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What can we expect on Earth Day a year from now?

Ambitious emission-reduction company and government goals among 2022 aspirations

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Environmental progress certainly has been made in the 51 years since the first Earth Day in 1970, but there is much more work to do. Many companies have set goals for net-zero carbon emissions, but most are a decade or two away from achieving those aspirations.

What can be done in the next 12 months? FreightWaves asked various supply chain and climate change experts, as well as some of its own staff members, this question:

What environmental goals would you like to see companies meet by Earth Day 2022?

These responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Specific emission-reduction targets

“By Earth Day 2022, we hope to see companies set net-zero emissions targets for all relevant emissions and provide credible transition plans for achieving such targets on a timeline that aligns with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree goal.” 

Lila Holzman, senior energy program manager at As You Sow

“Just over 100 companies, including 50 announced this week, have signed The Climate Pledge, an Amazon-led initiative to reach net-zero emissions by 2040. Certainly by Earth Day 2022, that number should be doubled — although 500 signatories would make an even bigger impact.”

Mike McAllister, editor in chief at FreightWaves

“I would like to see companies reduce their employee carbon footprint by over 50% by allowing nonessential employees to work from anywhere. Additionally, utilize more local last-mile delivery and pickup to reduce packing and filler needs for shipments and lower the carbon footprint of 3PL providers.”

Gabe Grifoni, CEO and co-founder of Rufus Labs

“I’d like to see companies take greater initiative in reducing carbon emissions, whether by partnering with green fleets, or introducing new technology capabilities. I also hope they will empower their customers with more sustainable delivery and fulfillment options.”

— Guy Bloch, CEO at Bringg

Electrifying fleets

“Road freight transport is responsible for 7% of global GHG emissions, and the volume of shipped goods is growing by 3-4% annually. Most companies could electrify at least 20% of their road freight today, and save money. With investment in infrastructure for electric transport, we should be able to electrify 30% of road freight in a cost-effective way by Earth Day 2022, cutting global emissions by one-third.” 

Robert Falck, CEO of Einride

“Many owner-operators who are used to working with diesel engines are concerned about electric vehicles (EV) breaking down and not having the experience for quick fixes. I would like to see trucking companies, dealerships and manufacturers work together to properly train drivers how to deal with breakdowns on the road so they don’t have to fear technology and can instead, embrace it!”

Grace Sharkey, staff writer at FreightWaves

“I would like to see meaningful adoption of electric trucks. Depending on the baseline, about 5-10% more total units by order class this time next year would be awesome.” 

Adam Newsome, CEO of Lazer Spot

Another alternative fuel: Green hydrogen

“By Earth Day 2022, we’d like to see green hydrogen be a big part of the conversation. This involves incorporating green hydrogen as part of broader logistics strategies involving electric mobility, and exploring how it can decarbonize industrial applications. Green hydrogen has to be a part of strategic planning to keep us on the path to meet Paris Accords targets and become carbon neutral by 2040.”

Sanjay Shrestha, chief strategy officer at Plug Power

Calling for government action

“For Earth Day, we’d like to see the Biden Administration set a strong climate target of at least 50% emissions reductions. This would be the right step forward to show bold [climate action], which is good for our economy, instrumental for equality and critical for our environment.”

Patrick Flynn, head of sustainability at Salesforce

“Every level of government should take action on climate change such as President Biden’s potential 50% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 target. I would like to see local to national governments research and implement the most effective emission-reduction strategies and sustainable goals for their communities.”

Alyssa Sporrer, sustainability reporter at FreightWaves

Automation and other sustainability goals

“By now, shippers know better than anyone that consumers, workers and investors alike view sustainability as a requirement, not a trend. To meet this need and stay competitive, shippers must go beyond adopting greener processes from an efficiency standpoint and thread environmental responsibility through all aspects of their organizations.”

Oren Zaslansky, CEO and founder of Flock Freight

“By leveraging carbon-neutral freight services, shippers can cut tailpipe emissions straight from the source and de-exhaust their supply chains. Shippers can pair the adoption of carbon-neutral freight service with thorough corporate emission-reduction goals.” 


“I’d like to see companies adopt automation for their warehouses to increase order accuracy and decrease our carbon footprint. Manual processes in e-commerce logistics end up resulting in a high number of mistakes that end up as inaccurate orders in the hands of consumers. At a minimum, that means double the carbon emissions generated to ship a second accurate order. It’s time for us to make e-commerce a more efficient and responsible process.”

Lior Elazary, CEO and founder of inVia Robotics

“For Earth Day 2022, Ryder invites all companies to have ‘Impact For Good’ by leaning on their expertise and resources to build stronger, more sustainable communities. We provide our customers with the efficiencies, scalabilities and green solutions that help us meet our sustainability goals so they can also yield a greater positive impact on our planet.”

Nanci Tellam, vice president of environmental, real estate and fuel services at Ryder

“On Earth Day 2022, I hope I can say, ‘Wow, we did it. The world called for immediate, ambitious climate action, and companies and governments of all sizes around the world delivered.’”

Alyssa Sporrer, sustainability reporter at FreightWaves

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.