Go Green: Monroe County Green Fleet

- Monroe County prides itself on being an environmental leader and once again its Fleet Division is ranked among the "greenest" in the nation.

Earlier this month Monroe County's Fleet Division was awarded second best government "green fleet" in North America by Government Fleet magazine.  It's the fourth time the County has made the top 100 list.  "In Monroe County we want to lead by example," said Michael Garland, the County's Director of Environmental Services.  "We not only want to talk the talk, we want to walk the walk."

Or, in this case, drive the drive.  The County has nearly 800 vehicles, all powered by the greenest fuels available, such as bio diesel blends, ethanol blends, liquid propane and compressed natural gas.  "We've differentiated what we do by our green infrastructure, our fueling capability and the green fleet itself," said Garland.

The County was driven to get greener in 2008 when gas hit $4 a gallon.  Leaders sought funding and strategic partnerships with RIT, GM and local municipalities.  "The City of Rochester, the towns and villages here in Monroe County are all partners with Monroe County, so partnerships are key, and securing state and federal funding for the upfits of our vehicles as well as to create the fueling infrastructure."

Among the 38,000 public fleets in North America, only Sacramento's ranked ahead of Monroe County.  The rankings are based upon categories like fleet composition, fuel usage, emissions and overall policy.  The County's always looking for ways to improve its fleet, with the idea of taking the number two ranking and making it number one.  "We'll continue to look at different fuels," said Garland.  "There's not one right fuel, that's one thing we've learned.  You need to match the fuel with the application and the seasonal variability."

In a climate like Rochester's, with our harsh winters, that's key.  Two additional fueling stations are now online.  By the end of the year, every vehicle in the fleet will utilize some form of alternative energy.

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