INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Within a decade, nobody will be talking about running a ‘green fleet,’ Lee Styslinger III, chairman and CEO of Altec said as keynote speaker at the Green Truck Summit here today.
No, he wasn’t suggesting that trucking companies will no longer be striving to reduce their environmental footprint. Instead, Styslinger was predicting that the industry as a whole will have gone so ‘green,’ that it will go without saying.
“I am confident that within the next decade, the term ‘green fleet’ will likely become just ‘fleet.’ Sustainability, efficiencies and a lower carbon footprint will be business as usual,” he said to a crowd of about 600 fleet managers and industry suppliers. “It might be tempered by a slower than usual economic recovery and other external forces, but the idea of sustainability is here to stay.”
Altec, which makes utility truck bodies and other equipment, can trace its own ‘green’ history back to WWII, when it began building bodies out of aluminum - not for the weight savings, but because steel was needed for the war effort. The company soon came to realize there were benefits in using the lightweight material, which was also more corrosion resistant than steel. Today, its aluminum bodies reduce weight by 10%, Styslinger said.
Styslinger’s theme was that “green is good business.”
“Sustainability, green business, whatever you choose to call it is not going away,” he insisted. “It’s here to stay and has become integral to good business practice, especially in resource-intensive industries like transportation.”
He urged companies to align themselves with partners and suppliers that share their environmental objectives.
“Having suppliers that share our sustainability goals provides the best solutions for our customers,” he said. “Together, we can build the best technologies.”
Styslinger noted that in 2010, 19% of S&P 500 companies were reporting their sustainability objectives, but by 2011 that number had surged to 53%.
“For every dollar we’ve invested in making our business more efficient, we’ve seen a return,” he said. “If you’re just beginning this journey, rest assured, the benefits far outweigh the costs for you, your associates and the future of your business.”