- Politics and Social Issues
Green transport is a category of sustainable transport which uses human power, animal power, public transportation, smart design, and renewable energy. In common usage public transport is considered a green transport option in comparison with private vehicles, as is car pooling. But some people prefer a definition that does not include public transport or vehicle movements which relies on non-renewable energy.
Green transport includes:
* Cycling and some other types of human-powered transport
* Green vehicles
- solar powered vehicles
- wind powered vehicles
- water powered vehicles
- electric powered vehicles
Often there can be a sliding scale of green transport depending on the sustainability of the option. Public transport on traditional diesel buses uses less fuel per passenger than private vehicles so is more green than private vehicles, but is not as green as using a hybrid electric powered bus. It can often be useful to talk about moving a community towards the ultimate green mode transport outcomes - instead of declaring that they are there if they cross a particular sustainability threshold. Walking across sensitive environments can often cause considerable damage and so is not always the greenest option.
Green transportation is for reducing the environmental damage originated in individual's use of cars and light trucks.
The green transportation hierarchy is the basic concept behind transportation reform groups all over the world such as Transportation Alternatives. The hierarchy puts city-friendly cyclists and pedestrians first. It rewards their low cost, space efficiency, and zero environmental impact. Trucks are not last because they perform vital commercial functions in cities. An important part of the green transportation hierarchy is that trucks get priority over personal automobiles for scarce curb side parking. This would eliminate many of the double-parking problems that plague places such as the 6th Avenue bike lane.
In an ideal NYC, transportation decision-making, allocation of road space, and project funding and resources would reflect the green transportation hierarchy. While we still have a long way to go, we champion projects such as the widened sidewalks at Herald and Greeley Square, and new bike lanes, as important steps towards more rational transportation planning.
Other policies that would reflect and reinforce the green transportation hierarchy include:
# the pricing of all on-street parking in Manhattan south of 96th Street
# tolls on bridges and tunnels
# congestion pricing
# parking policies that prioritize commercial needs over personal autos
About Green Transportation
The owners of Green Transportation came to America with the same dream that many of our ancestors came here with, the dream to make a better life for themselves and their families. They immigrated to the United States and became drivers for other cab companies, doing their best to serve the needs of Portland, when they realized that the simple courtesy of being honest, timely and professional with customers was missing from the landscape of the transportation industry. Green Transportation was born of the desire to provide that service. That was in 1997 and since then, Green Transportation, also known as Green Cab and Shuttle, has gone on to become a leader in the community. When you call, you get a live person, not an impersonal recording and your ride is dispatched in a timely fashion so that you arrive to your destination relaxed and unrushed. Currently, we are the third largest transportation service in Portland, we do not feel the need to be the largest, just to provide the best service, and we ARE number #1 in service. Not only are we leading the way on a transportation front but we also have a strong presence in our community, sponsoring various organizations and charities as well as our drivers give back by donating their time every month to assist various charities in need that are close to their hearts. True to our name, we are also actively involved in the “going green” mentality that is part of the Pacific Northwest. We actively recycle and reuse as well as we are encouraging our drivers to replace their vehicles with more gas efficient and lesser emissions automobiles.
TOP TEN GREEN TRANSPORTATION TRENDS OF 2008
2008 has been an incredible year for green transportation as the world’s automakers made strident efforts to green their production lines, cities decided that it’s time to give our car-centric lifestyle a much needed rethink, and some incredible new vehicles proved once and for all that green transportation can be sexier and perform just as well as any other method of transportation. Rather than picking individual stories from the past year, we decided to analyze some of the incredible trends that made 2008 a landmark year in the transportation sector. Read on for an in-depth review of ten green transportation trends, and what we believe 2009 will bring us!
1) THE GREEN CAR WILL SAVE THE INDUSTRY
The Toyota Prius has long been hailed as the hallmark of hybrid vehicles, so we were not surprised to see competitors flock to the fledgling market in an attempt to develop the ultimate “Prius-killer”. This past year, the Mini-e, the Ford Fusion, the Audi A1, and the Honda Insight were all revealed as the latest and greenest, but none caused as much ruckus as the Chevy Volt. General Motors has built an electric platform that they hope can be deployed throughout their entire line, first in the Volt, and then in cheaper and cheaper cars. The Volt is such an integral part of Chevrolet’s future that last month, the General Motors CEO drove to congress on a vehicle outfitted with the Volt’s power train. Ironic that the firm that killed the electric car, is now hoping to create one to survive.
2) COMPACT IS COOL
Who can forget this year’s astronomical gas prices (and their now monumental fall)? 2008 was the year that clearly showed how silly it was to drive hulking vehicles for personal transport in our cities. We declared the SUV dead (we stand by that assertion), and we saw all car manufacturers look towards the future and envision smaller vehicles as integral to our way of travelling. Nissan brought us the cute Nuvu and the robot-assisted Pivo 2, Chrysler peeked into their crystal ball and developed their neighborhood-friendly GEM Peapod, and Mitsubishi debuted the I-Miev. 2008 proved that the future of personal transportation is small, cute and efficient.
3) IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT FUEL EFFICIENCY
Everyone is looking at emissions as the greatest contributor to global warming, but there is so much more that we can do to improve our methods of transportation. This past year Mazda showcased the Kiyora, a car that cleans water, while BMW showed a car that not only ran on hydrogen but also cleaned the air as it moved through the city. But none was as exciting to us as the super-environmentally friendly Eco-Elise, which was revealed by Lotus in July of this year. The vehicle was not just an energy-efficient vehicle, but was created with the greenest materials that the company could find. It’s like they read our minds!
4) GET YOUR MILEAGE ON
Every time that we thought that cars couldn’t get more efficient we were pleasantly surprised. We were thoroughly impressed with the Solo by the Hungarian company Antro, which clocked in at an impressive 150 miles per gallon. Next we were ecstatic to hear that Volkswagen’s 235mpg concept, the VW 1L would actually go into production, albeit in limited numbers. And of course, can anyone really not be impressed by the 8923 miles per gallon French Microjoule vehicle? Sure, we won’t be seeing these on the road anytime soon, but let’s not forget that what seems impossible today may soon be commonplace.
5) BREAKING THE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RECORD
2008 saw an impressive array of record being broken. First came the Zephyr solar plane, which was able to beat its own unnmaned flying record. Then came the Xof1 solar car, which went around Canada to break the longest distance travelled by a solar vehicle, and finally, the Earthrace biodiesel boat recently completed a carbon-neutral tour of the world. Clearly alternative energy is ready for prime-time in the field of transportation.
6) MUSCLE CARS GO GREEN
2008 was the year that clearly showed that green muscle cars are nothing to sneeze at. Tesla finally started distributing production vehicles, Honda showed the FC Sport, Chrysler came out swinging with the Dodge EV, and Fisker wowed us with the Karma. If there is one trend worthy of being called wicked cool, this is it. 2008 clearly showed that sleek and incredibly high-performing vehicles can not only be green, but are worthy of competing against their fossil fuel counterparts. Let’s face it, when even Ferrari is going green, who can honestly still claim that it’s just a passing trend?
7) WE LOVE BIKES
We’ve always featured bikes here at Inhabitat, but 2008 brought us some incredible innovations in cyclery. From Mercedes-Benz’s Trailblazer, to Yamaha’s wicked City-C bike, to Strida’s sleek folidings offerings, bikes of all types came out better looking than ever. It wasn’t just bikes though - IKEA rolled out bike trailers, and bike sharing was announced for London and even for the city of Washington DC. Heck, we even implored you to ride your bike to vote! And of course we must admit that we can’t help but want an Ultra-bright Down Low Glow light for our bikes.
8) THE SKATEBOARD GOES GREEN
We never thought that the skateboard was an item with a large environmental impact, but after learning that the skateboard industry is the largest contributor to maple deforestation we started to pay attention. Both the BambooSK8 skateboard and the Dry Leaf Skateboard present eco-friendly alternatives that look way cooler than their standard counterparts. Attention skaters, you now have a choice.
All of these sleek designs are great news, but we must admit that there was one trend that really caught our eye: if you can’t buy it, do-it-yourself. First came Phil Bridge’s cardboard bicycle, then Kyle Dansie’s electric bike. Finally, we must admit that we never expected to see a DIY hybrid vehicle, but Robert Riley’s XR3 turned heads by clearly showing how to make a hybrid capable of achieving a whopping 225mpg.
10) BIG THOUGHTS
While many of the year’s transportation trends focused on the personal vehicle, it was cities that produced the biggest news. China and Germany both banned cars - the former in order to reduce pollution in time for the olympics, while the latter aimed to reduce congestion. London recently announced a new hybrid double decker bus, while three cities in California announced their plans to become the electric-vehicle hub of the nation. And while we’re on the subject of exciting new infrastructure, Californians recently voted to create an 800 mile high-speed rail system that will link every city from San Diego to Sacramento. Now that is the future!
OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2009:
Let’s face it, times are tough, and innovation tends to suffer under economic turmoil. We hope that Obama’s infrastructure plan recognizes that for America to be green, mass transit is the way to go. We hope to see all types of trains, buses and light rail systems being proposed - this is a key opportunity for the redevelopment of a nation. After all, even when discarded, these systems can still find a great use, such as London’s Village Underground. Let’s hope this chance is not wasted. As for the personal vehicle? Well, we know what the new Prius will look like. Look for other manufacturers to release more plans to become greener, and hopefully we’ll see some cutting-edge innovations from the big three carmakers (they better, as this will literally save or doom them). Here’s to 2009!
The Future of Green Transportation - Solar Airplanes?
Will there actually be solar airplanes in the future? Have you ever sat and wondered what our future will be like? Will we continue on the same course we are on, or will alternative energies take be a larger solution to some of our energy needs? Where will the future of solar power and alternative fuels take us? Will there be solar energy planes? That is an interesting question, one that many of us who are environmentally friendly ask. In essence, solar energy is the constraining and using of energy, but energy that is produced by the sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation. Today solar technology has allowed us to use solar power for many of our everyday power needs. For instance, we can u
Google has said it will invest up to $10 million for green transportation solutions through their philanthropic arm. Google has put out a request for proposals inviting entrepreneurs and companies to make travel greener in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Google.org initiative has grant investment amounts ranging from $500k to $2 million for select companies that can enable a widespread commercialization of hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles of vehicle to grid solutions.
