Meet Your Goals & Support A Better Michigan
Maggie Striz-Calnin, Clean Cities Coordinator
4 November 2016
This month, we find ourselves focused on Thanksgiving and ways to give back to better our world. We want to share thoughts with you on ways that participation in Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities coalition can meet your organization’s goals for contributing to a better world by boosting our region.
What makes you proud of your organization? What is your organization doing to improve the communities where you operate? The answers to these questions are important for companies and public agencies as we enter a 21st century that demands solutions to problems that are bigger than any one of us. Global climate change has accelerated due to significant increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – the second largest source of GHGs emitted in the U.S. is the transportation sector. The U.S. (and local!) economy has been shocked by volatile fuel prices over the past forty years, most recently in 2008 leading to the near failure of the domestic automotive industry, bankrupting of fleets, and the crippling of family budgets as folks couldn’t afford gas to get to and from work. Addressing transportation problems may not come to mind as Priority 1 when we think about supporting sustainable causes, yet it is one of the most direct ways we can positively alter the dangerous course on which we find ourselves.
Total Emissions in 2014 = 6,870 Million Metric Tons of CO2 equivalent.
Transportation was 26% of 2014 greenhouse gas emissions
GLACC is succeeding in addressing the national problem of petroleum dependence by growing local markets for alternative fuels and increasing the use of fuel efficient technologies in transportation in Michigan. In doing so, we have conserved over 8 million gallons of gasoline and diesel translating to avoiding over 40,000 tons of GHG emissions since 2003. How has this been accomplished? Through companies and public agencies in mid-Michigan joining with us and adopting alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and fuel economy practices.
“We have conserved over 8 million gallons of gasoline and diesel translating to avoiding over 40,000 tons of GHG emissions since 2003.”
Take, for example, our Clear the Air for Schoolkids program which, between 2009 and 2012 replaced or installed emissions controls on over 600 school buses in mid-Michigan. Improving these school bus fleets at this scale would not have been possible without grant funding drawn by GLACC from the U.S. EPA National Clean Diesel Program and the commitment of the school districts and busing companies to these improvements. Today, many mid-Michigan children get to and from school on low-emission buses that use less fuel to complete their routes. In 2017, we’re launching a major effort to educate the public on the benefits of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) through the Midwest EVOLVE program. We’re currently seeking workplace PEV charging partners for Midwest EVOLVE (firstname.lastname@example.org).
School Bus, 2/19/2012
Photograph by dhendrix73 via Flickr Creative Commons
By joining as a member of GLACC, organizations receive many benefits including increased visibility and potential revenue, improved charitable image and impact in the community, and direct perks – such as discounts to national fleet and fuel conferences, assistance with planning your clean fleet program, and access to a network of peers for shared learning.
Many public and private organizations are under new pressure from their stakeholders to implement clean energy and environmental practices. Those operating in the supply chain sector, such as logistics firms, are experiencing particular pressure to improve. Membership with GLACC can be a key way for organizations with fleets to not only support an important cause, but directly benefit by receiving a helping hand in planning for and adopting cleaner fuels, vehicles, and practices.