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Data: Driver for reducing emissions in freight — Net-Zero Carbon

Using data, batching shipments, keeping carriers key to sustainable operations

(Image: FreightWaves)

On this episode of Net-Zero Carbon, Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence at FreightWaves, chats with Brad Benbow, business growth investments at Ardagh Group, about how data can help companies reduce freight-related emissions.

There is a massive amount of tapped and untapped data in the freight and logistics industry. But data is only as valuable as the use companies make of it. Benbow said the industry still struggles to scrub and sort data in a useful way.

“We need to be able to not only get that data, but as a transportation industry, we need to understand how to interpret that data,” he said. “We’re collecting data, at times, just to collect it and not actually using it to say, ‘We’re using this data to make this decision now, and now we’re able to articulate why we’re making that decision based off of the data.’”

Read: How will COP26 affect sustainability movement in freight moving forward?

Sustainable emissions and operations

Cole said that Ardagh Group’s emissions are unique — most are scope 1 (direct) and scope 2 (indirect). The majority of most companies’ emissions are scope 3, or emissions from along their supply chains.

Ardagh’s scope 3 emissions are the smallest portion of its emissions, Benbow said, but “it doesn’t make it any less important.”

Read: Should trucking focus on empty miles or electric vehicles? — Net-Zero Carbon

Benbow said that taking the 30,000-foot view to lay out a transportation strategy that includes batching shipments, keeping carriers in the network and prioritizing sustainability is key.

One way Ardagh has tried to keep its carriers around is by limiting wait times and improving their returns on investment.

“Are we being efficient on the loading side, on the unloading side? Are we being mindful of these drivers’ time and maximizing their efficiency? I think that’s something we’re really going to focus on moving forward,” Benbow said.

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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.