Wal-Mart Canada – Lesley Smith, vice-president of supply chain
Earlier this year, Wal-Mart Canada launched an ad campaign touting many of its green policies, including its use of eco-friendly light bulbs, emission-free power, its increased insulation of roofs on new stores, its recycling efforts, as well as its decision to stock environmentally preferable products.
But not to be ignored is the company’s green shipping strategy. In July 2007, as part of its company-wide sustainability program, Wal-Mart Canada collaborated with supply chain companies in order to measure and reduce the environmental footprint of its product shipping process and logistics network.
To do this, the company introduced its Supply Chain Sustainability Scorecard to assess its network of service providers – including some of Canada’s largest trucking, rail, storage, and distribution suppliers – on the basis of environmental impact, efforts and improvement.
The aim of the Scorecard system is to assess the businesses Wal-Mart Canada hires to ship and store its products based on four categories: equipment (through use of sustainable alternatives, efficient engines and tires) operations (through enforcement of programs for recycling, vehicle idling, oil collection), facilities (through responsible energy use – including green power – and efficient buildings), and corporate commitment (ie. a vision or culture of sustainability throughout the business).
But Wal-Mart Canada certainly keeps itself accountable as well. In July 2006, Wal-Mart Canada and shipping supplier SCM changed the mode of transporting goods destined for 10 stores located in Nova Scotia and P. E. I. from road to rail. This change has reduced carbon emissions by 2,600 tonnes. For deliveries that had to be trucked, the companies converted 20 truck generators to electric power, saving 40,000 litres of fuel. Combined, these two measures are expected to deliver annual cost savings of more than $2 million.
As well, by changing some shipping crates from cardboard to plastic, allowing boxes to be used approximately 60 times instead of once, Wal-Mart Canada has saved $4.5 million in costs, with expected waste reduction of more than 1,400 tonnes and carbon emissions reductions of 10,000 tonnes, due to the elimination of cardboard production.
Purolator Courier – Serge Viola, national fleet manager
Over the past several years, Purolator Courier has cemented itself as not just a leader in the package delivery biz, but also as a leader in the use of alternative vehicles.
In May 2005, Purolator the first courier company in Canada to introduce hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) into its fleet, with 10 HEVs and one hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid electric vehicle (FC-HEV) added to its urban fleet of curb-side delivery vehicles in downtown Toronto. After much fuel-saving success, Purolator brought the total number of HEVs on the roads in Ottawa, Montreal, and Vancouver to 49 in 2007 and introduced Canada’s first battery-operated electric delivery vehicle in September of the same year. Since their introduction, Purolator’s 49 HEVs have logged more than one million kilometres, saving over 150,000 litres of fuel and preventing the emission of approximately 530 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions as well as associated smog-causing emissions. As its HEV fleet continues to meet expectations, the company has plans to expand its fleet further with an order of 105 additional HEVs for late 2008.
Bison Transport – Rob Penner, vice-president of operations
Winnipeg-based Bison Transport has the lofty distinction of being not only one of the safest carriers on North American roads – okay, the safest according to its third straight grand prize win at this year’s Truckload Carriers Association convention – but it’s also one of the greenest. Bison is a member of Natural Resources Canada’s FleetSmart Program and has continued its impressive streak south of the border by being the first Canadian carrier to join the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Smartway Transportation Partnership.
As members of SmartWay, fleets must develop a plan to reduce their emissions through improved fuel efficiency. How they choose to meet their self-imposed targets is up to them, with Bison opting for a number of effective options. In May, Bison announced that it would be reducing its corporate speed limit to 100 km/h in order to decrease fuel consumption by its large fleet of trucks. Speed reduction is just one part of Bison’s Sustainable Transportation strategy and its corporate goal of minimizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Bison has projected that this initiative will reduce its diesel fuel consumption by more than 1 million litres of diesel fuel, with a resulting reduction in GHG emissions of 2.7 million kilograms. With auxiliary power units (APUs) and automated transmissions featured as standard specs on all of its trucks – many of which hail from the 2007-and-beyond family of engines – Bison is poised to continue its dominance in both safety and efficiency.
Lakeside Logistics – Susan Moore, director of sustainability and Jeff Moore, managing director
It’s been almost a year since Lakeside Logistics, an Oakville, Ont.-based 3PL provider, achieved a carbon neutral footprint through its in-house Vision Green program.
After calculating the carbon dioxide the company produced through a variety of means, including paper use, electricity, employee commuting, travel and office heating, Lakeside discovered it was producing about 320 tonnes of CO2 per year – the equivalent of about 64 cars on the road. To decrease its C02 production, Lakeside made a number of improvements in the first phase of the program, including converting to green, carbon-free, renewable electricity to power its corporate office; investing in hybrid technology for its carrier relations vehicle; instituting an idle-free zone at its loading docks to reduce carbon emissions; and, in what had the most significant impact on the company’s footprint, eliminating bottled water on site, saving 20,000 plastic bottles annually. To remove the remaining emissions necessary to attain carbon neutral status, Lakeside turned to carbon offsetting, by using an ISO-certified forest restoration project.
