Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Why we are Green
You may have noticed a little more green on our Ram Vans recently! We are glad you have visited this page, and would like to share our contribution to creating a cleaner, safer future for our city and our planet. Read on to find out exactly what Ram Van is doing.

Ram Van's Green Initiative

In 2008, Fordham officially announced that it was accepting a challenge posed to all of New York City by Mayor Michael Bloomberg: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the year 2030. Fordham as a whole is well on target to reach that goal - and sooner rather than later – thanks to sustainability initiatives being pursued by multiple departments of the University. As a department operating nearly 50 vehicles and transporting over 250,000 people annually, the Ram Van plays no small part in contributing to Fordham’s carbon footprint.  Since 2008, the Ram Van has also played a proportionally large role in leading Fordham’s sustainability makeover.

Operating a fleet of 15 passenger vans is a challenge in-and-of itself, and finding a way to improve the fuel efficiency of these massive, yet essential, vehicles was no small task. After two years of research, it was clear that a green alternative to our vehicles simply did not exist. But that did not stop us.

Ram Van was able to find a vendor that was willing to create a custom vehicle just for Fordham. Designed in a joint-effort between Ram Van administrators and custom manufacturers, the customization was based on existing technologies in parallel industries. Our first batch of “test” vehicles was delivered on January 30th, 2010.

We then began a detailed study comparing two varieties of our new vans - one van operating on biodiesel (B20) and one van utilizing standard diesel – to our standard gas vans. We were ecstatic to find that our biodiesel van had a 78% increase in fuel efficiency compared to our gas vans, and the diesel van had a 72% increase in fuel efficiency compared to gas vans.

After continued study and the verification of our findings, Ram Van developed a plan to gradually convert our entire fleet to biodiesel fuel by 2015. This will have a net impact of reducing our total emissions by at least 32%, preventing over 340,000 pounds of Co2 from entering the atmosphere yearly.

Our plan is currently being executed well-ahead of schedule. We currently have 14 biodiesel vans in operation, which has already achieved a 14.94% decrease in overall Co2 emission. We will have 3 more biodiesel vans by the end of this school year, and are anticipating a 100% biodiesel by 2015.

As a result of our pioneering success with the 15 passenger biodiesel vans, and based on feedback from other fleet customers, Chevy began producing diesel engined 15-passenger vans the following year. In this way, the reach of Ram Van’s green initiative can extend far beyond Fordham, and we hope our efforts will continue to spread the spirit of innovation and sustainability.

Our efforts do not end with the conversion of our entire fleet to cleaner, more efficient vehicles. Last year - in a joint effort between Fordham students, Chemistry department faculty and Sodexo food services - biodiesel fuel was produced from discarded food fat, provided by Sodexo. Expansion of this program is currently underway, and some day we hope that our green Ram Vans can run on clean fuel produced right here at Fordham.

More information about Fordham's sustainability elsewhere at the University:
  • Aiding Ram Van's Green Initiative is just one of the many things that Sodexo is doing at Fordham to improve the sustainability of our community as a whole. To see exactly what else our dining services are doing at Fordham, visit the hospitality services sustainability page.
  • To see Fordham's University-wide sustainability initiatives, please visit the center for sustainability at Fordham University.
  • As a reminder to all students, Fordham encourages you to participate in this year's Recyclemania at Fordham. Please visit the following page and ask your Resident Director for more information today

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