April 22 is Earth Day - a day to remind ourselves how to be more aware of the impact we have on our surroundings.

Apr. 20th, 2018

Earth Day 2018

The International Motorcoach Group (IMG) continues to work in unison with the University of Vermont and their E-ratings program - a program that focuses on reducing carbon emission though education and best practices.

Over a period of nearly 5 years, IMG has worked with Director, Dave Kestenbaum, to create awareness, and implementing programs that are sustainable for IMG motorcoach operators and the environment. Motorcoach transportation is, by its nature a green alternative to cars, and as the industry continues to evolve IMG is committed to taking a leading role in ensuring green practices are in place.

In working to enhance their operations and green commitment, many IMG companies have embraced the University of Vermont workshops outside of their standard programs, and have witnessed immediate and long term impacts.

"We have been working with the University of Vermont for our certification for sustainable transportation for a couple of years now. The program has brought great awareness to our staff from the drivers, to the mechanics and cleaning staff. We have been coached on things like unnecessary idle time and better driving habits to increase our fuel economy. The ability to have someone like Dave Kestenbaum come to our facility and coach our staff has had a huge impact on our company from a fuel efficiency and overall fuel cost savings. The other factor is the wear and tear savings on items like the regeneration system for the emissions portion of the engine. Reducing the idle time helps the regeneration system maintain its effectiveness for the overall emissions. Having a partner like Dave and the University of Vermont is a great for the IMG network and larger industry", Eugene Thomas, General Manager, All Aboard America.

Dan Martin, President, Karst Stagelines, Montana, "At first when I heard of the program, I was skeptical. In working with Dave we evolved in our thinking to understand how the program could work in a meaningful way in our environment. We started by having drivers do the online E-certification which raised awareness. Then during our all staff meeting, David explained that the goal was not to work against customer service, but be aware of our habits as drivers. Coming from a cold weather environment where it can take a long time to bring a passenger cabin up to a comfortable temperature, it is an important balancing act and David presented this well. I have personally witnessed drivers using the pretrip technique he speaks of. And finally, we reinforced things by creating group texts and putting lapel pins on our drivers branded jackets to remind them every day to be conscious of our training. Overall, we could not be happier in making our industry greener while saving Karst some green in the process."

The comprehensive workshop that University of Vermont runs when visiting an IMG operator incudes: reviewing telematics data; current standard operating procedures; sharing real stories about what has and has not worked at other companies; addressing concerns about driver and/or passenger comfort and safety; generating a conversation amongst staff, dispelling myths; making drivers aware of manufacturer recommendations; creating buy-in from staff; helping establish new Standard Operating Procedures (or efficiency goals if necessary); and creating a low-cost, easy to use program that will remain relevant over time. While onsite Mr. Kestenbaum works to meet with every driver, mechanic, member of the wash-crew and office staff.

These workshops have helped IMG companies to more fully understand and use their telematic and GPS data, which really impacts the practices of reducing fuel consumption and idling thereby reducing carbon emissions.

At IMG we celebrate Earth Day, and our continual endeavors in enhancing our green commitment.