But the best for Lakeside may be yet to come. Lakeside is now targeting its 3,500 partner carriers across Canada and the US in an effort to help them audit their current carbon footprint. The cumulative fleet mileage of Lakeside’s partner carriers in the 12-month period between June 2006 and May 2007 was 19 million miles, producing 35,484 tonnes of CO2. The company’s initial target is to generate a 10% (3,500-tonne) reduction in these emissions by the end of 2010. This translates to taking 700 cars or 20 Class 8 trucks off the road. With the third phase of Vision Green, Lakeside will work with customers to measure the carbon footprint of their supply chain.
Lange Transportation and Storage -Eric Lange, president
If you’ve never heard of Lange Transportation and Storage, that’s probably because company president Eric Lange chooses to fly below the radar, quietly carving out a comfortable spot for himself in a niche market. The company’s business itself -shipping and storing high-value, time-sensitive cargo for big-name clients -may also have something to do with Lange’s low profile. But if you think Lange’s industry impression is subtle, its carbon footprint is barely a whisper.
Lange has spent the better part of the past two years transforming his Mississauga-based facility into an environmentalist’s dream. While the list of “green” improvements seems endless (including newly insulated loading dock doors, double paned windows, motion detectors on the light fixtures, solar light tubes in the office area, hydro-friendly warehouse lighting, an organic collection program, and a full roof replacement), the prized -and prize-winning -addition was Lange’s decision to heat and cool the 70,000 sq. ft. facility with a renewable energy source known as geothermal. Installing the system involved clearing away a section of earth from the surface of a ‘bore field’ (any strip of land with enough space to house the geothermal system), drilling holes into the ground, and inserting a system of pipes carrying a mixture of water and ethanol. Once installed, the system uses the earth’s natural temperature to heat and cool the facility using a system of fans -all with minimal hydro use.
The end result of all Lange’s efforts? No fossil fuels are now necessary to heat or air condition the premises, translating to an estimated savings of 158,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 20 years. The combined total savings from no natural gas use and limited hydro use amounted to more than $70,000 in the first year.
For its commendable efforts to better the environment, Lange Transportation won the Mississauga Board of Trade Environmental Achievement Award in November, and Lange himself won Sheridan College’s Ontario Premier Award for Business last year, for applying the company’s environmental concerns to an actual business application for energy savings. So saying the company is not attracting much attention might be a bit of an exaggeration -it just happens to be attracting the good kind.
J. D. Smith and Sons – Brian Death, general manager
As winners of Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Canada’s first-ever Green Supply Chain Award in 2007, the folks at J. D. Smith and Sons can safely say they know a thing or two about bettering the environment.
But the company chose to look at more than just its mobile assets when it set out to improve its environmental performance. General manager Brian Death said the company upgraded the HVAC system at one of its terminals while retrofitting the lighting system at others.
The company initially used 16-20 natural gas space heaters to warm a two-year-old terminal. The company replaced the thermostat with sensors that could provide heating only during the 16 hours when people were actually working there.
In the first year, the company saved $27,000 in natural gas costs. It cost $18,000 to implement the changes, for a payback period of just eight months.
As for the lighting retrofit, J. D. Smith and Sons replaced 400-watt high-pressure sodium lights with fluorescent bulbs at three of its facilities. The average light level was unchanged and in fact, it was preferred by employees, Death said, noting the fluorescent bulbs generated a more natural light.
The company saw its electricity bills plummet about 30% after the retrofits, saving the company $75,000 in electricity per year. The cost of the upgrades was $197,000, providing a 2.6 year payback.
However, Death said the company slashed its electricity consumption by 745,000 kilowatt hours, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 221 tonnes of C02.Combined, the two programs reduced CO2 emissions at J. D. Smith and Sons facilities by nearly 400 tonnes per year.
XTL Transport – Serge Gagnon, president of XTL Group of Companies
With two considerable achievements under its belt in the first half of the year, calling 2008 a banner year for XTL Transport would be a gross understatement. In April, the Toronto-based carrier earned certification to the prestigious US Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership program, earning the highest score possible in the process.
The truckload carrier, which operates about 400 tractors and 1,300 trailers throughout North America, has taken some major steps to reducing its fuel consumption and environmental footprint. Recent initiatives by the company include: an extensive education and monitoring program for drivers with the intent of reducing fuel mileage; an aggressive company speed-limit policy, restricting vehicles to a maximum of 105 km/h; aerodynamically advanced vehicle designs to improve high-speed mileage; automatic transmissions for optimal fuel economy; post-2004 compliant engines to dramatically reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (with all new tractors being replaced with even cleaner 2007 engines); mandatory auxiliary power units on all fleet tractors to reduce idling; extensive tire and maintenance programs; and advanced load planning, dispatch and satellite communication to help eliminate unproductive, inefficient travel.
These actions caught the eye of Transport Canada and the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Canada, who awarded XTL with the 2008 Green Transport award in May. The award is presented to companies that have set and exceeded high standards for environmental friendliness in the handling and shipment of products to customers.