Green Freight - Environmental Defense Fund Supply Chain Solutions Center

Green Freight

Reduce emissions and improve efficiency

Freight movement accounts for 8 percent of all corporate greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the largest carbon footprint contributors. The emissions come directly from all the trucks, trains, ships and planes that carry goods between each node of the supply chain. There are huge financial incentives for reducing the environmental impact from freight … and companies have the power to make it happen. By employing smarter logistics strategies, they can operate more efficiently and affordably.

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Ocean Freight

Ocean freight is the most environmentally sustainable global shipping option. Learn how to make this a major piece of your intermodal mix.

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Air Freight

Air freight is the most expensive and carbon-intensive transport mode. Optimizing your air freight usage can lead to big economic and environmental benefits.

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Rail Freight

Rail transport burns a lot less fuel, and emits a great deal less greenhouse gases, than trucks.

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Road Freight

Thirty-six percent of U.S. truck trailers are underutilized. Capturing just half of this capacity would cut freight truck emissions by 100 million tons per year.

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Warehouses, Distribution Centers, Facilities

Warehouses, distribution centers and facilities can be a great place to start when looking for energy efficiencies.

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Measuring & Reporting

New technologies and methodologies are making data collection, analysis and sharing simpler, faster and more effective. This provides key information back to stakeholders throughout the supply chain. Measuring and reporting should help your supply chain partners tell their story better.

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Stakeholder Engagement

Understanding the motivations of different groups involved in your supply chain is a challenge, but can go a long way when showing how your goals are relevant and beneficial to them!

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While voluntary corporate actions to reduce GHG emissions are important, only public policy can deliver the pace and scale of reductions needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. That’s why policy advocacy is an essential element of corporate sustainability leadership. Companies can make a difference by supporting policies that drive down greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, unleash innovation and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon freight system.

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Business Case

Companies implementing freight optimization plans often cut costs in addition to emissions. Explore case studies on companies that have achieved financial gains on top of their environmental ones to build the business case for your company’s freight optimization strategy.

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Green Freight Events
Expert Organizations

In the U.S., freight transport accounts for 16 percent of corporate greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the largest carbon footprint contributors.

There are many resources available to help you reduce your impact.

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Green Freight Resources

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Main Library

Green Freight Resources

Looking for solutions that are uniquely relevant to you and your company? Here you can filter by resource title, date, type. Below (left) you can filter by narrowing categories and sub-categories, as well as where each resource sits within the different levels of the sustainability journey.

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The Sustainability Journey

Get your company started on the sustainability journey here! From overviews and introductions to advocating for policy, and everything in between, this is where you should start.



Green freight 101: introduction

Reducing freight’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions is a major, long-term challenge for logistics professionals. Critical progress can be made, though, starting today.



Green freight 101: get informed

The first step to greening your freight transport is to understand the issue and how it impacts your business.



Green freight 101: understand the landscape

There are many stakeholders — both inside and outside of your company — that you may need or want to engage.



Assess risks and impacts: freight

This section of the Green Freight Handbook provides a framework to help you answer the question of what strategies make the most sense to you. It starts with EDF’s 5 Principles for Greener Freight.



Identify stakeholders: freight

The biggest breakthroughs in freight efficiency will come from companies working together to ship the same volume of freight in fewer, fuller loads.



Set goals: freight

When it comes to setting goals for freight sustainability, don’t underestimate your power to change things. Set aggressive targets and challenge the organization to achieve them.



Establish metrics: freight

Start your journey by establishing performance-based metrics, and report your progress regularly.



Identify pilot projects: freight

If you’re just beginning a concerted freight sustainability effort, focus on projects over which you have complete control and can quickly demonstrate results.



Carbon accounting 101

A guide to corporate carbon accounting, including definitions of scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions, companies that have set scope 3 goals, and initiatives you can turn to for help doing the same.



We Mean Business coalition

A coalition that is catalyzing business action and driving policy ambition to accelerate the zero-carbon transition.



EPA Center for Corporate Climate Leadership

EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership serves as a resource center for all organizations looking to expand their work in the area of greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement and management.



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