This year Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of its SmartWay program, a voluntary program created to help freight companies move more goods across more miles without the extra emissions. Texas boasts more than 180 SmartWay partners and affiliates, including Dell, AT&T, and BNSF Railway to name a few, that have made a commitment to improve fuel efficiency, reduce diesel consumption, and increase sustainability along transportation routes. These pledges have turned into action as SmartWay partners across the nation have saved $16.8 billion in fuel costs, reduced oil consumption by more than 120.7 million barrels, and reduced 51.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide across the nation – that’s equivalent to taking over 10 million cars off the road every year.
EPA’s SmartWay program is a tremendous example of what can happen when businesses, government, non-profits, and associations come together in support of a common goal. Through the program, freight stakeholders are provided with tools to track their environmental performance and reduce fuel use from freight transportation activities. EPA then recognizes partners and affiliates for their active participation in the program and achievements in emissions reductions.
EDF has long been a supporter of SmartWay and helped develop the drayage truck component of the program in 2011. Drayage trucks, typically older and more polluting than long-haul trucks, operate in and around port areas and represent one of the largest sources of diesel emissions associated with ports. Considering Texas’ rapid population growth, air quality challenges in metro areas, bustling ports, and status as the top polluter in the nation, we need programs like SmartWay to lead the way toward a sustainable future.
This 10-year milestone is significant – but so is the work left to be done. We look forward to many more successful years for EPA’s SmartWay Program and the growing number of partners and affiliates that commit to driving economic and environmental achievements. Texas businesses and residents are counting on it!