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Ryder Sustainability Report: CO2 Emissions Drop 2%

Logistics, transportation and supply chain management firm Ryder System reduced its absolute Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by around 2 percent year-on-year, according to the company’s 2011 corporate sustainability report.

In 2010, the company produced 559,262 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. In 2011, this figure fell to 548,095 metric tons of CO2e, the report says. Ryder attributes the reduction to traveling fewer miles primarily in its dedicated contract carriage business, using less fuel in its facilities, and reducing electricity usage, primarily in its Supply Chain Solutions segment.

As a logistics and vehicle rentals firm, a large chunk of Ryder’s emissions come from fuel use in vehicles. The company’s RydeSmart telematics technology is designed to help customers improve vehicle operations and lower operating expenses including fuel costs. RydeSmart is deployed in approximately 23,000 leased and rental vehicles, helping fleet managers achieve a 10-to-15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions through improved routing and reduction of unauthorized idle time, the report says.

Ryder is also engaged with the EPA’s SmartWay program, and initiative that improve the fuel efficiency of the country’s commercial freight industry through a combination of education, information sharing and incentives. SmartWay carriers accounted for 87 percent of all freight miles Ryder managed in 2011, compared to 92 percent in 2010. The company also has a line of “RydeGreen” tractors and trailers that are equipped with SmartWay verified technologies aimed at increasing the vehicles miles-per gallon rating. For example, the RydeGreen hybrid medium-duty straight truck can deliver fuel efficiency up to 30 percent better than conventional vehicles in standard in-city pickup and delivery applications, the report says.

Other green fleet initiatives include deploying a fleet of 240 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles and investing in natural gas vehicle maintenance infrastructure in California, Arizona, and Michigan and launching a new Flex-to-Green leasing option aimed at helping customers jump-start sustainability programs with alternative fuel vehicles.

The company’s drive to conserve energy in its facilities include replacing existing lighting in certain facilities with energy efficient lighting. The company says it also regularly carries out checks against its Energy Conservation Checklists. These checklists include best practices for facility management, lighting, and atmospheric controls, all aimed at conserving energy, Ryder says. In 2011, Ryder reduced electricity use in its facilities by 3.1 percent, notably including increased energy efficiency in a number of supply chain facilities in Canada, the report says.

Ryder’s water use increased 4.5 percent in 2011, from 224 million gallons in 2010, to 234 million gallons in 2011. Ryder attributes the increase to primarily due to an increase in water use in the company’s Fleet Management Solutions business segment. Vehicle washing is the activity that uses the most water at the company. The company collects around 2 million gallons of vehicle wash water annually and has what it calls “aggressive reuse and recycling policies.”

The company recycled 28.6 percent more paper and cardboard in 2011 that in 2010. Ryder recycled 5,828 tons of paper and cardboard in 2010 compared to 7,498 tons in 2011. The amount of automotive waste that Ryder recycled in 2011 represented a 4.1 percent increase on 2010 levels. Last year the company recycled 4.29 million gallons of oil, oily water, automotive waste filters, and solvents avoiding 22,302 metric tons of CO2e emissions in the process. (see chart, below)

In August 2011, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market announced the addition of 25 compressed natural gas vehicles to its distribution fleet as part of a partnership with Ryder. The grocery chain’s natural gas vehicles produce 20 to 30 percent less emissions than comparable diesel vehicles, Fresh & Easy said. The vehicles were made available through a $38.7 million project run by Ryder and the San Bernardino Associated Governments, part of a joint public/private partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, the Southern California Association of Governments Clean Cities Coalition and Ryder.

In July last year, Ryder joined the Obama administration’s National Clean Fleets Partnership, an initiative that seeks to help large fleets across the country cut petroleum use by 2.5 billion gallons by 2020.

Click through to read Environmental Leader’s coverage of Ryder’s sustainability report from 2010.

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