Ontario Invests In Green Transportation
McGuinty Government Partners With Innovative Transportation Company
Ontario is helping reduce transit emissions and increase passenger safety by supporting new innovations in green transportation. The province is providing a grant of $12.8 million to support an investment by Thales Rail Signalling Solutions of $85 million over the next five years to improve its transit rail signalling technology. Thales will use this funding to invest in green research and development programs to upgrade and modernize its technology so that trains can operate closer together, reduce energy consumption, and increase passenger capacity and efficiency. The support comes from Ontario's Next Generation of Jobs Fund, a $1.15 billion business incentive program designed to create and protect jobs for Ontario families. Partnering with businesses is a component of the Ontario government's five-point plan to grow the economy. 7
Economist in Tampa: Efficient 'green' transportation creates major reinvestment capital
The author of two market differentiation studies about Tampa Bay will be in town to discuss a new study emphasizing the economic benefits of smart transportation and land planning policies. Four miles per day may not seem like much, but to residents of Portland, Ore., it's equal to $2.6 billion in annual savings a year. That's one of the findings of "Portland's Green Dividend," a new study by economist Joseph Cortright. Cortright will explain how Tampa Bay can create its own "green dividend" at a luncheon presented in collaboration by CreativeTampaBay, Tampa Downtown Partnership and CEOs for Cities on Oct. 23. Cortright is president of Portland-based Impresa Consulting and has authored two Tampa Bay studies for CreativeTampaBay. The first, entitled, "The Young and the Restless: How Tampa Bay Competes for Talent," was finished in 2004 and addressed the region's brain drain among well-educated 24 to 35 year olds. The second, called "Things Look Different Here," was a 2006 study that revealed Tampa Bay would be the nation's top destination for retiring baby boomers over the next 15 years. Cortright urged the region to take advantage of this market condition and capitalize on the business opportunities it presents. His new study finds that Portlanders save millions on travel expenses each year alone - money that gets re-invested in the economy, stimulating local businesses and more spending on housing.
POLICIES / LEGISLATIONS Oregon Governor Outlines Green Transportation Policies
Friday, Governor Ted Kulongoski presented his vision for how Oregon can incorporate policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the state's transportation plan.
"Transportation and climate change are critical to our success in the global marketplace -- and to our quality of life," Governor Kulongoski said. "We cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap of thinking transportation and climate change are conflicting policy priorities. They're not. We can -- and must -- do both."
Addressing business leaders and members of the Oregon Environmental Council at a forum on business and the environment, entitled "Transportation and Sustainable Communities," the governor charged his transportation vision committee to approach the improvements needed to our transportation system with a climate change lens.
"Yes, we need more access points in our transportation system so trucks can more efficiently and safely move goods up and down I-5," the Governor continued. "But if our only answer is highway expansion and not a multi-modal solution, then we are taking a step backward on global warming -- and that is absolutely not acceptable to me."
Specifically, the governor asked his transportation committee to incorporate climate change into transportation planning in four areas: 1) low carbon fuels; 2) vehicle technology improvement, including the shift to plug-in and electric cars; 3) reducing the vehicle miles traveled; and 4) improving transportation system efficiency.
"Building and maintaining traditional transportation systems is a great challenge - building and maintaining sustainable systems presents an even greater one," the governor said. "But these are the Oregon challenges that we must answer."
Clean Infrastructure: Transportation Policy for the 21st Century with Rep. Earl Blumenauer
On January 14th, NDN sponsored a panel discussion on Capitol Hill with Congressman Earl Blumenauer and other experts on clean transportation infrastructure. Moderated by NDN Green Project Director, Michael Moynihan, the program explored how transportation policy can help usher in a cleaner, more productive America.
The event was especially timely because of the large transportation infrastructure component of the Stimulus package now working its way through Congress as well as the likelihood of transportation legislation moving this year. At the event, Moynihan provided context on the clean infrastructure challenges and opportunities now before the United States and asked Congressman Blumenauer, a leader on transportation issues, and two experts, Robert Peck, Vice President of Jones Lang LaSalle and Chris Leinberger, a fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Project to share their thoughts on policies that can help build a cleaner, more productive America.
Moynihan began by noting that transportation is uniquely important to America’s economy and is one of the main ways that the Federal government impacts land use regionally due to the close connection between transportation policy and land use planning. Despite the shortcomings of current policy and the immense backlog of deferred maintenance, it is, moreover, one of the main areas of public infrastructure spending. He noted that the current stimulus proposal, as well as a possible transportation bill this year, create an extraordinary moment in history to influence transportation policy and with it the US economy.
Congressman Blumenauer in his remarks made the point that we have reached a point in transportation policy where real change is possible. He emphasized that transportation infrastructure, once viewed as interesting but not pressing, has moved to the forefront of the nation’s agenda. With America facing a number of massive challenges, in a faltering economy, volatile energy, water stress, and climate change, now is a crucial time to focus on creating a clean transportation infrastructure. Blumenauer argued that funding from the stimulus can help jumpstart a clean transportation movement.
Green transport policy
Vehicles are a major contributor to local and global pollution. With a fleet of over 2,500 vehicles and an annual business mileage of over 13 million miles, we need to manage our transport use.
An environmental policy for transport has been established which we are implementing through our green transport strategy, which includes the following:
* Monitoring of the Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system installed in all liveried vehicles so assess fuel efficiency improvements.
