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January 13, 2005

News & Opinion: Green Diesel

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:27 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

I was inspired by the story of the Green Diesel Technology team at International Truck and Engine Corp in Warrenville, Illinois. This is a group of people who have other responsibilities, but came together to address a threat to the companys very existence. The team recognized early that a total ban on diesel fuel was not out of the question. For a business that manufactures diesel engines and trucks and buses that run on diesel, that would have been the kiss of death.
So the team began working proactively to convince the EPA to mandate low-sulfur diesel fuel, which combined with particulate traps, makes it possible to reduce dangerous emissions. When the EPA ruled that the sulfur content of diesel fuel in trucks and buses must be reduced 97 percent by 2007, the Green Diesel team was ready with particulate filter retrofit kits. The kits are the single biggest growth area in the company. Diesel is now part of the environmental solution, and talk of banning it has virtually disappeared.
The members of the Green Diesel team listen to each other and challenge one another. No idea is rejected out of hand, regardless of who makes it. The members are brutally honest with one another, and dont pull punches. But the bottom line is that they treat one another with respect. Thats the environment that allowed them to make an enormous difference for their company.