U of G Vehicles Going Green

October 28, 2008 - News Release

Every University of Guelph-owned vehicle will eventually be environmentally friendly.

A new U of G initiative requires that all newly purchased vehicles meet top standards for fuel efficiency.

"Our target is to replace the entire fleet with more fuel-efficient vehicles as they come up for replacement,” said Paul Cook, transportation service manager. “Our basic goal is to reduce the impact on the environment while still meeting our operational needs. We do need big trucks and larger vehicles for some of our work, but we can make those vehicles as efficient as possible."

U of G currently has 140 licensed vehicles and another 200 unlicensed vehicles and motorized equipment such as Zambonis and chainsaws.

The department is using the emissions certification standards of Natural Resources Canada as its guide. Each year, the federal agency rates all types of vehicles and announces the most fuel-efficient. The vehicles with the top ratings will be the University's first choice when new vehicles are purchased, said Cook.

In fact, he has already started the process by buying a Smart Car for Parking Services to use when checking parking meters on campus, as well as two hybrid cars.

As part of the initiative, the department will report annually on the fuel savings and the corresponding reduction in emissions.

Transportation Services is also working to reduce its environmental impact by testing green products such as motor oil made from a soy-based product and an additive for diesel fuels that cleans the storage and vehicle tank, reduces emissions and increases fuel economy. Staff are also using a biodegradable lubricant for various tools.

"It helps that people are very willing to participate," said Cook. "I think everyone wants to pay a role in reducing our footprint."

The next step is to educate people about the harmful effects of idling and implement an anti-idling policy, he said.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338/l.hunt@exec.uoguelph.ca, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982/d.healey@exec.uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1