EPA recognizes innovation in clean air projects

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Kenworth Truck Co. and Stonyfield Farm were among the 15 recipients Wednesday, May 13, of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ninth annual Clean Air Excellence Awards for their environmental achievements in community action, education, science and technology. EPA says these innovative air quality programs provide environmental benefits and create green products and jobs.

“Each year, our Clean Air Excellence Award winners offer amazing new examples of how we keep our air safe and clean,” says EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This year’s winners have built on that tradition of innovation to show what is possible in protecting human health and the environment.”

This year’s award recipients were selected from 125 applicants and represent achievements in five categories: clean air technology, community action, education/outreach, regulatory policy innovations and outstanding individual achievement. The awards program, established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, annually recognizes and honors outstanding innovative efforts to help make progress in achieving cleaner air. Award-winning entries must directly or indirectly reduce pollutant emissions, demonstrate innovation, offer sustainable outcomes and provide a model for others to follow.

Kenworth Truck Co. was recognized for releasing three products in 2008 as an example of its commitment to providing a broad range of products for the commercial vehicle market that minimize environmental impact through reduced emissions, greenhouse gases and fuel consumption: the Clean Power System, a medium-duty hybrid truck and a natural gas-powered vehicle. The Kenworth Clean Power System is a no-idle battery-powered system designed to provide 10 hours of continuous operation during mandatory rest periods for truck drivers. The hybrid truck is powered by a parallel diesel-electric system developed in partnership with Eaton Corp. The natural gas-powered vehicle, developed in partnership with Westport Innovations, uses a small injection of diesel to ignite the high-pressure natural gas.

“The EPA Clean Air Excellence Award is a tremendous honor for Kenworth Truck Company and its employees,” says Bill Kozek, general manager of the Kirkland, Wash.-based truck maker and Paccar vice president. “Kenworth is a leader of the trucking industry’s efforts to provide practical technologies, which help customers enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions.”

Stonyfield Farm, a maker of organic yogurt, implemented several key strategies to reduce and measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from product distribution, including purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles, implementing the use of electronic freight invoicing and measuring GHG via the SmartWay Fleet Performance Model. In addition, Stonyfield increased minimum order requirements to reduce the frequency of deliveries to a single location and expanded local fleet usage to deliver 25 percent of the product volume; they also ensure maintenance of adequate inventory of products to ensure orders are filled in a single shipment, reducing redundant deliveries. These strategies have reduced absolute CO2 emissions by 37 percent in one year while increasing the tons of product shipped.