* Establishing a car share scheme for both business and commuting journeys.
* Reviewing possible support for alternatives to the car including walking, cycling and public transport.
* Promoting alternative working methods to reduce the need for travel e.g. e-conferencing, tele-conferencing, video-conferencing and home working.
MARKET DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
GREEN TRANSPORTATION PROVIDES LINK BETWEEN TACOMA NEIGHBORHOODS
The City of Tacoma augmented its rejuvenation efforts with development of Tacoma Link Light Rail, a 1.6-mile (2.6-km) light-rail transit system that has contributed to the warehouse district’s resurgence. Led by Otak, a team of 15 consultants used a holistic, collaborative approach to design and fully integrate Link Light Rail into every aspect of the community fabric through urban planning, roadway design, storm-water drainage, public art, station architecture, landscape architecture, public involvement, sustainability, accessibility, transitoriented development and safety. Amenities include open space and trees, renewed sidewalks, seating, lighting and shelters, easy access to free parking and bicycle racks, and integration with park-and-rides, bus transit facilities, and bicycle and pedestrian access. The line moves through a revived theatre district, past several museums, the UWT campus, retail stores, urban housing, and the new greater Tacoma convention and trade center. The Link Light Rail system uses smoothly gliding, quiet electric streetcars (with no emissions at street level) that leave stations every 10 minutes. The initial ridership goal was exceeded in its first week of operation in August 2003 and has continued to increase to more than 3,000 today.
"Smart" Sense: OMRON, IBM to Collaborate on "Green" Transportation Solutions
Tokyo, Japan - Japanese sensor and control equipment maker OMRON Corporation (TOKYO: 6645; ADR: OMRNY) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) will work together to provide "smart" solutions that lower energy use, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase efficiency in transportation operations.
The solutions will help clients decide which types of shipping and transportation to use and the best travel routes for reducing costs and CO2 emissions in the delivery of packages, parts, supplies and finished goods.
The companies will combine OMRON's sensor capabilities and experience in traffic control, vehicle weight measurement, and transportation distance and loading ratios systems with the advanced mathematic calculation technologies of IBM's Virtual Routing Planner and Modal-Shift Transportation Planner offerings.
The two companies will work together to assist clients in addressing anticipated regulatory restrictions and penalties for CO2 emissions. The collaboration is consistent with IBM's "smarter planet" initiative, which envisions a world where everything is instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. This can provide greater understanding that allows better decision making, leading to increased efficiency, improved performance, lower costs and reduced environmental impact.
IBM and OMRON will provide these solutions initially for Japanese clients, primarily in the manufacturing and transportation industries-globally, those industries account for more than half of all energy use and corresponding CO2 emissions. The solutions could later be expanded for additional countries and industries.
IBM's Modal-Shift Transportation Planner analyzes timetables of various shipping services, such as ship, air, train and truck, taking delivery date of goods into consideration, to choose the best shipping method for reducing costs and CO2 emissions.
Virtual Routing Planner plans the best routes for trucks to use to minimize CO2 emissions, based on digitalized road map information and accounting for various conditions such as delivery, collection, time frame and vehicle type. Both solutions use high-performance optimization algorithms developed by IBM's Tokyo Research Laboratory.
Modal-Shift Transportation Planner and Virtual Routing Planner join a growing portfolio of consulting services from IBM to help clients address sustainability issues. Those offerings include: the CSR Assessment and Benchmarking Utility, the Carbon Tradeoff Modeler, Green SigmaTM, Environmental Product Lifecycle Management, the Supply Chain Network Optimization Workbench (or SNOW), Strategic Carbon Management, and the Public Sector Energy and Environment Diagnostic.
Green Space, Green Transportation
Why don't people walk or bicycle more often? The benefits of doing so are well-known: improvements in health, lowered stress levels, reduction in pollution, etc.. Some people clearly do, of course; whenever we post articles about green improvements in automobile technology, we're sure to get comments telling readers to just get on a bike. But many people, it seems, have a strong aversion to biking and walking for transportation. Is sprawl the main reason, making it hard to get to work on time (and not looking and smelling like one just completed a leg of the Tour de France)? Is it the weather? Or is there another factor at work?
Epidemiologist Amy Zlot, at the Oregon Department of Human Services, sees a strong correlation between bicycling/walking for transportation and the amount of green space in the urban environment. The amount of green space, in turn, is connected to the relative diversity of the urban environment. The findings were published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
“In this set of observations, walking and bicycling for transportation was positively associated with parkland acreage,” say Zlot and co-author Tom Schmid, who did the research while employed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data did not show a significant relationship between the level of walking or cycling for pleasure and the percentage of urban parks.
The significance of the study, say the authors, is that “the number of route choices a community provides – and mix – the relative percentage of housing, retail, work and recreational opportunities in a community – appear to be important, independent predictors of walking and bicycling.”
Zlot and Schmid suggest that studies like theirs might help in the planning of “livable communities” by multidisciplinary teams of urban planners, architects, transportation experts, developers, policy makers, park administrators and environmentalists.
