The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Freight Sustainability Summit, co-hosted by Environmental Defense Fund, the American Trucking Associations and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, kicked off Thursday, Nov. 17, and highlighted the critical role that the goods movement sector plays in the nation’s economy, energy security and environment.
The summit feature senior industry leaders, transportation experts, policymakers and other key stakeholders, including EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Gina McCarthy, EDF President Fred Krupp, Maritime Administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation David Matsuda, and former Governor of Kansas and current ATA President Bill Graves.
The summit also paid homage to the EPA SmartWay program, a voluntary program started in 2004 within EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality designed to identify products and services that reduce transportation-related emissions. Since that time, more than 2,900 U.S. corporations, including virtually all the nation’s largest truck carriers, all Class I rail companies and many top Fortune 500 companies rely on SmartWay’s supply chain, accounting tools and methods.
EPA’s SmartWay program is “a critical program that shippers can leverage to increase their freight efficiency,” said Krupp, who believes in “rolling up our sleeves to partner with business and civic leaders, finding ways to achieve real environmental improvements and grow a cleaner energy economy while saving money, creating jobs and improving public health. There’s no better win-win-win solution.”
“The EPA SmartWay program has been an excellent partnership for RILA and our members,” said Adam Siegel, vice president of sustainability and retail operations at RILA. “Through this public-private partnership, retailers have been able to place fuel saving equipment and trucks on the road, while reducing their supply chains’ carbon footprint. The EPA has done a fantastic job driving the success of this important program and we look forward to continuing to promote SmartWay.”
“EPA’s SmartWay program is a model for how government and the private sector can come together and achieve mutually beneficial results,” Graves said. “Over the years, the program has facilitated the deployment of thousands of fuel-saving devices that reduce the amount of money our industry spends on fuel and lessens the impact of freight movement on the environment.”
“EPA’s SmartWay program is a strong example of how we can achieve economic and environmental goals through good partnerships and incentives” said McCarthy. “Working with EPA, SmartWay partners are finding ways to move goods cleaner and more efficiently across our nation. This helps businesses to cut costs, increase productivity, conserve energy, support job growth and protect the environment.”