Stonyfield Farm Inc., based in Londonderry, N.H., was one of 37 organizations nationwide honored recently by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for success in cutting carbon dioxide emissions and fuel use in freight operations. Stonyfield Farm was awarded a 2009 “SmartWay Excellence Award.”
Stonyfield is among more than 2000 SmartWay Transport Partners setting an example in the transportation industry for addressing climate change by using clean vehicle technologies, managing freight logistics more effectively, and promoting the benefits of SmartWay to peers and customers.
Stonyfield, the world’s leading organic yogurt maker, joined SmartWay in 2008 as a shipper partner, having established several programs to significantly reduce the company’s transportation carbon footprint. Stonyfield educated all contracted truck carriers about fuel-saving SmartWay strategies, and provided incentives to join the program. Now, Stonyfield ships 100 percent of its freight using more efficient SmartWay carriers.
“Stonyfield went the extra mile and saved fuel and money, while cutting air pollution," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator for EPA New England. “Stonyfield’s programs show that efforts to ship more efficiently can help our climate and our environment."
“This award recognizes the hard work of a team dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint, and continuing to find ways to save money and the planet,” says Stonyfield Farm president and chief executive officer Gary Hirshberg. “As a yogurt on a mission, Stonyfield has continually worked toward minimizing our impact, by working smarter, working leaner and working greener.”
Stonyfield also reworked its distribution system to ship more efficiently. By consolidating loads, increasing order lead times and rerouting, Stonyfield’s New England fleet achieved a 15 percent reduction in 2008 in the number of miles driven empty. By reducing the number of pallets needed for each load, requiring longer trailers and eliminating less-than-full truckloads, Stonyfield reduced the number of truckloads of product shipped by 13 percent between 2007 and 2008. Through these and other efforts, Stonyfield reduced its total annual CO2 emissions by more than 40 percent between 2006 and 2008 while growing its business. This is the equivalent to taking 1,700 cars off the road for a year. In doing so, Stonyfield also saved $2.5 million in fuel costs in 2007 and 2008 alone.
Stonyfield delivers its product in New England using trucks leased through its logistics provider, Ryder, which are now either SmartWay or RydeGreen-certified. EPA certifies SmartWay sleeper tractor-trailers equipped with technology to provide cab comfort without idling, improve aerodynamics and reduce rolling resistance. Ryder-provided day cab tractors have automatic idle shutdown, more efficient trailer refrigeration and other fuel-saving features. Onboard computers on all trucks track driver behavior, and Stonyfield rewards drivers for reducing idling and improving driving style.
EPA launched SmartWay in 2004 in collaboration with a handful of leading carriers and shippers to improve the freight industry’s environmental performance. Today, more than 2,200 businesses and organizations have joined the partnership, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to family-owned businesses.
Delivery of goods by truck and rail in the U.S. each year consumes 35 billion gallons of diesel fuel, emits 350 million metric tons of CO2, and represents about 20 percent of all energy consumed by the transportation sector. As a subset of transportation sources, ground freight contributes about 40 percent of nitrogen oxide (NOx), about 31 percent of particulate matter (PM) and about a fifth of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Companies participating in SmartWay choose from a wide array of strategies and technologies for lowering their transportation energy use and CO2 emissions. EPA helps companies measure their performance, evaluate options and get financing to buy fuel-saving technology.
In 2009, SmartWay projects that partners will eliminate 6 million tons of CO2 and conserve more than 540 million gallons of diesel fuel, saving at least $1.3 billion.
- SmartWay Excellence Awards (www.epa.gov/smartway/transport/partner-resources/awards-2009.htm)
- General information on EPA's SmartWay program (www.epa.gov/smartway/index.htm)