What's particularly interesting is that the best cities for biking/walking for transportation don't all fall into the category of dense, growth-restricted urban centers, and they certainly don't all fall into the "nice weather" category. Green space does, in fact, seem to be a strong match for bicycling and walking
Green transportation is key in Oregon Governor to push help for commute, environment
PORTLAND -- Gov. Ted Kulongoski promised Friday an aggressive push to address problems of transportation, greenhouse gases and climate change, saying that the goals are not exclusive and that Oregon is capable of handling all of them. In an address to the Oregon Environmental Council's Business Forum, the governor said the current transportation system is unsustainable. "We must ramp up our investments in green transportation while making even bigger cuts in greenhouse gases," he said, promising Oregon's most aggressive push yet to deal with both issues in the 2009 Legislature. He said possible steps toward improvement could include such things as tax credits for businesses that encourage telecommuting, bike commuting and use of public transportation.
While the governor has stressed many of these points previously, he aimed some of them straight at the business community. "Building a transportation system well suited to the needs of the 21st century and addressing the indisputable threat of climate change would both be worth doing, even if neither one affected our economy. But of course, as you know, they do," he said. "The fact is, addressing the issues around transportation and climate change are critical to our success in the global marketplace and maintaining our quality of life."
He noted that California and British Columbia already have low-carbon fuel standards. "If Oregon and Washington follow suit, the entire West Coast transportation fuel supply will be standardized toward this lower carbon fuel future. We should accept nothing less," he said, adding that the Bush administration has "thrown up every roadblock at their disposal" to prevent the standards from moving ahead. "Oregon and many other states are currently litigating because this is too important of an issue to let politics trump good public policy," he said.
He said Oregon must avoid the danger of higher temperatures, less snowpack, fewer fish and dangerous storms that could cause billions of dollars in damage. "We cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap of thinking of transportation and climate change as conflicting policy choices; they're not. We can do both, and we must do both." The challenge, he said, lies in making the public understand the importance of both in maintaining Oregon's quality of life.
Denmark turns to green transport in runup to climate summit
Currently there are only about 200 climate-friendly autos on the nation's streets, but that should grow to 100,000 within two years.
The Danish energy corporation DONG and the American company Better Place are planning to invest 100 million euros ($135 million) to build up infrastructure in the country for electric cars. The idea is to make it just as fast to charge up a battery as it is to fill up a tank of gas.
The head of the Danish electric auto association, Per Moeller, is very pleased with that plan, and confident that Denmark can become a pioneer in this sector.
"We have really good conditions for it here: no extreme climate changes and a flat landscape," he said. "Denmark is certainly one of the countries in which it would be the easiest to introduce electric cars."
The batteries to run these cars of the future have another advantage. They can be charged during the night when energy from wind turbines is available but isn't being used much, essentially turning them into important energy storage devices.
"I don't think we can leave it to the politicians to solve the problems with climate change," said Jens Moberg, CEO of the Danish branch of Better Place. "Consumers and companies need to take an active role in the process."
Green' transport projects to receive fresh EU cash
Railways and inland waterways will receive the lion's share of EU funding for trans-European transport network (TEN-T) projects for the period 2007 to 2013, the Commission has announced.
The EU's limited funds available for financing transport infrastructure across Europe, for the period 2007-2013, will be concentrated on projects related to "critical cross-border sections" and on "the most environmentally-friendly transport modes – inland waterways and rail", the EU's Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot told members of Parliament on 21 November.
The Commission received 221 project proposals from member states, with support requests totaling over €11.5 billion. However, with a Community budget limited at just €5.1 billion, the Commissioner explained that he preferred to concentrate these funds on a limited amount of important projects, rather than spreading them out among all of them. He said this would help create a "leverage" effect and accelerate the realisation of projects important for removing remaining transport bottlenecks and for the effective functioning of the single market.
Underlining the EU's commitment to sustainable development, Barrot pointed out that inland waterways would receive "maximum possible funding", receiving as much as 11.5% of the total budget. Railways will get 74.2% of total funds, while roads receive just 2.7%.
Europcar named Worlds Leading Green Transport Solution Company
Europcar is the first company to be awarded the accolade of Worlds Leading Green Transport Solution Company at the World Travel Awards
At the World Travel Awards ceremony held in December in the Turks & Caicos , Europcar was named the World's Leading Green Transport Solution Company, an environmental award launched this year. The company was also elected World's Leading Leisure Car Rental Company for the second year in a row.
The World Travel Awards are the "Oscars" of the travel industry, with 167,000 industry professionals voting for the best company in each category in seven regions of the world.
These two global awards not only reflect Europcar's professionalism but also its commitment to protecting the environment: a double victory for the group, which further strengthens its position as Europe's number one car hire company.
Guirec Grand-ClÃ©ment, Global Sales and Marketing Director of Europcar International, commented: "We are truly proud to have won these two awards. They represent our commitment to providing the highest quality of service - a value shared by our entire network, as demonstrated by the awards won by Europcar in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. In addition, the 'Green' award also recognizes our commitment to a sustainable environmental policy that focuses on the safety and well-being of our customers, employees and partners."
Last June, Europcar announced that it had received certification from Bureau Veritas for its "Green Charter," which formalizes its commitment to protecting the environment. It is the first such certification for a company in Europe by Bureau Veritas, the world leader in inspection and certification services applied to quality, health and hygiene, safety, the environment and social responsibility.
