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Earth Day roundup: Companies announce sustainability goals

Net-zero emissions, waste-reduction, carbon offsets among targets

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

A number of freight- and supply chain-focused companies and at least two federal agencies used the annual observance of Earth Day to publicize what they are doing or plan to do to help the environment, promote sustainability and reduce emissions.

Among the initiatives and statements released Friday in honor of Earth Day:

  • AIT Worldwide Logistics set a net-zero emissions target for 2035 in its first sustainability report.
  • XPO Logistics Inc. (NYSE: XPO) launched a Ship Net-Zero program, giving shippers the option to purchase carbon credits to offset emissions from shipments.
  • The Federal Railroad Administration announced a Climate Challenge initiative, which urges railroads and rail equipment manufacturers to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • CSX Corp. (NASDAQ: CSX) recognized six customers with an inaugural environmental excellence award for emission reductions from truck-to-rail conversions.
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries signed a memorandum of understanding with electrofuels producer Infinium to advance development of electrofuels in the Japanese market.
  • Cold Chain Technologies committed to saving 50 million pounds of waste from going to landfills through reusable thermal packaging solutions.
  • The Federal Highway Administration highlighted several climate programs, including the Carbon Reduction Program, that could help fund electrification at truck stops.
  • FreightWaves hosted a virtual Net-Zero Carbon Summit where freight and supply chain experts discussed environmental progress, potential pathways forward and how the sustainable transition is impacting the industry.

View the replays from each Net-Zero Carbon Summit session here.

Read: On Earth Day, ex-EPA head Whitman has message for freight industry

XPO’s carbon offset offering

XPO’s Ship Net-Zero program allows shippers to choose which projects their carbon offsets will support, including renewable energy, methane capture from landfills or livestock, biomass fuels, energy efficiency, forestry management, industrial process emissions reduction, and other eco-friendly initiatives.

There is a lot of debate about the value of carbon offsets and whether they are regulated well enough to provide benefits, but offsets also provide an opportunity for freight companies to do something positive for the environment as they explore emission-reduction strategies.

“We developed our Ship Net-Zero program to make a climate-positive impact today, while the transportation industry transitions to hybrid and zero-emission heavy vehicles over time. Ship Net-Zero gives our brokerage customers a meaningful, documented way to offset the emissions of their shipping activities,” Drew Wilkerson, president of North American transportation at XPO, said in a release.

WATCH: Insights into voluntary carbon credits

CSX environmental awards

The CSX Customer Environmental Excellence Awards were given to companies that converted the most freight from roads to rails. Shipping freight by rails is three to four times more efficient in terms of GHG emissions than moving freight by trucks.

Winners include:

  • Active Minerals International LLC.
  • Amazon Logistics LLC.
  • Cemex Inc.
  • Georgia Pacific LLC.
  • Molson Coors Beverage Co.
  • Walmart Transportation LLC.

“As the most efficient, environmentally friendly mode of transportation by land, freight rail represents a major opportunity for customers to reduce their carbon footprint in pursuit of sustainability goals,” Kevin Boone, CSX executive vice president of sales and marketing, said in a release. “Sustainability is an important theme in our discussions with customers, who have doubled their usage of CSX-provided tools for calculating potential emissions savings from switching to rail from trucks.”

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.