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The transportation sector is what makes Canada a country, bridging together the vast distances among our geographically dispersed cities and resources. Yet our heavy reliance on transportation as a bulwark of our economy also creates distinct...
The transportation sector is what makes Canada a country, bridging together the vast distances among our geographically dispersed cities and resources. Yet our heavy reliance on transportation as a bulwark of our economy also creates distinct challenges when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases. Mountainous terrain, cold and snowy winters and gridlock in some of our major centres exacerbate the issue.
The transportation sector is the second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada, trailing only stationary sources, with a share of 27% of total emissions in 2007. Between 2000 and 2007, transportation emissions grew at an average of 1.6% per year (from 178 megatonnes (Mt) to 200 Mt), while total GHG emissions grew at a rate of 0.6% per year, from 717 Mt to 747 Mt. Freight activity (as measured by tonne kilometres) increased on average by 2.7% per year from 2000 to 2007.
But we are starting to turn the corner.
Improvements in efficiency are helping mitigate the impact of the growth on GHG emissions – freight-related emissions grew by only 2.4% on average during the same period. And the transport industry has made significant breakthroughs in reducing air pollution emissions, such as fine particulate matter, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. Despite these improvements, however, the industry’s high contribution to GHG emissions means transportation can’t escape the attention of legislators looking to create a greener future.
But, as we have maintained since we started publishing our Green to Gold series, a greener future doesn’t have to mean a less profitable one. In many instances, the investments made in greener technologies and transportation practices are paying off in reduced costs. And high standards in fuel efficiency are increasingly becoming central to the carrier selection process of large shippers.
It’s with this reality in mind that we produce our fourth annual Green to Gold supplement on sustainable transportation practices. In addition, we have more information available online at trucknews.com and look for our upcoming webinars on green transportation practices. Our goal is to inform fleet managers about the latest technologies and strategies being used to reduce not only the carbon footprint of the nation’s fleets, but their operating costs as well. After all, for green projects to succeed, they must be based on sound business strategies.
And, once again, we profile the efforts of executives and managers who are pioneering sustainable transportation practices. As their experiences clearly indicate, if you take the time to do it right, you can turn green into gold. mt
Lou Smyrlis Editorial Director
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News