In a relatively short time, “sustainability” has gone from a minor buzzword to a major factor in our personal and professional lives, including shipping and transportation. Though we don’t always see it, the environmental impact in the logistics industry has been a large concern over the past few decades.

According to the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, transportation accounted for the largest portion (29%) of total U.S. GHG emissions in 2019. Because of the size of the logistics industry, transportation pollution makes a noteworthy contribution to climate change.

Those in the industry need to find innovative ways to do their part to protect the environment while also ensuring the longevity of their businesses. One way to make sure you’re doing your part is to join the EPA SmartWay Sustainability Program.

What is the EPA SmartWay Program?

SmartWay is a free program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address the trends and challenges that the freight industry poses to the environment. SmartWay is advancing supply chain sustainability by creating a free transportation partnership between companies and shippers — one where they’re stakeholders in measuring, benchmarking, and improving transportation efficiency.

SmartWay provides a way for private companies to directly collaborate with the EPA and each other to improve logistics operations sustainability. By becoming an EPA Smartway partner, companies can also gain recognition with prospective and current clients who understand the importance of environmental protection.

Launched in 2004, this voluntary public-private program:

  • Helps companies find more efficient freight carriers, transportation methods, equipment, and operational strategies to both improve sustainability and lower costs
  • Supports global energy security and helps companies and countries offset environmental risk
  • Provides a system for tracking, documenting, and sharing fuel use and freight emissions information across various supply chains
  • Accelerates the use of advanced fuel-saving technologies, which reduces air pollutant emissions caused by freight transportation companies
  • Supports U.S. business interests and helps companies save money. Since 2004, the EPA has worked with more than 3,000 freight shippers, carriers, logistics companies, and other stakeholders to save 170.3 million barrels of oil and $24.9 billion on fuel costs.

Benefits of the EPA SmartWay program

By becoming a SmartWay Carrier Partner, you’ll have:

  • Proof of commitment: Your potential customers and clients see SmartWay as a preferred way of identifying efficient carriers. As a partner, you’ll be able to show that efficiency is a priority for your company.
  • Measurable results: By tracking performance, you’ll see how you compare to others in your industry, as well as how your efforts affect results on a yearly basis.
  • Efficiency tracking: EPA’s performance tools help you ensure that your tracking efforts are consistent with industry best practices.
  • Operational efficiencies: SmartWay helps you see inefficiencies and waste that cost you money, and allows you to make improvements based on the inefficiencies.
  • Sustainability innovations: Get access to industry knowledge and best practices through webinars, meetings, and case studies.
  • Continuous improvement: By participating in SmartWay annually, you can access business intelligence that pinpoints real achievements and uncovers opportunities for improvement.
  • Industry recognition: EPA features companies that demonstrate green freight best practices through case studies, profiles, panel discussions, webinars, and awards.

How to join SmartWay

Any company or organization that ships, manages, or hauls freight can apply to be a SmartWay member. First, go to their website and determine which type of partner you are:

  • Shipper: Company or organization that ships or receives freight
  • Carrier: Company or organization that moves goods for shippers
  • Logistics: Company that hires freight carriers and manage shipments for shippers

If you’re an organization that doesn’t control freight but still would like to be a part of SmartWay, they have an Affiliate program for organizations that agree to educate and support their members’ efforts to improve freight sustainability.

Once you know what kind of partner you’ll be, you first need to gather operational data. Existing fleets must report the 12 months of data for the prior year and newly formed companies require a minimum of three months of data.

Let’s take a look at how you can use Motive’s Fuel Hub to provide documentation to help become registered as a SmartWay partner.

How to get started with Motive’s Fuel Hub

The essential component of registering to be a SmartWay partner is compiling a record of prior data, and that’s where Motive comes in. With our Fuel Hub, you’ll get a consolidated view of your fleet’s fuel consumption, benchmarked across our expansive network.

You can identify fuel usage and outliers at a quick glance with our simple, intuitive dashboard. With one of the largest fleet networks in North America, our deep dataset powers our AI models to drive industry-leading insights.

Use Fuel Hub to compile the necessary historical data to become a SmartWay partner, as well as:

  • Proactively coach wasteful behaviors: Automatically identify your fleet’s top fuel performers and worst offenders, so you can save time by knowing exactly who to focus on when it comes to coaching.
  • Retain top performers: Use the information compiled by Fuel Hub to create a powerful incentive program to reward drivers with good fuel economy.
  • Invest money wisely: Fuel Hub’s rich vehicle insights also help you determine the types of vehicles you want to invest in — or possibly get rid of.

Ready to not only become a SmartWay partner but also streamline operations and save on business expenses? Request a demo and see our Fuel Hub in action today.