Ben and Jerry’s became the latest corporate voice calling for strong fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for heavy trucks. In a Guardian op-ed, CEO Jostein Solheim made a compelling triple-bottom-line case for protective standards for new trucks.
Mr. Solheim noted that seventeen percent of the company’s carbon footprint is associated with transporting products. This includes bringing ingredients to manufacturing facilities (three percent) and moving the finished products to distribution centers (fourteen percent).
Like packaging, transportation and distribution is a consistent, significant carbon footprint component of every product: six percent of H&M clothes; twenty-five percent of the carbon budget from Mars; and thirty five percent of Philips operations, for example. And, trucks are the largest single component of distribution emissions, accounting for 57% of the collective impact. Therefore, it is in the interest of every product manufacturer and brand in the U.S. to see these trucks use less fuel.
The single most impactful thing we can do today to reduce emissions from product distribution is to build more efficient trucks. We have the technical know-how to cost-effectively double the efficiency of freight trucks. We also know that having well-designed standards in place is a necessary step to bringing these solutions to market at scale.
The leadership action taken by Ben & Jerry’s is critical because it helps showcase the breadth of companies calling for protective standards:
- IKEA and Stonyfield — companies that rely on trucks to get their products to market — want to see strong truck efficiency standards.
- Walmart – a large user of for-hire freight services and owner of the fourth largest private fleet — has recognized that stronger truck fuel efficiency standards “can present key opportunities to improve efficiency across the industry in a coordinated, responsible and safe way.”
- Pepsico – owner of the nation’s largest private fleet – applauded the release of the proposed standards noting that “Strong new truck fuel-economy standards will keep America moving in the right direction."
- FedEx – owner of the second largest for-hire fleet in the U.S. – noted its desire for standards that “create more fuel-efficient and lower-emitting commercial vehicles.”
In writing its op-ed, Ben & Jerry joined these companies in embracing the benefits of protective standards for heavy trucks. It also went a step further in its leadership, noting that the recent proposals by the Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency “are a step in the right direction, but they don’t lower emissions far enough or fast enough.”
EDF agrees. We’ve called on the agencies to set new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for heavy trucks that cut fuel consumption by 40 percent in 2025 compared to 2010. Such standards are technically achievable, economically viable and will benefit businesses across our country.
We applaud the businesses that are leading the way to stronger standards for a stronger America.
To learn more about the heavy truck fuel efficiency and GHG standards, join EDF's Jason Mathers July 21st for our latest Business-Policy Nexus webinar, which will review the proposed standards and why companies should support these common-sense standards, which will not only protect our air quality and the climate overall, but save companies transportation costs.