Oct 16, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Department of Environment has made its vehicle fleet more environment-friendly by purchasing 12 hybrid vehicles, Environment Minister Rick Miles announced today.
"I am proud that the Department of Environment can lead by example by adding these fuel-efficient, environment-friendly hybrid vehicles to its fleet," said Miles. "This initiative will reduce CO2 emissions by 78 tonnes, representing a 62 per cent decrease in our carbon footprint, which will put this province even closer to realizing the goals set out in the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan, and that much closer to becoming a self-sufficient province by 2026."
Eleven Ford Escape Hybrids and one Honda Civic Hybrid will be used by staff for performing audits and monitoring, as well as other travel required while working for the department.
The province launched the five-year New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan in June 2007. As a result of New Brunswick-led initiatives in the plan, greenhouse-gas emissions will be reduced in the province by 5.5 megatonnes annually in 2012.
One of the strategic sectors included in the plan is the transportation sector, which accounts for 25 per cent of New Brunswick's greenhouse-gas emissions.
In keeping with the goals of the climate-change plan, the Department of Transportation announced its Green Fleet policy last November. The policy will see all of the new replacement vehicles in government's 3,900-vehicle fleet meeting a strict low-emission standard by being in the top 10 per cent for fuel efficiency in their class. The new hybrid vehicles meet the standards of this policy.
In addition, the department will equip these vehicles with technology to enable field staff to get access to office files and databases through an in-vehicle laptop, and reduce travelling between field and office to verify information.
"The new, mobile hybrid-vehicle work stations will save time, reduce wear and tear on departmental vehicles, and decrease emissions," said Miles. "Installing this new technology will allow field staff to spend more time in the field, as well as reduce response times, and will provide information that will help the department educate staff on decreasing fuel use and decreasing emissions."
More information about the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan is available online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Graham, communications, Department of Environment, 506-457-3700.