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Green Transport Cuts Emissions, Fuel Use and Cost

greentransportIt’s simple and profitable to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to a new white paper from Chicago-based EA Logistics.

The company’s first whitepaper on green transport, “Getting It There Green: Why and How to Choose Sustainable Transport Partners,” provides the business case for green freight, along with the financial, risk-reduction and environmental benefits of adopting more sustainable shipping practices. It also identifies steps that can be taken by shippers to reduce their carbon footprint and choose suppliers who can help them achieve their sustainability goals.

The report covers several key areas where companies can make transport greener. These include conserving fuel, reducing idling, using alternative fuels, reducing packaging and neutralizing carbon. It also covers several strategies such as consolidating, optimizing routes, regionalizing, and changing modes to cut down on fuel use and emissions.

EAL says it was one of the first freight forwarders to provide free carbon offsets, “neutralizing” 100 percent of a shipment’s CO2 emissions by planting trees in the customer’s name. The company’s Delivered GrEAn program, launched in 2007, incorporates a host of sustainable practices, including the use of biodiesel in company-owned trucks, establishing anti-idling policies, enforcing drive speed limits, and maximizing route efficiency.

EAL has also achieved the highest score on EPA’s SmartWay fleet efficiency program and partners with other SmartWay carriers for most of its shipments. According to the EPA, moving freight in the U.S. accounts for 20 percent of energy consumed by the transportation sector, and truck and rail transport combined use more than 35 billion gallons of diesel fuel per year and generate more than 350 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

The industry is making improvements. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), CO2 emissions from U.S. transportation dropped 5.2 percent in 2008, the largest annual decline since 1990. EIA says motor gasoline accounts for 58.7 percent of the transportation-related CO2 emissions followed by diesel fuel, which accounts for 23.2 percent of the sector’s emissions.

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