When Golden Eagle Distributors moved much of its fleet from diesel to compressed natural gas, the company did more than lower its costs and carbon footprint. It increased transportation efficiency – and raised environmental awareness across the Arizona market.
In 2011, Golden Eagle, a distributor of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages with an award-winning reputation for its sustainability initiatives, sought to convert its fleet from diesel to CNG. The move would be the largest environmental initiative in its history.
Drawing on its 40-year relationship with Ryder, Golden Eagle tapped Ryder’s Flex-to-Green (F2G) lease program, which gave the distributor the option to switch diesel-powered vehicles to CNG vehicles at its own pace. The program has been so seamless, today, 34 of the company’s 75 trucks run on natural gas.
With Ryder’s Flex-to-Green program, Golden Eagle achieved three key benefits:
- Greater sustainability. The CNG vehicles produce 95 percent less particulate matter, 80 percent less nitrogen oxide, and provide a reduction of 23 percent greenhouse gas emissions compared to diesel engines, according to U.S. Department of Energy statistics.
- Improved cost savings. Almost immediately, Golden Eagle realized a return on its investment. It reduced transportation costs by 4.3 percent, minimized investment in fleet equipment, improved return on capital, and gained expense predictability.
- Enhanced green reputation. From drivers proud to drive CNG vehicles bearing “Clean and Green” decals, to local, state, and industry awards for its commitment to conservation, Golden Eagle is known for its sustainability programs. Local schools and area businesses have visited the company to learn more, and its Tucson and Casa Grande refueling stations serve other fleets and the public.
“We’ve received accolades all along in our process of converting to natural gas,” says Bill Osteen, senior vice president of operations for Golden Eagle, who’s now planning to eventually convert the entire fleet, including small pickups, cars and vans. “The move toward a natural gas fleet is a really big thing for us.”
To learn more about Golden Eagle Distributors’ conversion to compressed natural gas, click here to download a Ryder Customer Spotlight.