These initiatives and the Green award highlight the innovative nature of a group that has made commitment to the environment its spearhead for the years to come, underscoring the pioneering role it has played in its industry.
Ventura Express is a Green Transportation Company
Ventura Express is a Green Transportation Company that delivers complete transportation solutions including Domestic, International, Air, Ocean, LTL and Expedited freight delivery.
VENTURA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, Ventura Express, a "Green" Transportation Company created to reduce customer transportation costs while protecting the environment, has opened offices in Ventura County.
The company's sustainable shipping program uses existing transportation fleets to move cargo. "Ventura Express technology analyzes the fleet schedules of dozens of carriers and provides customers with the shortest distance and most fuel efficient shipping routes for their goods," says Dan Boaz, Ventura Express President. "Our goal is to establish a Ventura County transportation hub that eliminates needless round trips, half-empty trucks and other outdated, inefficient practices that push up transportation costs, waste fuel and ultimately damage the environment."
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, rail and truck transport consume over 35 billion gallons of diesel fuel per year. Translated into emissions, this represents more than 350 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. "Using Ventura Express' more efficient sustainable shipping program gives customers the ability to reduce their carbon footprint, do their part to clean up the environment and lower the demand for energy--all while saving on shipping costs," says Boaz.
Ventura Express is currently working with more than 100 carriers, many of them certified as "SmartWay Transport" by the EPA. To be certified, the vehicles in these fleets must meet strict EPA clean air and fuel consumption standards. "Using SmartWay carriers gives Ventura Express customers even more value since the fleets use less fuel," says Boaz, who has more than 20 years of transportation experience, most recently as president of AirFreight.com. "Incorporating 'green' shipping practices is especially important as big retailers such as Wal-Mart and Costco establish their own sustainable programs. These giants expect and sometimes require their vendors to adopt environmentally-friendly procedures in manufacturing and shipping their goods."
SAN FRANCISCO LEADING GREEN TRANSPORTATION COMPANY
BAUER'S INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION is one of the nation's leading providers of chauffeured ITransportation Â® services. Whether for limousines, luxury sedans, charter buses, or other specialized vehicles for business travel or personal occasions, Bauer’s has been providing Intelligent Transportation solutions for over 20 years. Bauer's is also leading the GREEN INITIATIVE within the limousine industry as the world's most eco-friendly, full-service sustainable transportation company. Bauer's leads by example, providing green, intelligent transportation solutions with
state-of-the-art hybrid luxury ITransportation Â® vehicles, all wi-fi equipped, moving over 5,000 people a day. Of all miles driven by Bauer's, over 96% are green miles.
Kagawa Matsushita Electric Starts Green Transport/Logistics Partnership to Combat Global Warming
Kagawa Matsushita Electric Works Ltd., a Japanese manufacturer of building and interior materials, announced on December 25, 2006, its plans to launch the Green Distribution Partnership in March 2007 with four of Japan's major transport logistics companies: Nippon Express Co., Japan Freight Railway Co., Asahi Tsushou Co., and Jumbo Ferry Co. This partnership is a result of efforts to streamline logistics, reduce costs and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. It is expected to cut about 164 tons of CO2 emissions per year, a 52 percent decrease from the company's current level.
Kagawa Matsushita distributes materials and processed goods to Saitama, Kyoto, and Osaka Prefectures from its main manufacturing site in Kagawa Prefecture. Since the company switched from trucks to railway to transport goods, it has already succeeded in reducing CO2 emissions. To achieve further reductions, the company plans to fully utilize return trips, not only in rail but also in marine transport. In addition, some goods that in the past were purchased from suppliers will be produced in-house, in order to shorten the transport distance.
In addition, the company is promoting reforms to create a buyer-focused distribution system that addresses the need for frequent and small cargo deliveries. Under the new system, buyers will bear the distribution cost instead of sellers. Accordingly, buyers will be able to select efficient transportation modes, a market-based approach expected to help keep distribution costs down. Furthermore, these efforts are expected to help reduce traffic congestion, environmental burden, transport costs, and inventories.
Going green at the Transportation & Logitics World Summit
With up to 75% of a company's carbon footprint coming from transportation and logistics, the focus of supply chain greening is beginning to shift towards this area, where the opportunity to make the biggest difference exists. With this in mind, eyefortransport is gathering the biggest names in transportation and logistics greening at one of the most important industry forums on environmental issues to date: the Green Transportation & Logistics World Summit.
The summit, being held in Zurich, Switzerland, from 20 - 21 February 2008, is the place where industry leaders from shippers, logistics providers, carriers, ports and government bodies will gather to discuss the business case for greening their supply chains through transportation and logistics initiatives, and at the same time, learn how to save money, and improve efficiency and customer relations.
Over 30 expert speakers from industry leading companies will be there, including Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Schneider Electric, IBM, GE Energy, Lexmark, Cisco, Motorola, Intel, Fujitsu, Sharp Electronics, Deutsche Post World Net, Kuehne & Nagel, Wincanton, Christian Salvesen, Agility Logistics, the Swiss Federal Ministry of Transport, The UK Freight Transport Association, the European Environmental Agency and many more. For a complete list of speakers visit: http://www.greenlogisticsforum.com/2008/speakers.s...
