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Tree of Life, Inc. has joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the freight industry, designed to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution.
Tree of Life will contribute to the partnership’s goal -- to reduce 33 million to 66 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxide per year by 2012 -- by improving the environmental performance of its freight operations across the country.
According to the EPA, carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, and nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that contributes to smog -- both of which are created by road vehicles.
The U.S. EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership is a voluntary public-private partnership that addresses greenhouse gas emissions, fuel consumption, criteria pollutants (NOX and PM) and operating costs associated with ground freight transportation operations.
“We’re enthusiastic about being part of this national effort to improve efficiency and reduce air pollution,” said Chris Sieburg, VP of transportation at St. Augustine, Fla.-based Tree of Life. “It’s just one more step in our ongoing corporate commitment to protecting our environment and streamlining our delivery processes.”
Sieburg added that as part of joining the partnership, the company launched a nationwide education and training initiative to show the Tree of Life fleet how they could contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emissions in their jobs. “Our drivers each have a significant impact on improving our overall fuel efficiency and emissions,” Sieburg said. “The way they drive, how much they idle, tire inflation and many other controllable factors really can make a difference in fuel efficiency, reducing pollution and saving operating costs.”
By joining the SmartWay Transport Partnership, Tree of Life demonstrates its continuing commitment to strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility. “Our dedication to sustainability is an integral part of Tree of Life’s mission,” Sieburg said.
“During the past two years, we’ve made a significant investment in reducing our carbon footprint by integrating cutting-edge technology into our warehousing and transportation equipment to reduce emissions and improve our operating efficiency,” he added. “Being part of the SmartWay program is one more step on the road to a cleaner environment for everyone.”
Launched in February 2004, the SmartWay Transport Partnership aims to achieve fuel savings of up to 150 million barrels of fuel per year. The partnership brings together major freight shippers, trucking companies, railroads, logistics companies and trade/professional associations to pursue mutually beneficial efficiencies that result in emissions reductions and other environmental improvements, as well as cost savings to the companies. The partnership currently has more than 1,000 partners.