Episode #
4
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Brandon Walton: Using Your Passion to Power a Cleaner Fleet

In this Episode
Brandon Walton
he/him
Fleet Services Manager
City of Pittsburgh, Office of Management and Budget
Matt Scott
he/him
Manager, Storytelling & Engagement
“Don’t let where you come from, or maybe even the things you’ve done in the past, weigh you down. You know, you can always make a difference. You can always make a change.”
In this Episode
Brandon Walton
he/him
Fleet Services Manager
City of Pittsburgh, Office of Management and Budget
Matt Scott
he/him
Manager, Storytelling & Engagement

Brandon’s Story

The City of Pittsburgh is leading local efforts to drive climate solutions in many ways, including electrifying the city’s vehicle fleets, from police cruisers to garbage trucks and other city-owned vehicles. Brandon Walton is the fleet manager for the city of Pittsburgh and is driving efforts to reduce emissions across Pittsburgh by investing in alternative energy sources and transitioning to a cleaner fleet. Brandon takes pride in his work and shares that, regardless of your past, “you can always make a difference and a change for the better because there is no guideline for who leads climate solutions,” and it should be all of us. 

Discussion Questions

One of the most important things you can do when it comes to climate change is talk about it.

  • What are the differences between the alternative energy sources that Brandon talks about: compressed natural gas (CNG), hybrid, electric? How are they each helping to draw down emissions that cause climate change?

  • A study in 2012 showed that the police fleet in Pittsburgh was the second dirtiest fleet among the city’s vehicles. Going hybrid in the police fleet is helping to draw down 60 percent of the emissions that would have been created. What are the connections between reducing vehicle emissions and improving people’s lives in the community?

  • The city of Pittsburgh operates nearly 1,000 vehicles. Brandon sees his job as “working for the people, the taxpayers of the city of Pittsburgh, the folks that live here and need the services that the city provides.” He feels that it is simply a responsible choice to transition the fleet to more energy-efficient alternatives, such as electric and hybrid vehicles. Do cities have a responsibility to use taxpayer dollars toward climate solutions that will impact the collective good? Do you think this example could inspire other communities to draw down emissions created from their fleets?

  • Brandon explains that sometimes people are afraid of switching to electric, and they have questions like, “Where will I charge the vehicle?” and “Will it be as capable and reliable as a gas-powered vehicle?” He shares that overwhelmingly, once people make the switch, there is no comparison. The benefits of electric vehicles are that they are more powerful and more comfortable to drive, have a quicker acceleration, and are quieter to drive. What questions do you have about electric vehicles? What do you think it will take for more drivers to make the switch?

  • Addressing climate change must work across multiracial, cross-class lines. Brandon explains that his background allows him to understand diverse perspectives, to be able to understand all levels of fleet management, with the ability to relate to the people across blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Having this understanding allows Brandon to work effectively with everybody with a lens on equity. What is the importance of having a diverse range of professions, regardless of education level and economic class?

Learn More

Learn about the solutions in this story.

Explore Climate Solutions 101, the world's first major educational effort focused solely on solutions. This video series combines Project Drawdown’s trusted resources with the expertise of inspiring voices from around the world: drawdown.org/climate-solutions-101.

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