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Green Freight Assessment Program: Application Guide

Section 1: Introduction

1.1 Background

In Canada, transportation contributes nearly one quarter of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Heavy-duty vehicles account for a significant amount of these transportation-related GHG emissions. Demand for freight is highly correlated with economic growth and continues to grow due to increasingly globalized supply chains, ‘just-in-time’ delivery and the exportation of natural resources. While current and proposed heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) GHG emission regulations aim to reduce emissions from this sector, these regulations apply only to new vehicles and engines and not the current fleet of in-use vehicles, many of which will remain in use for numerous years with an average service life of more than 15 years. Furthermore, the emission regulations only affect vehicle technologies and do not influence operational practices within the freight supply chain.

It is recognized that there is significant emission reductions potential from improving freight efficiency and Canada is identifying pathways for reducing emissions while ensuring competitiveness of the sector. A key part of these reductions will be obtained from HDV fleets implementing energy efficient operational practices, adopting newer technologies and purchasing alternatively fuelled vehicles. However, barriers persist to the wide-spread integration of energy-efficient measures in Canada’s HDV fleets, in part due to a lack of awareness of measures well-suited for Canadian companies.

1.2 Natural Resources Canada – SmartWay Transport Partnership

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has been promoting freight efficiency within Canada’s on-road heavy-duty fleet for many years, by providing tools and information first through its FleetSmart program and more recently through the SmartWay Transport Partnership. NRCan has delivered the FleetSmart program since 1998, offering free training and information on technologies and best practices encouraging the reduction of fuel use and related GHG emissions within commercial vehicles. Building on the success of FleetSmart, NRCan has been engaging Canada’s freight industry through the SmartWay Transport Partnership program. Delivered in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 2012, the SmartWay program helps companies measure, report and benchmark emissions from their freight activities. To date more than 3,500 North American companies have signed on to the Partnership, and are invested in reducing fuel costs, improving efficiency, and encouraging best practices in their freight supply chains.

1.3 Introduction to the Project

In an effort to expand the suite of tools and information offered to the freight sector, NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency is pleased to announce the Green Freight Assessment Program (GFAP). This program will provide contributions of up to $10,000 to help fleet owners and operators perform in depth analysis on their operations and make informed decisions to reduce costs.

Section 2: Project Objectives and Priorities

2.1 Key Objectives and Outcomes

The objective of this initiative is to build the capacity of organizations to improve energy efficiency of Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDV) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through this initiative, NRCan expects to increase the knowledge and capacity of the on-road freight sector to adopt energy efficiency measures tailored to operational needs by providing cost-sharing support.

GFAP has been designed to provide increased access to freight efficiency tools and information to all Heavy Duty fleets across Canada. Our goal is to offer an opportunity to HDV fleets to benefit from this cost-sharing program.  The project aims to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the on-road freight sector as well as a reduction in operational costs due to more energy-efficient HDV fleets in Canada.

Section 3:  Funding Details

3.1 Funding Amount and Duration

Successful applicants will be eligible to receive up to $10,000 through 50% cost-sharing contributions to complete a Fleet Energy Audit. The size of the fleet being considered will determine the maximum amount of eligible funding. Selected applicants will be eligible for funding from the time that the contribution agreement is signed by NRCan until the project completion deadline of September 15th 2018. Successful applicants will be required to report on their outcomes through the NRCan developed Green Freight Assessment Program Tool and will provide a follow-up with NRCan a year later detailing their progress made on the outcome of their assessment. 

The value of contribution requested through NRCan must not exceed $10,000.

In accordance with program Terms & Conditions (T&Cs), the proponent will be required to disclose a quote  for the energy efficiency assessment prior to the signature of the contribution agreement. These Terms & Conditions specify that NRCan will pay up to 50% of total assessment costs upon receipt of the completed Green Freight Assessment Program Tool. 

3.2 Basis for Payment

A Contribution agreement will outline the required terms for payment, which will be made as a reimbursement of 50% of fleet energy assessment as incurred by the proponent. Payments will be made based on measurable, pre-defined project milestones, as well as the receipt of proper documentation as defined in the agreement.
NRCan is under no obligation to enter into a funding agreement as a result of the online application.

