Reducing Emissions in the Trucking Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working hard to make it easier for the trucking industry to reduce fuel emissions. Manufacturing and the transferring of goods rely on multiple modes of transportation to reach the consumer. The EPA, aware of contributions the freight industry is making to the environment, developed a program called SmartWay®. It’s a progressive step towards improving air quality and removing pollutants that can cause things to smog.

The program was established as a partnership between companies who want to make a difference to the environment and reduce their carbon footprint. Since its inception, it’s been successful in helping trucking companies save on oil consumption and receiving lowered fuel costs.

The Trucking Industry and Emissions

There are many global concerns about the environment. Different sectors are trying to do their part to reduce emission rates, and the trucking industry is one of them. The U.S. economy relies heavily on the trucking industry to transport goods. The trucking industry carried at least 70% of freight in the U.S. In 2015 there were more than 49 million tons of goods worth around $52 billion moved every day. That averages to around 56 tons of goods transported per year. More production means longer time for trucks on the road. Semi-trucks and heavy trucks consume a lot of diesel, and they are one of the most significant contributors to the demand for oil since 2000.

The SmartWay Program

Wanting to do their part in reducing emissions, The United States Environmental Protection Agency developed a private-public program called SmartWay. Armed with information and awareness of the effects the transportation industry is having on the environment, the SmartWay program was designed to help trucking companies improve environmental imprint. The result is a reduction in emissions. The plan was launched in 2004 and assists businesses and manufacturers with selecting more efficient freight carriers.

Achieving Better Emissions Through the SmartWay® Program

Partnership with the EPA’s SmartWay® program is voluntary and the membership has grown to include 3,700 businesses. Much of their success in partnering involves raising awareness of freight’s importance on the economy. Focusing on the value, the industry provides and optimizing the network of transportation had helped business owners and government policymakers achieve individual goals for achieving the environmental objectives. Since its inception SmartWay® has:

  • Saved over 215.4 million barrels of oil
  • Lowered fuel costs by $29.7 billion
  • Reduced 103 million tons of harmful air pollutants found in emissions

The Future of SmartWay®

By using market research, EPA can discover new technologies, manufacturing methods, materials, information, and trade policies that will make it even easier for the transportation industry to reduce their emission rates. By 2020, the program will make enhancements to their comprehensive outline to include additional tools.

Sustainability Reporting

Supply chain emissions are growing, and concern for the freight industry’s emissions need to be addressed. The sustainability reporting is a tool that provides performance data accumulated from approved methodologies and EPA standards.

Coverage of the Supply Chain

SmartWay® is expanding the reach of its tools to include other modes of transportation such as train, barge, and air.

Sharing Information

The program will increase efforts to be a thought leader in the industry by sharing relevant information for increased awareness. Plans include hosting webinars, producing educational materials, and holding speaking engagements.

Global Collaboration

With a strong commitment to reducing emissions, SmartWay® is expanding its attention globally. Already, the program is working as a template for other partnership-based programs that work towards reducing emissions from freight.

Beacon Transport is a proud partner with the SmartWay® program. It’s a demonstration of our commitment to decreasing emissions and being a progressive trucking company to work for. If working for a truck driving company that is environmentally friendly is important to you, join our team at Beacon.

Beacon Transport is a truckload carrier company based in Nashville, TN that specializes in hauling non-hazardous dry freight throughout the Southeast, Midwest and Southwest.