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Texas is a big player in international trade and leads the country in exports, sending over $260 billion worth of goods to overseas markets in 2012. While robust trade can bring many positives, it can also present challenges for local air pollution. As we have highlighted before, poor air quality is a growing concern as scientists learn more about the connection between air pollution and diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis and cancer.
What does that mean for a state trying to reduce the impact of freight transportation on urban air quality? As international trade growth continues to strengthen the Texas economy, EDF recognizes that diverse partnerships are pivotal to reducing air pollution here at home.
This week, we are pleased to share the latest of our outreach efforts targeting international freight shippers: our article was published in the AmCham-Colombia Spanish-language magazine Business Mail, in a special issue dedicated to corporate social responsibility. This trade publication reaches hundreds of leading companies engaged in international trade and will enable us to introduce EDF’s principles of green freight transportation to a new audience.
The Business Mail article considers the journey of Colombian coffee as it travels from the highlands of Colombia to stores in North America, transferring to various modes of transportation along the way. For each step of the journey, we highlight an approach that can improve efficiency and sustainability such as sharing container space or choosing fuel-efficient cargo ships. The bottom line of the story is that decisions about trucks, ships and trains made globally can directly impact the quality of air that we breathe in Texas.
By bringing together additional partners in an effort to reduce air emissions, EDF is helping companies make a difference in the form of cost savings and improved air quality at several points along their supply chain, such as the Port of Houston or a distribution center located near San Antonio.
On top of our highlight in AmCham-Colombia’s Business Mail, EDF’s “Five Principles for Greener Freight” was also featured in a recent Nexos article covering sustainable consumption. Nexos is American Airlines’ Spanish-Portuguese language in-flight magazine that reaches hundreds of thousands of readers across multiple continents.
Ultimately, it takes a variety of efforts to reduce air pollution, including replacing the oldest, dirtiest heavy-duty trucks on the road to securing commitments from retailers to purchase “greener” transportation. As we launch efforts to establish environmental metrics programs at ports and other clean air initiatives, EDF will be thinking locally, but acting globally to further advance our air quality goals.