TUCSON, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc. hosted a green ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday to celebrate the arrival of their first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fleet vehicle. Golden Eagle, in partnership with Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R), is converting its entire heavy duty fleet in Tucson to Compressed Natural Gas vehicles by the end of 2011. Ryder executives, including Bobby Stewart, Vice President of National Sales, presented the vehicle to Golden Eagle executives including Christopher Clements, CEO, and Kimberly Clements, President.
“We are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and with diesel fuel prices continuing to rise, the timing was right to convert our Tucson fleet to natural gas vehicles”
To support distribution operations in Tucson, AZ, Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc., a Ryder full service lease customer for 40 years, has agreed to lease 23 CNG vehicles. Through this effort, Golden Eagle will be converting its entire 23 vehicle delivery fleet in Tucson to CNG vehicles by the end of 2011. The vehicles are part of a strategic alternative fuel program at Golden Eagle focused on reducing transportation-generated emissions and reducing fuel costs.
CNG vehicles produce 95% less particulate matter, 80% less nitrogen oxide, and provide a reduction of 23% in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to diesel engines, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. “We are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and with diesel fuel prices continuing to rise, the timing was right to convert our Tucson fleet to natural gas vehicles,” said Christopher Clements, CEO, Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc.
“We could not have implemented this project without Ryder. Ryder has been our strategic transportation partner for 40 years. We rely on their expertise when it comes to evaluating new technologies, such as alternative fuels. Ryder has helped us find an alternative fuel that is not only cleaner and better for the environment, but we also expect to see real fuel cost savings over time. Our trust from working with Ryder for 40 years ensures us that the CNG vehicles will meet the needs of our drivers and the loads we carry daily,” continued Christopher Clements.
Long-time Golden Eagle employee Kevin Murray added, “This truck drives great. It has just as much power as our current diesel trucks and is much better for our environment. I am proud that Golden Eagle has made the move to CNG vehicles.”
“We are proud to be such a long-standing partner and thank Golden Eagle for trusting us with their business for 40 years,” said Robert Sanchez, President of Global Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder. “We are committed to continuing to provide Golden Eagle with innovative transportation solutions, such as natural gas vehicles, which not only help them achieve their sustainability goals, but also enable them to realize meaningful cost-saving and efficiency benefits.”
The Tucson fleet conversion is the first part of a bigger CNG plan that Golden Eagle is embarking on over the next several years. Over time, Golden Eagle will convert all fleet vehicles to CNG in their six branch operations throughout the state. Then light duty passenger vehicles will be changed over to CNG in each branch. To service their CNG fleet, Golden Eagle is working toward opening their own CNG fuel stations in Tucson and then at several other branch locations including Casa Grande and Buckeye. In spring 2011, Golden Eagle purchased an acre of land adjacent to the Headquarters property in Tucson. That land will be used for a CNG fueling station.
Environmental awareness is part of the business plan at Golden Eagle. Golden Eagle was named Arizona’s Greenest Workplace in 2010 by Mrs. Green’s World, an environmental website that promotes global sustainability. GED was recognized for its recycling and energy efficiency initiatives, employee carpooling, and for its green transportation program. In 2010, Golden Eagle recycled over 4 tons of aluminum, over 62 tons of glass and over 420 cubic yards of cardboard, plastic and paper. Last year, Golden Eagle installed new lights in the Tucson warehouse that will save 656,000 kilowatts per year. Improvements last year in the HVAC controls resulted in electric usage dropping 8.7% and natural gas usage dropping 60%. These are significant changes that have a positive effect on our environment.
Golden Eagle’s efforts are being recognized nationally. Bill Osteen, Golden Eagle Senior Vice President of Business Operations, will speak in October at the 2011 Green Fleet Conference in Grapevine, Texas. The conference is a resource for fleet industry professionals looking for ways to save money and work sustainability into their fleet operations. Bill will share his insights about the Golden Eagle CNG fleet conversion.
The CNG project is part of a continual process at Golden Eagle to identify opportunities to incorporate sustainability into the business plan, without increasing costs. CNG has become an important part of the Golden Eagle business plan, creating a more efficient, cleaner fleet while creating cost savings.
Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc. has been the exclusive distributor of Anheuser-Busch products, as well as other craft beers and imports, across most of Arizona since its founding in 1974. The third-generation company is owned by the Clements Family and is headquartered in Tucson with offices in Buckeye, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Globe, Show Low and Tempe, Arizona. For more information about Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc. please visit www.gedaz.com and www.facebook.com/goldeneagledistributorsinc.
Ryder is a FORTUNE 500® commercial transportation, logistics and supply chain management solutions company. Ryder’s stock (NYSE:R) is a component of the Dow Jones Transportation Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Inbound Logistics magazine has recognized Ryder as a top third party logistics provider and included Ryder in its 2010 and 2011 “Green Partners” listing. Ryder also ranked 114 out of the top 500 U.S. companies and sixth in its industry sector in the 2010 Newsweek Green Rankings. Ryder is a charter member of the NGV Fleet Forum and a member of the Department of Energy’s National Clean Fleets partnership. Ryder is also a proud member of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, supporting national and local disaster preparedness and response efforts. For more information on Ryder System, Inc., visit www.ryder.com.