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Campus Fleet Manager Wins Sustainability All-Star Award

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Jim Ruby, UC San Diego’s vehicle fleet manager, has won a “Sustainability All-Star” award from Green Fleet magazine in recognition of his efforts to establish one of the greenest fleets in the nation.

Ruby received the award Oct. 4 at the 2011 Green Fleet Conference partly in recognition of the innovative ways in which he has contributed to reducing the emissions and fuel consumption of vehicles in the campus fleet.

Cutting vehicle emissions

Ruby directs the operation and maintenance of more than 800 campus vehicles, including more than 50 hybrid-electric cars. He has developed and implemented plans for an alternative-fuel fueling station and converted about 40 percent of the campus fleet to zero-emission vehicles. Under his leadership, the university has phased out diesel fuel in place of ultra-low-sulfur B-20 biodiesel.

During his tenure as fleet manager, UC San Diego obtained the UC/CSU Best Practices award for its electric-vehicle program and has been recognized by the California office of the Environmental Protection Agency as a “Model Pollution Prevention Vehicle Service and Repair Facility.”

Bigger role for CNG

Ruby was a major driver in the campus push to install a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station. Fleet Services also is in the process of expanding the number of buses, street sweepers, cars, trucks and other vehicles that are powered with cleaner burning CNG.

The university has been able to purchase CNG vehicles for roughly the same cost as conventional vehicles, but since CNG is cheaper than unleaded gas and diesel fuel, the university has lowered it vehicle costs. CNG vehicles also are less costly to maintain than conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Ruby serves on San Diego Regional Clean Cities Coalition’s board and served on San Diego Area Government’s (SANDAG) Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Study Team. His campus recognition includes UCSD’s “Earth Week Sustainability Award for Outstanding Staff Contribution” and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability for contributions to UCSD’s sustainability goals. Fleet Services’ facilities have been awarded LEED Existing Building Silver, and the University participates in the EPA’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities program.

Richard Battersby from UC Davis, and Sherry Lewis from UCLA, also received Sustainability All-Star awards at the Oct. 4 conference.

Green Fleet Award to UC San Diego

In a related award announcement at the eighth annual Government Green Fleet Awards, a competition of environmentally friendly vehicle-fleet operations that is open to all federal, state and local governments in North America, UC San Diego’s Fleet Services ranked 18th, and UC Davis’ vehicle fleet ranked third. The two UC campuses were the only colleges or universities included among the 40 awardees.

The Government Green Fleet Awards were based on seven categories of criteria:

  • Fleets are compared based on the composition of their conventional fueled (gas and diesel) vehicles versus hybrid, electric, and alternative fuels.
  • The use of renewable and alternative sources of fuel, comparing total conventional versus use of renewable fuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol.
  • Effective planning and securing organizational funding to continue purchasing green technologies is considered essential.
  • Not only how a fleet is used, but also the appropriate size of vehicles for their given jobs is crucial, because oversized vehicles emit more pollutants and consume more fuel than appropriately sized vehicles.
  • Fleet manager are expected to be informed, attend green seminars and subscribe to green publications.
  • Fleet managers are expected to involve employees about green–fleet programs, and educate their executive staffs and political leaders regarding the advantages of a green fleet and new technologies.
  • Fleet managers are expected to apply for grants, engage in recycling programs, and adopt green purchasing and maintenance programs.

For more information visit: Government Green Fleet Award: 2011 winners