Drive Clean Indiana lauds sustainable transportation leaders

Emissions reductions celebrated at annual conference and expo

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MICHIGAN CITY, INDIANA — Drive Clean Indiana honored Indiana’s sustainable transportation leaders at the statewide nonprofit’s Annual Conference and Expo.

“Our members are leading the way for the adoption and expansion of sustainable transportation efforts across Indiana,” Drive Clean Indiana Executive Director Carl Lisek said. “We applaud their efforts and encourage others to follow their lead.”

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The awards presented at the Drive Clean Indiana Annual Conference & Expo Tuesday, Aug. 9 at the Blue Chip Stardust Event Center in Michigan City, Indiana celebrated the successes of Drive Clean Indiana members in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and gasoline gallon equivalents in 2021. All winners were selected from among Drive Clean Indiana members.

The Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Committee was named 2021 Overall Member Organization of the Year.

The Drive Clean Indiana Overall Clean Fuel Champion Award was presented to South Bend Ethanol. The award is given to the Drive Clean Indiana member with the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions and gasoline gallon equivalents reduced during the previous year.

Runners up in the 2021 Clean Fuel Champion Award category were Ozinga, Family Express, Homewood Disposal and South Bend Transpo.

Collectively, the Clean Fuel Champion Award winners displaced more than 10.5 million tons of gasoline gallon equivalents. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, that is the greenhouse gas emission reduction equivalent of removing nearly 20,000 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.

In 2020, Drive Clean Indiana managed the Green Fleet programs for two Northern Indiana metropolitan planning organizations, the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) and the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC). With Drive Clean Indiana’s expansion statewide in February 2021, the program is also now statewide.

The goal of the program is to significantly improve the environmental performance of government fleets by implementing sustainable transportation strategies. Green Fleet members receive professional consultation including a fleet assessment and emissions quantification report.

The 2021 MACOG Green Fleet Member of the Year Award was presented to South Bend Transpo. The MACOG Green Fleet Member of the Year Award recognizes the MACOG Drive Clean Indiana Green Fleet member that stands as an example for others in their actions and commitments to sustainable practices. MACOG serves Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph counties in Indiana.

The 2021 NIRPC Green Fleet Member of the Year Award was presented to the City of Portage. The NIRPC Green Fleet Member of the Year Award recognizes a NIRPC Drive Clean Indiana Green Fleet member that stands as an example for others in their actions and commitments to sustainable practices. NIRPC serves Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties in Indiana.

Leah Thill, senior environmental planner for the Michiana Area Council of Governments, was honored as the 2021 Empowering Woman of the Year. The award recognizes a woman affiliated with Drive Clean Indiana who is passionate about sustainable transportation solutions and has demonstrated measurable impacts related to her efforts.

The 2021 Green School Bus of the Year was presented to Monroe County Community School Corporation. The school district already has three electric school buses in its fleet – funded in part by successful grant applications written in partnership with Drive Clean Indiana – and in March 2022, received approval for funding for four additional electric buses, helping the district reach its goal of going fully electric in the next seven to 10 years.

The 2021 Green Fleet Offroad Champion award was presented to Feralloy Corporation of Portage. Drive Clean Indiana recognizes leading shippers, logistics companies and industry partners that are optimizing the environmental performance and efficiency of their offroad operations while serving as role models for other businesses with this award.

The 2021 Clean Fuel Fleet Award was presented to Ozinga. Drive Clean Indiana celebrates an industry partner that takes action to transition to a cleaner fuel economy with this award.

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