According to a release, CNG vehicles produce 95 percent less particulate matter, 80 percent less nitrogen oxide, and provide a reduction of 23 percent in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to diesel engines, according to the US Department of Energy. "We are always looking for ways to lower the carbon footprint, and with diesel fuel prices continuing to rise, the timing was right to convert the Tucson fleet to natural gas vehicles," says Christopher Clements, CEO, Golden Eagle Distributors Inc.
"We could not have implemented this project without Ryder. Ryder has been our strategic transportation partner for 40 years. We rely on their expertise when it comes to evaluating new technologies, such as alternative fuels. Ryder has helped us find an alternative fuel that is not only cleaner and better for the environment, but we also expect to see real fuel cost savings over time. Our trust from working with Ryder for 40 years ensures us that the CNG vehicles will meet the needs of our drivers and the loads we carry daily," continues Christopher Clements.
Long-time Golden Eagle employee Kevin Murray adds: "This truck drives great. It has just as much power as our current diesel trucks and is much better for our environment. I am proud that Golden Eagle has made the move to CNG vehicles."
"We are proud to be such a long-standing partner and thank Golden Eagle for trusting us with their business for 40 years," says Robert Sanchez, president of Global Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder. "We are committed to continuing to provide Golden Eagle with innovative transportation solutions, such as natural gas vehicles, which not only help them achieve their sustainability goals, but also enable them to realize meaningful cost-saving and efficiency benefits."
The Tucson fleet conversion is part of a bigger CNG plan that Golden Eagle is embarking on over the next several years. Over time, Golden Eagle says it will convert all fleet vehicles to CNG in their six branch operations throughout the state. Then light duty passenger vehicles will be changed over to CNG in each branch.
To service their CNG fleet, Golden Eagle is working toward opening their own CNG fuel stations in Tucson and then at several other branch locations including Casa Grande and Buckeye. In spring 2011, Golden Eagle purchased an acre of land adjacent to the Headquarters property in Tucson. That land will be used for a CNG fueling station.
Environmental awareness is part of the business plan at Golden Eagle. The Company reported that it was named Arizona's Greenest Workplace in 2010 by Mrs. Green's World, an environmental website that promotes global sustainability. GED was honored for its recycling and energy efficiency initiatives, employee carpooling, and for its green transportation program. In 2010, Golden Eagle recycled over four tons of aluminum, over 62 tons of glass and over 420 cubic yards of cardboard, plastic and paper. Last year, Golden Eagle installed new lights in the Tucson warehouse that will save 656,000 kilowatts per year. Improvements last year in the HVAC controls resulted in electric usage dropping 8.7 percent and natural gas usage dropping 60 percent. These are significant changes that have a positive effect on the environment.
Golden Eagle noted that its efforts are being honored nationally. Bill Osteen, Golden Eagle senior VP of business operations, will speak in October at the 2011 Green Fleet Conference in Grapevine, Texas. The conference is a resource for fleet industry professionals looking for ways to save money and work sustainability into their fleet operations. Bill will share his insights about the Golden Eagle CNG fleet conversion.
The Company says that the CNG project is part of a continual process at Golden Eagle to identify opportunities to incorporate sustainability into the business plan, without increasing costs. CNG has become a part of the Golden Eagle business plan, creating a more efficient, cleaner fleet while creating cost savings.