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Sustainability report: Old Dominion Freight Line makes progress on emissions

Company cites 12% reduction in direct, indirect emissions from 2018 to 2020

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Old Dominion Freight Line’s first environmental, social and governance report shows emissions-reduction progress and includes sustainability data from 2018 to 2020.

The Thomasville, North Carolina-based less-than-truckload service provider reported that its direct (scope 1) and indirect (scope 2) greenhouse gas emissions decreased by about 12% from 2018 to 2020. The data in the report showed that supply chain-related emissions (scope 3) fell by nearly 15% from 2018 to 2020.

Old Dominion (NASDAQ: ODFL) did not respond to a request for comment about whether it plans to set science-based targets to further reduce all types of GHG emissions.

The company ordered its first electric tractor last May but did not say whether it plans to expand its electric fleet in the future. In 2021, Old Dominion also purchased five electric forklifts and one electric yard tractor to evaluate operational performance.

Low-carbon diesel makes up about 20% of Old Dominion’s bulk fuel purchases, and the company is working to expand the use of lower-carbon fuels.

Old Dominion purchases renewable diesel in California and Oregon and purchases biofuels in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, California and Oregon, according to the report published Friday.

Old Dominion’s efficiency efforts to reduce negative environmental impacts include:

  • Using energy-efficient lights, fans and hand dryers.
  • Recycling truck wash water in select service centers.
  • Implementing paperless technology and recycling programs to reduce waste.
  • Recycling coolant and engine oil through a fluids exchange partnership.

Read: Renewable natural gas’ one-two punch against emissions — Net-Zero Carbon

The company said its social responsibility programs address diversity, equity and inclusion, safety, veteran support, and community involvement. Old Dominion has supervisor and management training programs that focus on promoting from within the company with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

The report said 95% of drivers return home at the end of their shift, and Old Dominion has a driver retention rate of more than 90%. The company credits this to providing a competitive benefits package and making work-life balance a priority.

“Our commitment to the Old Dominion family of employees, our customers and the continuous pursuit of efficiency in all aspects of our business is critical to our success and reflects our priorities surrounding ESG initiatives,” Greg Gantt, president and CEO of Old Dominion, said in a release. “We are committed to providing additional updates in our future ESG reports.”

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.