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Wabash National adopts sustainability reporting trend

Wabash National shares ESG data and practices

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Semi-trailer manufacturer Wabash National (NYSE: WNC) hopped on the bandwagon and shared its first sustainability report Tuesday. A growing number of companies throughout supply chains are disclosing efforts and goals to operate more sustainably.

Wabash National’s sustainability report is based on 2019 operations and statistics. It focuses on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, with safety of employees, customers and communities as the No. 1 priority. The company celebrated a zero fatality rate and 6.4 recordable incident rate for employees in 2019.

Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the company in 2019 were listed at 72,000 and 64,000 metric tons of CO2, respectively. The report said Wabash National technologies are designed to improve fuel efficiency, reducing GHG emissions. However, the report did not state specific goals to reduce emissions.

Wabash National’s molded structural composite (MSC) technology reduces weight by up to 20% and improves thermal efficiency by up to 28% compared to traditional designs, according to the report. The company said its DuraPlate composite panels result in a trailer that weighs 300 pounds less and has the same durability as a traditional trailer. DuraPlate panels contain 15-30% post-consumer resin, the report said; each of these panels is 100% recyclable at the end of its lifespan.

Wabash National’s recycling programs and use of recycled materials saved 23,000 mature trees, 73,000 metric tons of GHG emissions and 152 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2019, according to the report. Though the company only used 0.24% renewable electricity in 2019, its Portland, Oregon, facility relies on 100% renewable energy, the report said. 

“Wabash National has been internally focused on ESG topics for some time. I’m pleased our external reporting is more fully reflecting our internal efforts because we have a great story to tell,” said Brent Yeagy, president and CEO, in a release.

The company expressed its value for diversity and inclusion when it increased the number of minority and female employees it hired from Q3 of 2018 to Q3 of 2019, according to the report. 

In support of communities, Wabash National reported donating more than $915,000 combined in corporate gifts and employee and supplier donations to several nonprofit organizations including United way, Salvation Army and Food Finders Food Bank in 2019. Over $120,000 in Wabash National Scholarships was awarded in 2019, according to the report.

An increasing backlog indicates Wabash National will have a strong 2021.

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.