What do Schneider National, Wal-Mart, APL Logistics and IKEA Distribution Services have in common? They all received awards for environmental excellence during a ceremony at the American Trucking Associations' annual conference in October. Those awards, the 2006 SmartWay Excellence Awards, were presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Under the SmartWay Transport Partnership, the EPA joins with members of the freight industry to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by integrating innovative strategies and technologies into their fleet operations. Schneider National, for example, has limited the road speed of its tractors to 65 mph, with a maximum cruise speed of 63 mph. It's also training its drivers on techniques for boosting fuel efficiency and equipping its vehicles with complete aerodynamic packages, which include bumpers, side fairings, fuel tank skirts and integrated roof shields.
"The freight industry drives America's economy, and EPA's SmartWay partners are keeping more money in their pockets while helping us all breathe easier," says EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.
To date, more than 450 companies have joined the SmartWay partnership. EPA and its partners are on track to save more than $1.2 billion on fuel costs and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by four million tons by 2007. By 2012, the partnership will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 33 million to 66 million metric tons per year, and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 200,000 tons per year. The EPA says that's equivalent to removing up to 12 million cars from the road each year or saving up to 150 million barrels of oil a year.