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ArcBest acknowledges ‘great responsibility’ in ESG efforts

Logistics provider has yet to set target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Integrated logistics provider ArcBest disclosed its scope 1 (direct) and scope 2 (indirect) greenhouse gas emissions for the first time in its third environmental, social and corporate governance report released Wednesday.

Several supply chain companies have set ambitious short- and long-term emission-reduction targets while others have yet to start measuring their emissions. Measuring emissions is the first step.

Fort Smith, Arkansas-based ArcBest (NASDAQ: ARCB) reported scope 1 emissions totaling 486,670 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2021. Its scope 2 emissions were 15,348 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent last year.

“We also plan to calculate and disclose scope 3 emissions in the future,” the report said, without specifying a time frame. Scope 3 emissions occur along a company’s supply chain and include emissions from activities such as transportation, employee commutes and distribution.

But ESG is about more than just environmental targets. Founded in 1923, ArcBest said it is focused on improving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for its nearly 15,000 employees across more than 250 campuses and service centers. 

ArcBest created a DEI task force and released a three-year DEI road map in 2021. The task force was created “to ensure we are keeping employees’ voices and feedback at the forefront of our efforts.” The road map is focused on integrating DEI in the workforce, workplace, marketplace and community.

“As a $4 billion industry leader, we have a great responsibility to pursue activities and initiatives that improve the sustainability of our operations, provide an inclusive workplace for all and give back to the communities where we operate,” Judy McReynolds, chairman, president and CEO at ArcBest, said in a release

The company created an ESG program manager role and a corporate social responsibility program manager role in 2021 to advance strategies.

The report’s information aligns with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standards.

Environmental sustainability

ArcBest aims to improve its environmental sustainability by:

  • Installing solar panels at select facilities.
  • Updating older vehicles with more efficient models.
  • Investing in electric forklifts and straight trucks for some applications.
  • Switching to LED lighting at select facilities.
  • Providing reusable water bottle filling stations.
  • Recycling antifreeze, oil, cleaning solutions and scrap metal.
  • Creating an ESG dashboard to measure scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions.

“While we know there is significant work to be done in environmental disclosure, we have made considerable progress since our initial ESG reporting,” the report said.

ArcBest does not have any goals to reduce emissions at this time. The company is in the “discussion and analysis” phase of setting emission-reduction targets and strategies to achieve them. 

ESG materiality assessment

The report said three of ArcBest’s nine board members have expertise in ESG matters. ArcBest conducted an ESG materiality assessment to see which factors are most important to stakeholders and business success.

In the assessment, climate change strategy, DEI, GHG emissions, ESG reporting and labor rights were some of the factors labeled as high importance for stakeholders and business success.

Waste management, water management and supplier standards on human and labor rights and environmental management were listed in the low-importance category for both stakeholders and business success.

In 2021, ArcBest donated more than $2.4 million to 135 education centers, family care facilities and other organizations. In a partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking, 92% of ArcBest’s total union workforce has been trained to spot and safely report human trafficking crimes.

“ESG is core to our long-term strategy and vision because it is critical for our business and our customers. This is reflected in both our financial results and sustainability reporting. We celebrate our progress and are committed to improving transparency and clearly defining our ESG goals moving forward. Our people remain focused on innovation, talent development, customer service and profitable growth as we continue building on our history of responsible stewardship,” McReynolds said.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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Alyssa Sporrer

Alyssa is a staff writer at FreightWaves, covering sustainability news in the freight and supply chain industry, from low-carbon fuels to social sustainability, emissions & more. She graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about all things environmental and enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and soccer.