Illustration via GFC.

Illustration via GFC.

The 2014 Green Fleet Conference & Expo kicks off on Oct. 28 in Schaumburg, Ill., with a three-day event for fleet professionals and vendors from around the country that offers seminars, exhibits, networking opportunities and a ride and drive event.

This year’s conference provides 12 sessions for government, commercial and heavy-duty fleets. Each session is led by industry experts with years of fleet management experience.

The first day of the conference gives attendees the chance to learn more about natural gas fueling stations with Ozinga Energy. The CNG solutions company is celebrating its fourth station opening in the Chicagoland area. Aside from a ribbon cutting ceremony, attendees will be shuttled from the hotel to the station to learn about the benefits of CNG and how to convert a fleet to CNG. Other events on Tuesday include the Green Fleet 101: First Timers’ Orientation and Clean Cities Open Forum: For Organizers, Stakeholders & GFC attendees (RSVP required for both events).

The opening keynote speaker is Mark Smith from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities. Smith is the vehicle technologies manager for the DOE. He specializes in energy policy and strategic planning. Smith will walk discuss alternative fuels starting with their emergence to some of the obstacles in the industry over the last 20 years.

Outside the Renaissance Hotel, attendees will have the chance to test out some of the latest alternative fuel vehicles on an open course during the Ride and Drive event. Navistar’s Pro-Star, Roush CleanTech’s 2011 Ford E-350, and WM GreenTech’s Electric 2014 GTA G-2 are just a few of the featured vehicles available to test drive. The full list of vehicles can be found on the Green Fleet Conference site.

The first general session brings together the Green Fleet Conference Fuel Association Ambassadors to clarify some of the misconceptions about alternative fuels. Green Fleet Conference veteran Richard Battersby will interview each ambassador in a late-night show style panel. Battersby is the Equipment Services Manager for the City of Oakland. The four fuel ambassadors representing a different alternative fuel or technology from organizations, include the Electrification CoalitionDiesel Technology ForumNational Biodiesel Board, and Propane Education and Research Council (PERC).

This year’s conference schedule has added a series of sessions designed for trucking fleets. The Heavy Duty Green Symposium has four separate sessions touching on topics from things one should know about natural gas to 121 ways to save money on fuel.

Green Fleet Magazine will also recognize those “All-Stars” who have successfully made their operations more sustainable. New this year is HDT’s award for sustainability. Heavy Duty Trucking fleets who have been named top 50 green fleets will also get special recognition.

The closing keynote speaker is John Viera from Ford Motor Co. Viera will wrap up the conference with his closing address, sponsored by LeasePlan on ‘Rethinking Green From Philanthropic to Sustainable Business Strategies.’ Viera is the global director of sustainability for Ford. Viera spends his time translating environmental and social sustainability practices into a business plan for Ford.

Be sure to check Green Fleet Magazine's website and @GreenFleetMag to get updates from the conference.