Freight Matters to Supply Chain Sustainability
Global trade has a net positive effect on the world economy. However, associated freight transportation produces adverse impacts on the environment and public health.
U.S. freight activity continues to expand significantly since the great recession:
- The U.S. transportation system moves a daily average of over 51 million tons of freight or about 57 tons of freight per capita
- E-Commerce sales increased 20-fold between 2000 and 2019
- Experts project that by 2050, global freight transport emissions will surpass those from passenger vehicles.
These trends compel many corporations to seek opportunities to assess and streamline shipping operations so they can use less fuel and generate less pollution.
SmartWay Advances Sustainable Transportation Supply Chains
To address these trends and challenges, EPA developed the SmartWay program.
Launched in 2004, this voluntary public-private program:
- provides a comprehensive and well-recognized system for tracking, documenting and sharing information about fuel use and freight emissions across supply chains
- helps companies identify and select more efficient freight carriers, transport modes, equipment, and operational strategies to improve supply chain sustainability and lower costs from goods movement
- supports global energy security and offsets environmental risk for companies and countries
- reduces freight transportation-related emissions by accelerating the use of advanced fuel-saving technologies
- is supported by major transportation industry associations, environmental groups, state and local governments, international agencies, and the corporate community
Core Elements of SmartWay
There are three core components of the SmartWay Program.
The SmartWay Transport Partnership
Freight shippers, carriers, logistics companies and other stakeholders partner with EPA to measure, benchmark and improve logistics operations so they can reduce their environmental footprint.
The SmartWay Brand
Through SmartWay technology verification and branding, EPA has accelerated availability, adoption and market penetration of fuel-saving technologies and operational practices while helping companies save fuel, lower costs and reduce adverse environmental impacts.
SmartWay Global Collaboration
EPA works with a broad range of national and global organizations to harmonize sustainability accounting methods in the freight sector. SmartWay also provides support to global policy makers that wish to model transportation sustainability programs after the SmartWay program.
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