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The state of sustainability in transportation — Net-Zero Carbon

Sustainability is ‘going to have to be addressed,’ U.S. Gain expert says

(Image: FreightWaves)

On this episode of Net-Zero Carbon, Danny Gomez, managing director of financial and emerging markets at FreightWaves, and Lynn Lyon, director of business development and sustainable transportation at sustainable-energy solutions company U.S. Gain, discuss how the transportation industry is reducing emissions. 

Lyon says transition fuels, partnerships and data are key in the journey to net-zero. Companies large and small are realizing that sustainability is here to stay.

“I think there’s an acknowledgement that this is something that’s going to have to be addressed,” Lyon said. “Everybody understands at this point that there’s going to be some level of accountability, especially if you’re a publicly owned company.”

Read: Trucking industry concerned about SEC’s proposed climate rules

Using different alternative fuels to reduce emissions

Larger carriers are leading the way and investing in alternative fuels. But getting to net-zero emissions by 2040 or 2050 will require long-term planning, which could be difficult since companies have been shortening five-year strategies to just two years, Lyon said.

“There’s a variety of ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Having an open mind and finding good partners that don’t jump too quickly down one path — I think that’s the best approach,” Lyon said.

Carriers are investing in multiple alternative fuel paths. They may be betting on electric vehicles for shorter-range, more routine routes and renewable diesel or renewable natural gas for other parts of their operations.

“There is a tendency for firms to commit. But I love what you say about having this pragmatic approach and having different tools depending on what the market and the situation that you’re operating in dictate is appropriate,” Gomez said.

As companies create strategies to reach their emission-reduction goals, they may end up going down an unexpected path.

Even large carriers are having trouble getting EVs they ordered years ago delivered, Lyon said. “If they can’t get their trucks, how are these smaller guys going to get their trucks?”

Taking into account the investments made in current internal combustion vehicles, companies may be better off using renewable diesel or biodiesel in the shorter term.

Gomez and Lyon agreed that companies will have different strategies and use different fuels to reduce emissions.

View all of FreightWaves’ Net-Zero Carbon episodes and sustainability stories.

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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.