In an industry that is touted responsible for 5.75% of carbon emissions worldwide (as stated in a report by Carbon War Room), efficiency has become a big deal. As we’ve realized the impacts of greenhouse gases on our planet, efforts to reduce our carbon footprints are of utmost importance, and policies in the U.S. and Europe are pushing for a greener industry.
Despite all we’ve learned about climate change, lower fuel prices seem to have impacted the industry’s progressive attitude towards greener fleets. Without the monetary incentive of lower fuel costs, companies seem less inclined to make the investments necessary to making their operations less environmentally costly. Even with policies in place that will limit emissions production in the coming years, the short term savings seem to be winning out. Though I haven’t noticed this reduced interest in my own company, low diesel prices truly are creating setbacks, at least in the States. Never in my life did I think I’d ever type a paragraph that implied lower fuel prices were negative in any way, but here it is.
We’ve seen problems arise when the industry (or individual companies) is slow on the uptake where policy changes or the implementation of new laws are concerned. The looming implementation of electronic logging device requirements is an example of these changing standards potentially negatively effecting companies who are slow to adopt them, with smaller trucking companies fearing their demise come the due date.
In the case of green innovations to reduce the emissions of the industry as a whole and each individual truck, I would think that, taking into account the concerns over last minute implementation, companies would be more eager to make these investments in their futures. Long term, these efficiency improvements must occur in order for these trucking outfits to remain compliant with the regulations. There are several resources available to companies looking to make the changes necessary to reduce their emissions, such as Trucking Efficiency, an organization dedicated to helping reduce emissions and fuel costs.
With fuel costs low at present, I realize that it’s simply not a money making proposition to begin equipping trucks with greener technology. Some companies simply don’t have the capital make the improvements, while others don’t see the benefits outweighing the costs. However, these changes will be necessary within the next few years. There are even programs available in the U.S. to provide funds to make changes to improve fuel efficiency. Since these improvements must occur in order for trucks to remain compliant, and there are agencies and organizations ready and willing to provide advice and fund these changes, there are no good excuses for putting off the adoption of fuel saving strategies. Over time, improvements will absolutely provide ROI (return on investment).
Fleet efficiency must improve. We must think long term. We must consider the global impacts of higher emissions. With the trucking industry growing by about 2% each year and more and more trucks hitting the road every day, this is crucial to keeping greenhouse gas emissions from going beyond the point of no return. Trucking is the most widely used form of freight transport. This means that the trucking industry has the power to make the biggest positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and that power is big responsibility.