This timely event comes on the brink of a renewed commitment by the European Union (EU) to develop a network of green freight transport links across Europe, with railways and inland waterways receiving €8 billion of EU funding for trans-European transport network (TEN-T) projects for the period 2007 to 2013. While opportunities in green logistics abound, and interest in new environmental transportation options is high, the knowledge and resources necessary to implement green initiatives successfully is still all too often lacking.
The goal of the Green Transportation & Logistics World Summit is to bring together the key industry experts and decision makers to educate the industry and facilitate new partnerships and collaborative greening efforts between associates and competitors. The aim of the event is to form the participants into a united group with the action plans and knowledge they need to go green the business-efficient way, and communicate these efforts to their customers, partners, and the public.
In an era of rising fuel and energy costs, and complex environmental rules and regulations, the summit is designed to teach delegates to isolate the opportunities to improve relationships with customers and partners, set a realistic logistics greening agenda early, thus reducing their bottom line and their environmental footprint.
Green Transportation and Logistics Report
Eyefortransport’s recently surveyed over 250 North American supply chain executives to establish what was driving companies to green their transportation and logistics. The resulting ‘Green Transportation & Logistics’ Report revealed that financial and public relations ROI means that green issues are fast becoming the No.1 priority for companies of all sizes.
With up to 75% of a company’s carbon footprint coming from transportation and logistics, the focus of supply chain greening is beginning to shift towards this area, where the opportunity to make the biggest difference exists. With this in mind, eyefortransport asked respondents to pinpoint what they were doing to green their transportation and logistics, and what effects these initiatives have had.
The timely industry report that resulted revealed that only 6% of respondents designate green issues as unimportant. The vast majority of respondents, 69%, divulged that over the next three years green issues will become more important to their transport and logistics processes. An amazing 9% identified green issues as their No.1 priority over the next three years, while only 1% expects a lessening of importance.
How do they plan to green their transportation and logistics? Katharine O’Reilly suggests that greening is “fundamentally a co-operative process, with majority of successful green initiatives being based on changing relationships with suppliers, partners and logistics providers.” Indeed, 28% of respondents reported that they have or plan to partner with a logistics providers to help them green their processes. This push towards green is reported to be driven by a number of factors, including financial ROI (38%), public relations payback (36%), and improved supply chain efficiency (22%).
In order to survey the current landscape, respondents were asked what actual green initiatives have been implemented or planned in their companies. The results revealed that 59% are or are planning to improve energy efficiency, 42% are redesigning warehousing and distribution center networks, and 39% are measuring and/or reducing emissions.
Furthermore, though environmental initiatives are widely thought of as detrimental to supply chain efficiency, in fact 66% of respondents report that their current green transport and logistics initiatives are not affecting their efficiency, while a further 27% report that green initiatives are actually making their supply chains more efficient. Only 8% of respondents reported a decrease in supply chain efficiency due to green initiatives.
Green transportation at 7500l of fuel per hour
If I were to tell you that a vehicle that burns nearly 8000 litres of heavy fuel oil during each hour of operation was green, you’d probably laugh at me, so let me qualify that statement.
There’s a new design of 2 stroke turbocharged diesel engines made by the Wartsila Corporation, that will be used in super large container ships. These engines make use of common rail diesel technology which enables them to be amongst the most efficient internal combustion engines available. The WÃ¤rtsilÃ¤-Sulzer RTA96-C can achieve efficiency of over 50%, which means that more than half of the energy available in the fuel is being converted into motion. Now if you compare that to most car engines which are 25%-30% efficient, you see that the RTA96-C is green (after a fashion).
Some other innteresting facts: one of these engines in the biggest (14 cylinder) configuration weighs 2300 tons, is five stories high, and produces over 80MW (80 000kW!) of power.
Cycling Fastest growing form of transportation
Expanding the Bicycle Network is an important strategy in the City's effort to reduce traffic congestion and support a clean, green and healthy mode of transportation.
Cycling is the fastest growing type of transportation in Vancouver. Over the past 10 years, the award winning Bicycle Network has more than doubled in size. It currently offers over 400 lane kilometers of on-and off-street bicycle routes, including 10 new bike lanes in the Downtown. Bike routes may be on painted bike lanes, on local street bikeways with traffic calming measures, or on off-street paths.
Pocket-sized bike maps can be found at City Hall, libraries, bike shops, and community centres and online.
More people cycle than ever before, with trips increasing by over 180% in the past decade. There are over 50,000 bike trips a day in Vancouver.
Growing pains for green transportation
It was another strong year for green transportation, but a lot of potential pitfalls in the industry became more apparent. Just ask ethanol producers for the evidence. In 2005 and 2006, investors flocked to traditional ethanol makers, allowing companies like VeraSun Energy to go public. The high prices for the fuel, combined with the relatively low price of feedstocks it's made from, made the industry look attractive. Then the price of corn shot up, budding profits turned to losses, and ethanol makers started to merge. reenFuel Technologies, meanwhile, had problems of a different kind. The company wants to capture carbon dioxide, feed it to algae, and then turn the algae into biodiesel. A pilot plant in Arizona proved adept at capturing carbon dioxide and growing algae. The problem was that it grew more algae than it could handle, and scientists are still trying to figure out ways to economically convert the green slime into fuel.
