Seyfarth Synopsis: For companies in the freight industry, if sustainability is important at your company or to its board of directors, then you may wish to investigate the EPA’s updated Smartway program, with its new resources and tools.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program has recently been updated and republished in a report called Smartway 2020: A New Era of Freight Sustainability, and in a revamping of its Smartway website.

The EPA’s SmartWay program is intended to increase the efficiency of how our nation moves goods, to help address air quality challenges from the transportation supply chain, to improve public health, and to “reduce freight’s contribution to climate change.”

As a partnership between the EPA and the freight industry, participation in SmartWay has grown from fewer than 20 partners in 2004, to more than 3,000 today. According to EPA, since 2004, SmartWay partners have saved over 7 billion gallons of fuel, lowered fuel costs by $24.9 billion, and reduced carbon emissions by 72.8 million metric tons.

EPA’s Smartway Vision 2020 has four elements, including:

  • Coverage of the transportation supply chain through the development of carbon assessment and monitoring tools to cover all modes of freight transport (including truck, train, barge, air, and marine), to leverage national and international efforts to streamline freight data, amplify the program’s reach and reduce freight emissions worldwide.
  • “SmartWay’s carbon accounting tools use peer-reviewed methodologies and EPA standards to generate reliable performance data.”
  • SmartWay serves as a template for other countries and regions that are working to establish partnership-based programs to address freight emissions.
  • “SmartWay will serve as a neutral and credible platform for increased information exchange and thought leadership, including webinars, education, peer review, speaking engagements, partner profiles, case studies and best practices guidance.”

In May 2016 the EPA made available the new “2016 SmartWay Multimodal Tool,” along with supporting documents. As published, carriers are being told that they “must submit a completed and accurate SmartWay Multimodal Tool” to EPA by June 23, 2017, to make sure company data is in the EPA partner database when shippers and logistics companies go looking for providers.