It’s Actually OUR Honor to be an EPA SmartWay Affiliate!

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Cheryl Bynum, National Program Manager at US EPA, SmartWay, presents the 2015 Affiliate Challenge Honoree award to Environmental Defense Fund.

EDF has long been a champion of the SmartWay program, EPA’s highly successful public-private partnership between more than 3,000 organizations that are committed to improved fuel efficiency and environmental performance. So we were thrilled when EPA named us a 2015 Affiliate Challenge Honoree for our efforts to promote the program in our Green Freight Handbook.

We were recognized last week at the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) conference, and we will participate in a virtual awards ceremony tomorrow. We have impressive company: the American Trucking Association, Penske, TIA, Wisconsin Clean Cities, and the North Central Texas Council of Governments were all named as honorees as well.

The program has helped facilitate positive results in many areas, perhaps most impressively in the goods movement sector.

Success in Texas and across the nation

SmartWay’s approach is one of partnership. The program brings together partners from the public and private sectors, to demonstrate the way modified operational practices can benefit both the environment and the bottom line.

Almost 200 SmartWay partners call Texas home, and the numbers are growing, thanks to efforts from organizations like the North Texas Council of Governments, a fellow honoree that has launched a Freight Outreach Center to provide information about SmartWay to fleets.

Across the nation, companies have saved $20 billion dollars over the past ten year years through the fuel-saving steps developed by SmartWay. And the program has kept 60 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions out of our atmosphere and conserved 144 million barrels of oil in that process, as well.

The program has a simple and logical focus on fuel economy. Measures that save fuel are incentivized, and partners who embrace them are recognized for helping the environment. Partners commit to completing a simple environmental analysis comparing fleet performance from one year to the next.  As a result, a growing awareness of more advanced technologies, as well as an understanding of the benefits of reducing harmful air pollutants has begun to emerge to a more widespread audience.

And that broader community is taking their newfound awareness home. For example, the next time they see the ubiquitous black smoke emerging from the tailpipe of the neighborhood trash truck, they will be far more likely to consider the tons of air pollution emitted over the course of that truck’s lifespan, and see it for the public health hazard it is. Those kinds of realizations can be startling for many people. But increased awareness about air pollution – and the available means to do something about it – is a critical step in the effort to build broad support for cleaner air for everyone.”

SmartWay also has provided an invaluable laboratory for proving the effectiveness of fuel saving technologies. As these technologies, such as aerodynamic trailer improvements, have proven cost-effective, markets have responded with increased adoption of these solutions. Nationally, the EPA SmartWay program has helped to demonstrate the strong economic value of truck fuel efficiency, which is at the heart of current efforts to secure bold, new standards.

More than ten years ago, SmartWay promised to show how proactive environmental practices could be good for business and then made good on that promise.  SmartWay partners have saved billions of dollars in fuel, while eliminating tens of thousands of tons of harmful pollutants.   Let’s build on this momentum and make the next ten years even more successful.

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  • […] This post appeared originally on EDF's Texas Clean Air Matters blog. […]

  • […] It’s Actually OUR Honor to be an EPA SmartWay Affiliate! This blog post from the Environmental Defense Fund was a great reminder of an impressive cross-sector collaboration launched last year: SmartWay, whose “approach is one of partnership,” writes Christina Wolfe, Manager, Air Quality, Port and Freight Facilities for EDF. “The program brings together partners from the public and private sectors, to demonstrate the way modified operational practices can benefit both the environment and the bottom line,” she writes of the project, which has “kept 60 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions out of our atmosphere and conserved 144 million barrels of oil in that process.” […]