The Coca-Cola Company has joined the National Clean Fleets Partnership, an initiative spearheaded by President Barack Obama to help large private companies incorporate fuel-saving measures into daily operations. The announcement came last week at the Clean Cities Summit, held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The National Clean Fleets Partnership falls under the umbrella of Clean Cities, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program that brings together the federal government and private sector in an effort to reduce dependence on oil. In a speech on April 1, President Obama cited the Clean Fleets initiative as a way "to protect our planet and spur economic growth…a blueprint that will put America on a path toward a clean-energy future."

What Coca-Cola Is Doing

By optimizing delivery routes, reducing packaging weight and training drivers in ecofriendly driving practices, Coca-Cola is working to increase the efficiency not only of its American fleet, but of more than 200,000 delivery vehicles worldwide.

In North America, Coca-Cola is the beverage industry leader in deploying diesel-electric hybrid trucks, which are 30 percent more efficient than conventional trucks. It operates 650, more than any other company.

Among Coca-Cola’s other fuel-saving initiatives, last year, Coca Cola Refreshments (CCR) launched the innovative Smart Driver program, offering such instruction and tips as how an idling engine still burns fuel but gets you 0 miles per gallon as you aren’t actually going anywhere.

In addition to hybrid trucks, CCR rolled out fully electric trucks from New York’s Smith Electric. Soon, six Navistar eStar electric trucks will make deliveries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and Washington, D.C.

Other companies that have joined the partnership include FedEx, Staples and UPS. Each member company will work with the DOE to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce petroleum and diesel use in transportation.