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Transfix ESG report: Digital platform helping reduce waste in freight

Company’s first environmental, social and governance report lays out plans for future

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Digital freight platform Transfix’s first environmental, social and governance report says the Transfix platform “helps mitigate operational waste and carbon emissions by utilizing data, machine learning, automation, and human expertise to help carriers reduce their empty miles and shippers lessen their indirect emissions.”

The report, released Tuesday, focuses on how Transfix’s platform can help reduce emissions through consolidating shipments and decreasing empty miles and backhaul. It also provides a road map for improvements in ESG sustainability metrics and practices.

“By bringing together dedicated professionals, AI-driven brokerage services and intuitive software, we are enabling those we serve to deliver for their customers, generate new economic opportunities and drive long-term impact — all while aiming to minimize empty miles driven for a more sustainable future,” Lily Shen, CEO and president, said in the report.

Transfix sent a survey to thousands of its carriers to get a general idea about the number of miles they would have driven empty if they hadn’t been using a digital freight broker. This helped the company formulate an estimate that in 2021, it helped reduce empty miles by millions and reduce related carbon dioxide emissions by thousands of tons. The company did not release specific numbers.

Emission-reduction targets

Transfix committed to calculating its direct (scope 1) and indirect (scope 2) emissions and “identify material categories of scope 3 emissions” within a year. Within three years, Transfix aims to calculate its scope 3, or supply chain-related, emissions and get a portion of its energy from renewable sources.

Setting emission-reduction targets with the Science Based Targets Initiative is an important step for the climate that many transportation and freight companies have already taken. According to the report, Transfix plans to set targets to reduce all three scopes of emissions within five years.

“Transfix’s inaugural ESG report is commendable on many levels. It’s both transparent and aspirational in addressing current and future initiatives. In highlighting the path forward in future ESG reporting initiatives, Transfix calls out improvement opportunities while also setting aggressive goals,” said Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence at FreightWaves.

Social sustainability

As of 2021, among Transfix’s 296 full-time employees:

  • 49% identified as Black, Indigenous and persons of color.
  • 40% of the members of the board of directors were women.
  • 43% of the senior executive team were women.

Within one year, the company plans to conduct a gender pay equality audit by a third party to “identify any gaps.” Transfix also aims to establish an ESG committee within a year. Committee members will receive training to guide the company’s ESG strategy.

“We founded Transfix with the goal of improving the lives of the men and women who work in the logistics and trucking industry, while simultaneously improving the speed and accuracy with which goods could flow through the supply chain to consumers,” Drew McElroy, co-founder and chairman of the board, said in a statement

Read: Transfix sees record results ahead of public listing

The company’s fourth-quarter revenue increased 37% year-over-year, reaching $87 million. In September, Transfix announced it would go public under the New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol TF via an agreement with special purpose acquisition company G Squared Ascend I Inc. 

“We are excited to help usher in a new era of intelligent, modern logistics with a focus on sustainability for our customers, our employees, our shareholders and our planet,” Shen said.

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.