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There was a special delivery Wednesday afternoon to the Kennedy School of Government. A bright white FedEx truck on display in the school’s courtyard was itself the special package as a peek under the hood revealed. The unique delivery truck was equipped with a hybrid diesel-electric engine that burns cleaner and achieves vastly better gas mileage than most other delivery trucks on the road.
The three organizations that teamed up to design the truck – FedEx Express, Environmental Defense and Eaton Corporation – were presented with the 2005 Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership during an awards ceremony Wednesday evening. The award is coordinated by the Belfer Center ’s Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP).
Kennedy School Academic Dean Stephen Walt presented the award in honor of “an outstanding partnership project that enhances environmental quality through the use of novel and creative approaches.”
“This project demonstrates that hybrid trucks can be a practical, economically viable alternative, and could become the industry standard,” said the Kennedy School ’s Henry Lee, director of the ENRP. If all goes well, FedEx plans to make the hybrid a standard replacement vehicle in its weight class of 30,000 medium-duty trucks
"We're honored that Harvard's prestigious Kennedy School has recognized the environmental achievement and ingenuity of our project with FedEx,” said Environmental Defense President Fred Krupp. “This project demonstrates that by tapping into the inexhaustible energy source of human creativity, imagination, and entrepreneurship, we can protect the environment for ourselves and future generations." He noted that two members of the Environmental Defense team responsible for the hybrid project are KSG alums: Gwen Ruta MPA’95, director of Corporate Partnerships, and Elizabeth Sturcken MPP’96, project manager.
David J. Bronczek, president of FedEx Express, added that FedEx “looks forward to continued pursuit of promising technologies that protect and respect the environment.” Jim Sweetnam, senior vice president and group executive for Eaton's Truck Group, which developed the hybrid electric powertrain technology, expressed Eaton’s appreciation for the recognition “along with our esteemed partners.”
This was the second Roy Family Award. The first award, presented in March 2003, recognized efforts to design and implement the Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Plan in Bolivia . The Roy Family has been a long-time supporter of the development of public-private partnerships to meet social goals.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ira Wyman