Steering Toward Cleaner Transportation
By: Katie Dugan, Associate Director - Fleet Operations
Amid the standard pleasantries usually exchanged when making the acquaintance of someone new, the question, "What exactly does Fleet Operations at AT&T do?" remains one of my favorites. Not only do I enjoy the looks of surprise when I share that we operate one of the largest vehicle fleets in the country, but I also savor the opportunity to discuss our commitment to reducing our fleet's consumption of petroleum-based fuels and our country's dependence on imported oil.
Achieving this task while also reducing vehicle emissions and sparking demand for others to follow suit may sound like no small undertaking, but it is business as usual for us. Through the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles, we desire to be a part of sustainable transportation solutions.
As we progress in our quest to deploy about 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles to our fleet by the end of 2018, we have been privileged to celebrate key milestones, each meriting recognition as a stepping stone in our path to a cleaner future. During 2012, we proudly deployed our 7,000th alternative fuel vehicle and excitedly determined that 10 percent of our corporate fleet of over 71,000 vehicles was now comprised of alternative fuel models - the majority of which will never consume a drop of gasoline. Each milestone achieved, however, is simply a snapshot in time and part of a much bigger picture.
There will surely be unseen roadblocks and currently unimagined new technologies as we march toward our 2018 goal. Since there is no instruction manual on how to execute an alternative fuel vehicle program, we view every success as a victory and every challenge as an opportunity to reevaluate our strategy, revise our road map and call upon the expertise of key stakeholders.
Automakers, vehicle upfitters, compressed natural gas station owners, industry experts and governments all play pivotal roles in what we choose to deploy, how we operate and how we adapt to changing market conditions. The relationships we build, both internal and external to our company, are integral to a successful program.
As we enter the fifth year of making our fleet more sustainable through alternative fuel vehicles, I marvel at how far we have come. Our program has matured and its foundation has been strengthened, fueled by the dedication of countless individuals who recognize the need to address issues of air quality and energy dependence today.
With so much work still ahead of AT&T (and the country) on clean transportation, it can be easy to lose sight of the inspiration behind our efforts and the end goal. But I can always count on the simplest of reminders - a picture of my children, a scenic view or even the question, "So, what exactly does Fleet Operations do at AT&T?" to bring the finish line back into focus.