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FedEx Express/Environmental Defense and Seattle Mayor Win CALSTART Blue Sky Award


CALSTART, the California operating division of WestStart-CALSTART, an advanced transportation technologies consortium, announced the winners of the 2005 Blue Sky Awards: FedEx Express/Environmental Defense and Seattle, Washington, Mayor Greg Nickels.

The Blue Sky awards recognize the groundbreaking work of large and small companies for their outstanding marketplace contributions to clean air, energy efficiency and to the advanced transportation industry overall.

The Blue Sky Award’s criteria focus on marketplace actions. However, those activities may take many forms. Prospective award recipients can be manufacturers, developers or users of advanced transportation technologies or services. They can be selected for bringing new vehicles or vehicle technologies to market; for significant implementation of clean, sustainable transportation options; for significant technology breakthroughs that affect the marketplace, or for a combination of these things.

We had nearly three dozen very deserving entries from North America and Europe in 2005, a 10 percent increase over last year. These winners continue to raise the bar for those who follow.

—CALSTART President and CEO John Bossel

CALSTART will be presenting the Blue Sky Awards at a luncheon to be held December 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The luncheon is part of the 2020: California’s Transportation Energy Future conference, which will explore ways to mitigate the state’s dependence on petroleum.

FedEx Express and Environmental Defense were awarded the Blue Sky Award 2005 for “their nearly single-handed placement of commercial hybrid trucks on the map for corporate America.” The FedEx and Environmental Defense joint effort led the commercial truck market’s interest and efforts into the hybrid market.

The Blue Sky Award selection committee concluded that “other fleet operators were influenced by one of the nation’s most respected and sophisticated truck operators showing strong interest in hybrids,” which in turn motivated those fleets to embrace the technologies themselves. FedEx has helped shape change in commercial trucks.

Mayor Greg Nickels, Seattle, WA was awarded the Blue Sky Innovation Award for committing the City of Seattle to the goals and agenda of the Kyoto Protocols regarding global warming, including reductions in emissions and energy use from transportation. As a result of this local leadership, the U.S. Conference of Mayors in June passed the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to reduce GHG emissions in their cities. As of October, 183 mayors, representing 40 million Americans have accepted the challenge. The list is growing still proving that local actions and leadership can have broad impact

In 2005, three Blue Sky Merit Awards were also awarded for meaningful actions supporting and expanding advanced transportation:

  • New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was awarded a Blue Sky Merit Award for its leadership in the transit industry in the early use, commitment to and support of fuel-saving hybrid technology. New York MTA led the nation in purchasing and integrating more than 300 diesel-electric hybrid buses into customer service. It has now committed to purchase an additional 500 more—nearly tripling its fleet size in advanced driveline buses. Of the roughly 1,500 transit hybrids on order or delivered in the entire U.S., more than half (800+) are New York’s, showing how it is helping transform its industry.

  • EJ Harrison & Sons was given a Blue Sky Merit Award to recognize its aggressive approach toward minimizing vehicle emissions from its fleet by adopting a range of technologies, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), dual-fuel, clean diesel and engine retrofits. These actions have resulted in measurable air quality benefits in its 6-city service territory the Ventura, CA-based company serves with waste disposal services.

  • Hyperion Solutions received a Blue Sky Merit Award for its first-of-a-kind initiative to help its employees purchase fuel efficient cars for their personal use. Called Drive Clean to Drive Change, the company reimburses its employees $5,000 for purchasing vehicles that achieve at least 45 mpg. More than 200 employees are expected to participate in the program, and other large companies have contacted Hyperion to learn how to implement a similar program themselves.



Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is 'All talk and no walk'. Most people watching his 'made for TV' displays for building a comprehensive transport system by which emissions may be reduced in Seattle, conclude that he has failed. Seattle does not plan for any means of travel other than for driving. Mass transit, pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure are verbotten in Seattle. Greg Nickels never ventures far from the convenience of a 3-ton limosine. His bulbous waistline is a symbol of his loyalties.

tom deplume

The experience of Fed Ex shows how customer demand can override pure economics in driving a technological change. If our governments committed to buying as much renewable energy as possible no matter the current price business would soon be producing it in quantities previously unimagined.


Tom, I think you're focusing too much on the government, real change will come from business, and a new report from the UN suggests 2005 may have been the "watershed" moment when investiors and businesses realized the being green means making money. They believe that "trillions" will be funneled into green technology in the next decade.

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