Improving efficiency and environmental management in freight operations is becoming increasingly important to global brands including Kellogg’s, Walmart, Anheuser-Busch, Apple, Adidas, General Mills, H&M, Lowes, CVS and Hershey’s, according to an Environmental Defense Fund blog.
Jason Mathers, a senior manager at EDF on supply chain logistics, writes that while some companies are still at the measurement and benchmarking phase of freight-related costs and GHG emissions, others have moved into setting and striving to achieve performance goals for how they move freight.
Mathers’ blog highlights three trends:
- Tracking logistics emissions is a standard practice. He says seven out of 10 recently released sustainability reports included data on fuel use or greenhouse gas emissions associated with freight transportation.
- Setting performance goals is a well-accepted practice. For example, Walmart has set a goal to double its fleet efficiency compared to 2005, and is 87 percent of the way to meeting this target. And General Mills has cut its fuel consumption 22 percent compared to 2005 levels. The company has set a goal to reduce fuel use for its outbound moves by 35 percent.
- Seeking to shape external factors is a leadership practice. Leading companies are working to shape the overall system as opposed to just the limited factors freight shippers can control.
The nonprofit has published a guide to help companies develop strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and overall costs linked to freight transportation: the EDF Green Freight Handbook.
FedEx, Walmart, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and UPS — five of the country’s biggest trucking fleets — could cut their fuel use by 500 million gallons a year under the new heavy duty truck fuel efficiency standard, saving $1.7 billion on fuel, according to a Union of Concerned Scientists study.