The transportation sector generates a whopping 29% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but logistics providers face some high hurdles in their efforts to shrink their portion of that pollution, according to a panel at CSCMP Edge in Nashville, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ annual industry conference.
The chief problem is that even when shippers want to meet consumers’ rising sustainability demands or their own environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals, they struggle to find sufficient data about the low-emissions trucking capacity that would shrink their carbon footprint. The main provider of that information, known as EPA SmartWay, includes data on only 20% to 30% of the nation’s class 8 trucks, since only the largest fleets have enough resources to participate in the optional program, said Alex Scott, assistant professor of supply chain management at the University of Tennessee.
Now a proposed new resource called the Fleet Sustainability Index could offer a better solution, offering more universal and accurate information on details like each truck’s model year, maintenance history, and driver’s habits, speakers said in a session titled “Putting shippers in the driver’s seat: Leveraging Fleet Sustainability Index with Google.”
Armed with that granular data, shippers could soon screen their trucking providers and select only those fleets with attributes like modern engines and low emissions. That solution could thus allow companies to gain better visibility and control over the emissions they generate, helping to reduce their carbon footprint until the market supports long term solutions like battery, ammonia, or hydrogen-powered trucks to replace diesel combustion, the panelists said.
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