Distinguished Staff Award
Douglas Stevens

Douglas Stevens

Program Support Supervisor II, Mailing Services, Creative Communications

Nominated by Steven Roberts, Manager, Creative Communications – Mailing Services

Awarded 2019

Douglas Stevens leads the new Electric Assisted Bicycle (e-Bike) Program created to transform the way UW Mailing Services conducts mail service to the entire Seattle campus and the surrounding area. This is a first and one of a kind program for a major university, first developed and walked through the offices of many, UW departments and managers’ offices including mine. I am simply amazed at this programs success and the amount of collaborative work Doug went through to make this dream become a new way of handling mail and packages for the very busy University of Washington.

Doug Steven’s amazing leadership

The delivery vehicles utilized by Mailing Services contribute to the environmental problems of global warming, climate change, noise pollution, and dependence on fossil fuels. Mailing Services vehicles burn both diesel and gasoline which released six metric tons of CO2 as well as other harmful toxins into the atmosphere. The size of the delivery vehicles and the noise of the internal combustion engines contribute to the problem of noise pollution and vehicle congestion on campus.

In August 2013, A Lean Process Improvement Idea to add conventional bicycles was introduced, the original conventional Bicycle Program launched in October 2013 with the acquisition of two conventionally powered bicycles with testing of these conventional bicycles continuing into 2014 with a final expansion to four bikes in 2015.

The program sparked a complete revamp of the campus mail delivery system, led by Stevens who led the streamlining of mail routes and shaving waste from the entire system to make way for mail delivery via bicycles, cutting excessive truck use from campus and a drastic reduction in fuel usage and CO2 output.

In February 2017, Doug Stevens submitted a grant proposal request to the student run Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) for $88,319.00

Because of Doug’s hard work, patience and information gathering and due diligence of working with his senior leadership and finance units, Mailing Services was awarded the grant, fully funding a major expansion with the purchase Electric Assisted Cargo Bicycles along with accessories and gear.

In October 2017, three Electric Assisted Cargo Bicycles arrived and the journey to start eliminating mail trucks from campus began!

In January 2018, in only three short months, Doug and his team took over all campus mail delivery routes with Electric Assisted Bicycles.

Thanks to Doug’s perseverance, in the spring of 2018, two additional Electric Assisted Cargo Bicycles arrived bringing the electric assisted bicycle program to a full fleet of five Electric Assisted Cargo Bicycles.

Doug worked excessive hours to move this idea from fantasy to reality and traveled between Portland, OR and Seattle talking to vendors, sponsors, co-workers and management. Doug put together an amazing team, trained them to provide a one of a kind experience to the valued university community.

This new program led by Doug has already achieved over 11,000 miles of bicycling since the program began less than a year ago. The electric assisted bicycles each average over 50 miles of use each day.

The program is the first of its kind nationally for a university, further cementing the UW as an international leader in sustainability, CO2 reduction, fuel reduction and waste reduction.

This is simply an amazing example of a UW employee putting together a plan, gathering support, working with others to collaborate and create something amazing for the University of Washington. This program led by Doug Stevens is something the entire university community can be very proud of.

Every day the UW Seattle campus can see another UW first as the UW branded electric assisted bicycles go all over the UW District, UW Seattle campus, Eastlake, South Lake Union and beyond to Sand Point and occasionally across Lake Washington to Kirkland or Bellevue.

UW Student Involvement

UW Students that operate the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) approved funding for this project. A UW student also serves in the role of Student Coordinator and Project Facilitator. Doug worked to put an agreement in place with the HUB Graphic Design Office where student employees create the designs for our educational outreach material showing the environmental benefits of e-Bikes. These signs grace the sides of the e-Bike fleet showing how much fuel is saved, how much CO2 is reduced along with other interesting facts.

Environmental Impact Metric’s

To measure and quantify the benefits of the Doug Steven’s led project, he used the carbon footprint calculator to track the amount of CO2 emissions saved, comparing current fuel usage with those of previous years.

The whole e-Bike program led by Doug Steven’s has literally transformed the way we do business, forcing a much needed, long overdue revamping of every campus mail route, delivery times and how we do business. His leadership allowed our department to immediately remove to fuel powered vehicles from services saving $16,000.00 in vehicle leasing costs. We also saved from no more fuel purchases, maintenance or vehicle rental costs for routine maintenance or emergency repairs.

To this day, Doug Stevens continues to work on this new and emerging program for potential expansion, additional e-bikes and the opportunity to reduce our vehicle fleet further, saving the UW additional funds and resources.

Doug worked with his manager to put together an incredible team of Mail Carrier Bicyclists, that tale pride in reducing vehicles and helping the University of Washington to exceed is CO2 reduction goals.

As I type this recommendation, Doug Stevens is working on the possibility of another type of electric assisted bicycle that would enhance his current fleet of e-bikes further reducing vehicles on the University of Washington campus.

Tangible Benefits

I’ve been at Mailing Services since 1996 and I’ve never seen so many people smiling within our own department and around the entire UW campus at such a transformational idea, implemented taking a stalwart essential service like mail and bringing it into today’s era. New staff and visitors to campus regularly approach the Mail Carrier Bicyclists team members asking for directions to buildings, so the team place laminated maps on top of the bicycle cargo boxes to help out. UW pride and the love of what you do to serve the UW and its valued community started somewhere, and with this project, it started with Douglas Stevens.

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