By Hope O’Shaughnessy
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) mandated a new fuel-efficiency standard for medium and heavy duty vehicles with a 25% reduction mandated for 2018. The new rule will cut carbon while improving fuel efficiency. According to the EPA’s press release, “the final standards are expected to lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons, save vehicle owners fuel costs of about $170 billion, and reduce oil consumption by up to two billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program.”
According to statistics from the U.S. EPA, between 1990 and 2013, freight activity grew by over 50 percent and is projected to nearly double again by 2040, producing more greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. The EPA also notes that experts project that by 2050, global freight transport emissions of CO2 will surpass emissions from passenger vehicles.
Technology such as the EPA’s SmartWay will be one of the ways companies can start to tackle carbon use. SmartWay brings together freight and transportation stakeholders with the EPA to measure and improve logistics operations to aid efficiency.
The SmartWay tool is being used by a total of 128 companies in NY, NH, VT, MA and ME. New York tops the list with 74 SmartWay partners. In New Hampshire, six companies use this tool to provide better data on their fleet’s energy consumption including such companies as Stonyfield Farm in Londonderry. Seventh Generation in Burlington is the sole company using the tool in Vermont. Massachusetts tops out the list with 38 companies using the tool. Maine has nine companies using SmartWay including Oakhurst Dairy.
States like New Hampshire have initiated collaborative efforts to increase fleet efficiency. The NH Department of Environmental Services promotes The Granite State Clean Cities Coalition that brings business, government and residents together to tackle carbon use.
The Granite State Clean Cities Coalition (GSCCG) includes 120 public and private interests who support the goals of reducing dependence on foreign oil and improving air quality, through the use of domestically produced, cleaner-burning alternative fuels and other fuel reduction strategies.
This summer the GSCCG gathered fleet managers, businesses and the public for its fourth Green Your Fleet! Conference and Advance Technology Vehicle Exhibit. Attendees learned more about alternative fuels, including electricity, propane and natural gas, as well as advanced-technology vehicles, such as electric and hybrid-electric cars.
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