanding of the true cost of making a vehicle purchase. 
Driver Awareness and Education
Communicates corporate fleet policies and vehicle procedures developed to maximize fuel efficiency. It can involve training sessions, workplace posters and tips, employee meetings, incentives and other actions aimed at communicating relevant information and strategies. These program has been found to be especially effective at improving employee satisfaction. 
Vehicle and Fleet Right-Sizing
Matches the collection of assets to the tasks to ensure that maximum efficiency is achieved and waste is avoided. Right-Sizing involves analyzing and understanding what tasks need to be completed and then selecting the most fuel efficient vehicles and components that can achieve those tasks. A major benefit of this process is freed up capital that can be used to implement other GHG reduction strategies. 
 Fraser Basin Council, (2006). Greening Canada's Fleets - E3 Fleet Rating System.
 Biofleet, (2007).