Denver’s Green Fleets Executive Orders

The City and County of Denver operates a combined fleet of 3,500 vehicles. Faced with rising fuel costs, increased air pollution, and Federal mandates to clean the city’s air, Denver enacted the “Green Fleets” executive order on Earth Day in 1993. According to Deborah Kielian, Program Manager of Mobile Sources, “Denver is providing public leadership, saving the City money, managers operate their fleets more efficiently, we benefit from an environmental perspective, and we provide an example to private companies.”

As a result of this order, managers of Denver City fleets must purchase the most cost-effective and lowest emission vehicle possible that still meet the operational requirements of the agency. In order to accomplish this goal fuel efficiency standards are included in procurement specifications. The Green Fleets review process also includes “right-sizing” fleets by reducing vehicle size and eliminating old and underused vehicles. The effectiveness of the program is measured by fleet energy use and CO2 emissions. Originally the program set targets of 1% and 1.5% annual average reductions in fuel expenditures and CO2 emissions, respectively. After achieving substantial reductions the order was revised in 2000, and new goals were targeted to provide more flexibility.

CLICK HERE to see the current Green Fleets executive order (revised 2000).

CLICK HERE to see key portions of the original (1993) Green Fleets executive order.

Performance of the Green Fleets program is monitored by a review committee appointed by the Mayor. Because the necessary staff were already in place, the program has not resulted in significant additional expenses for the City. Authorities estimate that Green Fleets activities currently take up 20% of the time of the Manager for Mobile Sources, approximately 5% of the time of Fleet Managers and Review Committee members, and less than 3% of the time of the departmental Environmental Transportation Coordinators.

In 1999:

o Green Fleets Committee decisions offset the City’s fleet growth by 10 vehicles and downsized thirteen others.
o Saved the City $40,000 in annual operation and maintenance costs.
o Saved the City up to $100,000 in annual capital costs by not purchasing some of the vehicles requested.
o Prevented the emission of 10 to 15 tons of CO2.