Monday, February 12, 2018

INL wins Green Spirit Award for transportation program

Idaho National Laboratory buses lined up and ready to roll.
The American Bus Association (ABA) Environmental Committee has selected Idaho National Laboratory as a winner of the 2018 Green Spirit Award in the “special recognition” category. This award is given to companies that demonstrate the greatest commitment to environmental stewardship in all areas of its business and community.

ABA is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motor coach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services.

The Green Spirit Award, co-sponsored by leading bus manufacturer Motor Coach Industries (MCI), is based on three aspects of a company’s operations: administrative, maintenance, and equipment and facility practices. INL was among three winners of the award from across the nation, along with Badger Coaches of Madison, Wisconsin, and Premier Transportation of Dallas, Texas.

INL Transportation Services – which operates the largest bus and light vehicle fleet in the U.S. Department of Energy complex – has long been a supporter of investigation into improving sustainability of bus and vehicle systems. INL pursues ongoing efforts to conserve fuel, including a stringent idle reduction program. Drivers and mechanics attend annual driver safety training, which incorporates fuel-efficient driving techniques into classroom and on-the-job training.

Further reductions in petroleum fuels are anticipated through the implementation of a “no-idle” battery electric auxiliary power unit (APU) with a high performance solar energy system on INL buses. With funding support from the Department of Energy’s Sustainability Performance Office, INL formed a working partnership with Bergstrom, Inc., a prominent cab climate systems designer/builder, and Motor Coach Industries, to design and modify a bus cooling-ventilating system to sharply reduce idle emissions. In August 2017, a pilot proof-of-concept no-idle HVAC project was completed with the installation of the Bergstrom battery electric APU with solar, and motor coach industry representatives attended a demonstration and technical review at the Energy Innovation Laboratory. The system is now being tested on INL fleet vehicles.

ABA presented the award to leaders of INL's Mission Support Services Division, which manages Transportation Services, at the association’s annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Jan. 29.

“We are truly honored to receive this award from our peers in the motor coach industry,” said Scott Wold, INL Mission Support Services director. “The award recognizes INL for many years of investment in environmentally responsible equipment and the adoption of green business practices, including collaboration with the motor coach industry to find cleaner, more energy-efficient technology.”

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