Makers of electric cars didn't have it as rough, but the story was similar. Consumers and investors got intrigued by the category in 2006. In 2007, though, Tesla Motors, Think, and Phoenix Motorcars had to push back the release of their cars until 2008. Tesla also changed CEOs and postponed its battery business.
But let's look at the bright side of the green-car business. Biodiesel refiners, both large and small, began construction on large-scale plants. Biodiesel still requires subsidies to stay competitive in the U.S., but larger plants and new feedstocks will help eliminate the price gap over time. Scientists and venture investors also continued to collaborate on concocting cellulosic ethanol start-ups.
And the auto industry saw a wave of new entrants on the manufacturing side, including Venture Vehicles, Fisker Automotive, and Miles Automotive. More importantly, large, established manufactures like Nissan and Mitsubishi announced plans for eco-friendly cars. If history is a guide, the eco car market could follow the path of the PC market. Although most will fail, a few of the start-ups and some of the established manufacturers will make it and transform an industry.
Can Obama make transportation green?
Economic realities create early test of Obama's ability to bring about real change
The massive economic stimulus plan that Congress and President-elect Barack Obama are preparing to launch in January is shaping up to be an early test of Obama's ability to bring about the change he promised during his campaign, with economic realities threatening to undermine his call for a new era of smarter, "greener'' transportation.
As Obama's aides, lawmakers, industry associations, and interest groups furiously debate how to divide up an expected $50 billion in new road, mass transit, and rail spending, the president-elect is facing competing pressures.
On one hand, the goal of the stimulus bill is to kick-start the economy with a wave of short-term public spending projects across the country, and the quickest way to do that is to follow existing priorities. But it also offers a rare opportunity to shift American transportation in the long term toward a greener, more sustainable system that promotes mass transit and so-called smart growth over sprawl and patronage projects.
Traditionally, roads and highways have been given priority over mass transit, and federal transportation dollars have often been disbursed more according to political consideration than need. Critics of the current system are looking for Obama to use this bill to forge a different approach - one they say would elevate the national interest over parochial ones.
"If we just re-up for another go-around with the `Bridges to Nowhere,' that would be a tragic mistake,'' said David Goldberg, communications director for Transportation for America, a coalition that formed this fall to lobby for better transit planning.
But while the stimulus plan, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this week could cost about $600 billion overall, may take steps toward a more environmentally conscious transportation policy, this bill alone is not expected to be a vehicle for the kinds of significant changes many advocates want.
"Our priority is to create jobs and to get people working in the shortest possible time,'' said US Representative Jim Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who is helping write the bill. "To do that, we have to rely on projects that are ready to go to bid under existing formulas.''
Obama says the stimulus plan, which will award money to states and a variety of public agencies, will be the biggest public works investment since the government built the federal highway system more than a half-century ago. As the highway project was, this new investment could mark a seminal moment in transportation history.
After World War II, driving became enshrined as America's transportation mode of choice. Encouraged by government incentives, highways were built, families moved to far-flung suburbs, and cities morphed into sprawling metropolitan areas.
Between 1980 and 2000, the number of miles Americans drove overall rose more than 80 percent, according to federal figures. Mass transit, including intercity rail service, commuter rail systems, and subway and bus networks, has long been marginalized as "alternative transportation,'' said Doug Foy, an environmental and planning specialist who led former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's efforts on "smart growth,'' the concentration of housing, business, and transportation. For 50 years, Foy said, the philosophy was "progress is: drive more.''
Austin mayor pushing plan for green transportation system
Austin Mayor Will Wynn says he will introduce a resolution at an upcoming City Council meeting that would commit Austin to developing a greener transportation system.
The resolution, slated for the March 3 council meeting, follows through on previous council action that approved research on the viability of linking Austin's transportation and electric utility infrastructure. The plan would call for the use of plug-in hybrid vehicles that can be charged overnight as well as refueled at gas stations.
Wynn's resolution presentation will coincide with a report from the city staff on the feasibility of combining the electric utility and transportation sectors.
"By providing incentives and employing the bully pulpit of City Hall, we can set the course for Austin to be a leader in the development and acceptance of gas-optional vehicles," Wynn says.
"Really, the true beauty of this system is the fact that vehicles charged by the electric system will run on alternate energy sources, such as West Texas wind, instead of Middle East oil."
Wynn's resolution will outline six actions:
* Creation of incentives for retail consumers and public and private transportation fleets.
* A commitment by the city to place fleet orders for plug-in hybrids.
* A request to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce to become an advocate for plug-in hybrids as an integral part of business fleets.
* A request to the environmental community of Austin to become active advocates for plug-in hybrids.
* A commitment by the city to support local, state and federal policies that will promote plug-in hybrids.
* A commitment by the city to initiate an effort to establish similar programs in the 50 largest cities in the United States.
"Once again, Austin is able to stand at the leading edge of energy resource development and use because its citizens own and operate their electric utility, Austin Energy," Wynn says.
"Instead of waiting for others to fix our problems, the citizens of Austin will clear the way for what will truly be a green-power transportation system."
SMART train critical to green transportation strategy
MY FRIEND and colleague Hal Brown listed some great ideas for reducing car trips in his Marin Voice column ("Some real alternatives to SMART," Aug. 17).
Providing financial incentives for employees to carpool, walk, bike or take public transit is a necessary step to g