For Immediate Release - October 11, 2023
Leigh Martin, Environmental Analyst
Department of Environmental Conservation
Vermont DEC and GMP Help Ben & Jerry’s Reduce Diesel Usage and Eliminate Over 90 Tons of Carbon Each Year
Montpelier, Vt. – The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Green Mountain Power (GMP) awarded over $160,000 in funding and incentive payments to help Ben & Jerry’s purchase two new electric vehicles for its factories in St. Albans and Waterbury. These electric vehicles, called yard trucks, will help improve air quality and reduce Vermont’s carbon footprint.
DEC awarded Ben & Jerry’s almost $135,000 towards the new St. Albans yard truck. This award was part of the Vermont Diesel Emissions Reduction Financial Assistance Program, which provides technical assistance and incentive funding for projects that reduce diesel emissions from engines, vehicles, and equipment in Vermont. This award marks the first non-road vehicle electrification project funded by DEC through the program.
“This is a good example of how businesses can start to shift away from diesel-powered equipment where cleaner, viable alternatives exist,” said Air Quality and Climate Division Director, Heidi Hales.
Based on the amount of carbon emissions the project will offset, GMP provided an additional $26,000 towards both electric vehicles and their charging equipment. GMP’s Business Innovation program helps organizations save with custom incentives when they switch away from fossil fuel for their operations.
“This is a great collaboration that is making a difference for Ben & Jerry’s employees and Vermont, all while reducing costs for all GMP customers,” said Tiana Smith, GMP’s Leader of Electrification and Sustainability.
The two new electric yard trucks will be used to move box trailers filled with product to and from the loading dock and within the factory warehouse yard. Because diesel emissions standards for non-road equipment like yard trucks have traditionally been less stringent than they are for on-road vehicles, transitioning to electric can yield substantial benefits for the environment and public health. This change from conventional diesel yard trucks will eliminate over 90 tons of carbon emissions per year and almost 9,000 gallons in diesel fuel consumption per year. The yard trucks will also reduce over four tons of nitrogen oxides and over 500 pounds of fine particulates per year – two air pollutants that are known to worsen asthma and other respiratory conditions.
“We’re thrilled to work with the state to find more ways for our business and partners to adopt new technology that improves ways of working, public health, and Vermont’s overall environment,” said Jenna Evans, Ben & Jerry’s global sustainability manager.
Ben & Jerry’s intends to hold a ribbon cutting event for the electric yard trucks at their St. Albans factory later this year.
With funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Vermont Diesel Emissions Reduction Financial Assistance Program funds eligible projects that achieve significant reductions in harmful diesel emissions such as diesel vehicle or equipment replacements, engine retrofits, and the installation of idle reduction technologies. In the most recent round of funding, the program also awarded funding to the Town of Poultney, Bourne’s Energy, and Leader Distributions Systems, Inc.
DEC expects to open applications for the program this fall. Contact Leigh Martin at Leigh.Martin@vermont.gov to receive email updates about the program.
The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for protecting Vermont's natural resources and safeguarding human health for the benefit of this and future generations. Visit dec.vermont.gov and follow the Department of Environmental Conservation on Facebook and Instagram.
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