Queen’s Park to dangle green carrot

TORONTO — Ontario truckers might be in for some government largesse this summer, if that is, they prove to Queen’s Park they’re making their fleets greener.

That’s the prognosis from Roger Smith, a consultant with Fleet Challenge Ontario (FCO), who made a presentation to the 45th annual Canadian Fleet Management Seminar (CFMS) this week in Toronto.

He said the organization that he has been working with has been tasked with recommending to Queen’s Park how best to introduce a green commercial fleet incentive program.

He told the conference that the government will be considering offering subsidies for truckers who purchase APUs, aerodynamic add-ons or other after-market greening technologies. The actual terms of the proposed program have yet to be defined.

“Watch for this in July,” he said.

Smith made the comments during a presentation entitled: “Does your organization have a green plan?” When he’s not helping the government decide how to dole out public money to trucking companies, Smith does consulting for private and public companies who want to set green targets or reduce fuel costs.

For example, he said his software can track vehicle emissions and the cost impact of either spending on new trucks or retrofitting your gear. And why would a fleet care, other than paying less fuel bills?

“There are a large number of reasons,” says Smith. “We would save money, but corporate social responsibility is huge.”

Lenders and other financial institutions prefer “green” carriers and an increasing number of customers — Ikea springs to mind — only consider bids from so-called green carriers. He said they’ve worked with about 50 fleets over the past two years and out of all of them, only one did not make more money after following his greening recommendations.

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