Section 4: Submission Details and Deadlines

Project proposal review and selection will be a three-step process:

  1. Submission of an online application for review;
  2. Proposal review, assessment, selection, and applicant notification; and
  3. Entering into a contribution agreement acceptable to NRCan.

4.1Submission of the Application form

Applications submitted by email will not be accepted. You must apply on-line through the web application form. Based on the outcome of an internal proposal review process, NRCan will aim to inform the selected applicants within 30 calendar days of the submission deadline. Applicants with ineligible and/or unsuccessful submissions will also be notified. Please note that some application may be retained for further consideration at the discretion of the review committee.  

4.2 Deadlines for Application

The deadline for the submission of proposals is June 15, 2018 at 23:59pm (Eastern Standard Time).  Proposals received after this deadline will be deemed ineligible. 

Section 5:  Project Assessment Process

An internal NRCan review committee will screen submitted proposals for completeness. The committee will then score and select a proposal based on the mandatory criteria described below.

The application form consists of 4 sections:

Company information

This section of the form will include the applicant’s standard company information. Only applicant’s with business operations in Canada will be considered.

Business operation

The description of your business operations will include information on your business as a whole. This section will be used to obtain an accurate scope of your business. This section is a high level overview of your business fleet(s), not the specific fleet(s) being assessed.

Fleet portrait

The fleet portrait is a description of the specific fleet being considered for the assessment. In this section, it is required to provide extensive description of the fleet(s) you have selected to be assessed within this program. In order to be eligible for assessment, the targeted fleet must be well identified within the questions of the Fleet Portrait section.

Previous Assessment Experience and Readiness

This section relates to any previous assessment or verification your company may have done in the past. If you have previously completed an assessment of your operations, include any relevant details in this section.

The four sections above will be scored according to a matrix of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest score). The proposal score must meet or exceed the minimum overall score for these Sections. In addition, a minimum score has been established for each individual question. The final project selection decision remains the sole discretion of NRCan.

5.1 Mandatory Criteria

Questions in Sections 1 to 4 of the project proposal assess the mandatory criteria. The description of the individual criteria below are factors considered by the committee, but are not meant to be all-inclusive.

Company information

  • An eligible company’s head office must be located in Canada and operate in Canada.

Business operation

  • The fleet size
  • The average tractor age
  • Ownership and employment composition

Fleet portrait

  • Implementation readiness
    • Time:
    • Corporate support
    • Financial
    • Data readiness

Previous assessment experience and readiness

  • Previous fleet assessment and outcome

Section 6: Eligibility

6.1 Eligible Recipients

Only companies/organizations operating in Canada are eligible to apply. Eligible recipients include individuals and legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada including not-for-profit and for-profit organizations such as:

  • Companies;
  • Industry associations;
  • Research associations;
  • Standards organizations;
  • Indigenous and community groups ;
  • Canadian academic institutions;
  • Provincial, territorial, regional or municipal governments or their departments or agencies where applicable.

6.2 Eligible Expenses

Eligible costs include:

  • staff salaries and benefits;
  • meeting expenses;
  • office operating and maintenance expenditures;
  • office equipment and furniture;
  • reasonable travel costs, including meals and accommodations
  • professional and technical services;
  • marketing and communications materials;
  • field equipment;
  • facility rentals;
  • accounting services; and
  • GST, PST and HST net of any tax rebate to which the proponent is entitled.

No eligible project expenses, which are included in the proposal, may be incurred prior to the signature of the Contribution Agreement by both parties.

Section 7: Contact Us

To obtain additional information about this invitation, please contact:


Any funding under this entire proposal submission, review and assessment process will be contingent upon the successful execution of a contribution agreement. Until a written contribution agreement is signed by both parties, no commitment or obligation exists on the part of NRCan to make financial contributions to any project, including any expenditure incurred or paid prior to the signing of such contribution agreement.

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