EDF Honored to Receive EPA SmartWay Affiliate Challenge Award

EDF has been a long-time supporter of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) SmartWay Program and we are proud to announce that tomorrow EPA will honor EDF with an Affiliate Challenge Award. This award not only recognizes our commitment to the program, but also our significant efforts to promote, advance, and strengthen SmartWay. The voluntary program is a public-private initiative that promotes freight sustainability through efficiency and fuel reductions. The program first began with a focus on reducing fuel consumption from long-haul trucks, and in 2011 was expanded to increase sustainability from the trucking sector operating around marine ports.

Over the course of its 10-year history, SmartWay Partners have saved 120.7 million barrels of oil. This is equivalent to taking over 10 million cars off the road for an entire year and has helped to protect the health and well-being of locals residing close to transportation hubs. Additionally, the SmartWay Program has reduced 51.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide so far, which contributes to our nation’s economic and energy security. EDF is excited about these achievements and proud to support these clean air efforts.

Freight Sustainability Forum in Dallas Engages Leaders on Supply Chain Solutions

Developing tomorrow’s innovative sustainable supply chain strategies requires knowledge, collaborative spirit, and creative thinking. EDF is helping to integrate these elements into the transportation network by highlighting successful sustainability practices already employed by industry leaders.

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At a recent freight forum co-hosted by EDF, the Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, we learned about best practices for co-loading heavy and lightweight freight in a single container, funding opportunities available through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), and intermodal strategies in key corridors. The freight transportation stakeholders in attendance ranged from cargo owners with global supply chains to international logistics providers to regional business associations.

The overarching theme of the forum was that securing emissions reductions from freight transportation is achievable through operational changes, partnerships, funding availability, and technology improvements. While many within the freight transportation community know that opportunities exist to increase sustainability and efficiency within the supply chain, not everyone implements these best management practices. Whether you are a logistics provider in Mexico, a shipper based in Texas, a global carrier or another transportation stakeholder, you play an important role in greening our logistics.

EDF also plays an important role, with a long history of working with companies to help them find ways they can improve their supply chain sustainability and efficiency, with new partnerships kicking off in the coming months. This year, we are beginning a supply chain logistics pilot as part of our highly successful Climate Corps program. We are also working on a marine port environmental performance metrics program that will help recognize top performers and share best management practices to reduce emissions. Together, all of our efforts are helping improve efficiency, reduce emissions, save costs, and protect public health.

This forum served as a launchpad for great ideas and new programs and partnerships like Climate Corps logistics and port metrics. Next time, we can share your success story!

EDF Hosts International Freight Sustainability Strategies Forum, and You're Invited

How does supply chain sustainability help build competitive advantage? How does growth in Latin America trade create opportunities for new partnerships in the U.S.? Next Tuesday, February 25th, leading supply chain experts will gather in Irving, Texas to tackle these critical issues at a forum on sustainable logistics.

Speakers such as BNSF Railway, Dal-Tile Corporation, and EPA Blue Skyways will help drive the dialogue on innovative and cost-effective strategies for sustainable freight transportation. Attendees are also able to participate in an informal networking session at the end of the forum to exchange ideas and meet other experts working on sustainable supply chains. This event is open to supply chain sustainability champions looking to advance their knowledge and understanding of these issues. Read more

Railroad Sustainability Symposium Highlights Environmental Opportunities For Rail Sector

While most of EDF’s freight transportation clean air efforts address emissions from the trucking and ocean sector, use of our nation’s railroad system for intermodal goods movement has been growing. In fact, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reportsthat intermodal traffic on U.S. rail has risen from 6 million units in 1990 to nearly 12 million in 2011.

As rail lines come to view intermodal as a growth sector and revenue generator, there are significant opportunities to ensure that freight transportation remains on a path toward sustainability. In that context, Norfolk Southern and GE Transportation hosted the 2nd Annual Railroad Sustainability Symposium last week to highlight current sustainability practices in the sector and to create a dialogue about how sustainability impacts railroads, freight transportation and supply chain logistics.

The symposium covered a wide range of topics including new locomotive technology, sustainability measurement, and land restoration efforts. Perhaps most relevant to clean air issues in environmental hotspots was an update on the NS 999, an electric switcher locomotive prototype first rolled out in 2009 by Norfolk Southern. This locomotive was designed with the express purpose of serving rail yards, an area with high traffic density and idling rates, as well as harmful emissions.

The NS 999 emits no pollutants from combustion and would be most impactful in reducing harmful criteria pollutants which threaten public health. Efforts to continue testing and developing the locomotive are ongoing, but the NS 999 represents a significant effort to address emissions at some of the most critical junctures of the supply chain.

Also of particular interest was the discussion on metrics and calculations for sustainability efforts. A number of companies represented at the symposium are a part of the Carbon Disclosure Project and/or the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Many spoke of the need for accountability of emissions estimations and third-party verification of data that feeds into sustainability and emissions modeling.

The AAR showcased their carbon calculator, a popular tool also used by other transportation stakeholders like the Port of Seattle. These calculators estimate the amount of carbon dioxide emissions avoided by using a particular route or mode. Companies, shareholders, regulators and other interest groups continue to push for transparency in sustainability to allow consumers and suppliers of transportation services to measure their impact and achievements in this area.

The symposium was informative and the dialogue collaborative as representatives from the rail industry, shippers, logistics partners and others met to advance the sustainability agenda for railroads. Rail is a growing player in the intermodal market and new infrastructure developments across the country promise to spur additional growth for this sector.

Houston is recognized as a major rail hub for the region and at the Port of Houston, locomotives represent approximately 13 percent of port nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and 8 percent of port particulate matter (PM) emissions according to the 2007 Goods Movement Air Emissions Inventory. As we work towards improving air quality in environmental hotspots and reducing carbon emissions across the supply chain, we look forward to engaging with rail partners on freight sustainability.

This content was originally published on EDF's Texas Clean Air Matters blog.