The Greener Side of Green

Posted on Apr 21, 2015 8:50:00 AM

Going Green graphic

Save the Environment & Your Bottom Line 

"Going green" used to mean a major investment with a long-term payout, but today, going green is more affordable, more profitable, and (most importantly) the right thing to do. For OnTrac, it goes beyond using SmartWay-compliant tractors and trailers we're making changes that not only help the environment, but our ability to continue to offer competitive ground shipping rates.

There are a lot of great tips for businesses who want to save money by going green, and here some that have worked for OnTrac, and just might work for you, too: 

    • Install high-efficiency LED lighting
      If you're still using incandescents, energy.gov says you could reduce your electric spending 80% by switching to LED lighting. Light-emitting diodes have no mercury and a recent Energy Department study concluded that they have a much smaller impact on the environment when compared to their incandescent counterparts. It’s an instant-on technology, so we coupled them with motion sensors for even more energy savings in our warehouses. 
    • Upgrade to virtual servers and cloud services
      Gone are the days of rooms full of servers at the office. The topic can get technical quickly, but we've consolidated most of our servers into virtual ones, and are increasing our use of cloud services. It reduced our IT infrastructure costs, increased our redundancy and beefed-up our security.  Virtualizing just 100 servers is the equivalent of planting 1,569 trees or taking 89 cars off the street, so it is definitely something worth considering.
    • Donate old office furniture
    • Our operations are growing, and sometimes that means relocating to larger facilities. When it comes to office furniture, we first try to repurpose it, but that doesn't always work out. We have had success with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, where we can donate gently used future to their ReStore program.  

    • To quote their site: 
      "Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world." 
    • Sell used pallets and packing materials
      Proper packing is an important part of shipping. We use a lot of bulk packaging materials when loading our trucks and we turn to local recyclers to help us dispose them properly. They purchase the used materials, which helps us recuperate some of our costs and continue to offer our customers competitive ground shipping rates.  
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      Add high-volume low-speed fans
    • Keeping the climate under control in a warehouse can be challenging, especially in the summer months. We turned to a high-volume low-speed fan solution to help team members stay cool. 

      Studies by mechanical efficiency experts show that high-volume low-speed fans are the most energy efficient air circulating fans available. Delta T Corp, for example, states that airflow can make workers feel up to 10°F cooler, and according to Bill Prindle, the former Deputy Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, every one-degree change in the thermostat can reduce your energy bill by 3 percent. Adding high-volume low-speed fans helps OnTrac improve comfort and keep costs in check. 

    • Consider joining green organizations
    • OnTrac is a SmartWay Transport Partner, but there are plenty of other state and local environmental organizations worth looking into. They will be able to keep you informed of new ways to help the environment and save money. 

New advancements make it easier for businesses to work towards sustainability, but there’s still plenty that needs happen before we are all truly “green.” The good news is that getting started is easy, and the sooner you start, the more green you'll save. 

Topics: EPA, Go Green, environment, OnTrac Shipping, SmartWay Partner

Blue & Gold Saves Green. OnTrac & the SmartWay Transport Partnership

Posted on Mar 26, 2015 1:15:00 PM
earthDay finalgraphicEarth Day is just a few weeks away, and it's a great time to explore how OnTrac is doing its part to reduce transportation-related carbon, energy use, and air emissions.

Trucking companies are responsible for 84% of the commercial transportation industry–about 5% of America's GDP. Truckers log about 93.5 billion highway miles per year in the US, enough to circle the globe almost 4 million times! Ground transportation is a core part of our economy and way of life, and it needs to be done responsibly. 

Queue SmartWay 
SmartWay is a voluntary program developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency for improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gasses. Since 2004, actions taken by SmartWay Transport Partners have saved over 120 million barrels of oil, the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road for an entire year! 

"SmartWay offers shippers and their carriers a win-win-win situation," SmartWay Logosays
Casey Chroust, former Executive Vice President for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). "The reason is very simple. It reduces transportation costs, it increases supply chain efficiency, and it reduces the environmental footprint." 

SmartWay Transport Partners 
More than 3,000 shippers and carriers including OnTrac are active SmartWay Transport Partners, and have contributed to lowering CO2 emissions by 51.6 million metric tons. That's the same as the amount of CO2 emitted from burning 276,000 railcars full of coal. 

Companies use reporting tools developed by the EPA to archive their environmental efficiency, and adopt new and SmartWay-approved technologies and practices to save money and the environment. When it comes to Ground shipping, OnTrac and other carriers have added some of these great features to their fleets: 
  • Newer tractors with lower emissions and better fuel economy. Tractor models are 2007 or newer, and their engines are designated to meet U.S. EPA NOx/PM emission requirements. 
  • Low Rolling Resistant (LRR) tires. Rolling resistance is the force a tire needs to keep moving down the road; the lower the resistance, the greater the fuel economy. LRR tires can improve fuel economy by 3% when properly maintained. 
  • Aerodynamics. Tractors and trailers have fairing, or panels, that reduce drag on the fuel tank, cab roof, and below the trailer. Mirrors and bumpers also have aerodynamic designs. 
  • Idling Controls. Tractors have sources of auxiliary power, such as a generator or battery, to operate heating, cooling and electronic equipment. No need to keep the engine running. 

The Fleet of Tomorrow, Today 
Equipment performance guidelines are only a part of what OnTrac and other SmartWay carriers are doing to improve sustainability. Technology continues to play a big role in the supply chain as carriers use things like GPS-enabled trailers and route optimization software to reduce empty and partial miles, making every line haul count. 

Responsible shipping is important,  SmartWay Environment Guidelinesand SmartWay Transport Partners like OnTrac recognize that sustainability impacts more than just the environment. Newer equipment means fast and reliable ground delivery. Greater efficiencies directly impact our ability to offer more affordable ground shipping rates. And affordable shipping rates allow companies to give you the best deal possible. Now that's a win-win-win situation.

Topics: EPA, Earth Day, Ground Shipping, SmartWay Partner

OnTrac Joins U.S. EPA SmartWay® Transport Partnership

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 10:05:00 AM

OnTrac announced today that it joined the SmartWay® Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry which provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains.

“Becoming a SmartWay partner demonstrates our commitment to operate responsibly by reducing our carbon footprint through improved fuel efficiencies and emissions reductions,” Director of Fleet Operations Steve Heron said.

OnTrac will contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 1.5 billion gallons of fuel, $3.6 billion in fuel costs, 14.7 MMT of carbon dioxide (CO2), 215,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 8,000 tons of particulate matter.  Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, and nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that contributes to smog.  By joining SmartWay Transport Partnership, OnTrac demonstrates its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.

 “Our goal is a continuous pursuit to identify equipment, technologies, and strategies that reduce our fuel consumption and lower our emissions,” Heron said. “Partnering with the EPA will help us ensure optimized operations and allow us to offer our superior regional service product at a low cost.”

Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA and Charter Partners represented by industry stakeholders, environmental groups, American Trucking Associations and Business for Social Responsibility, this innovative program was launched in 2004. Partners rely upon SmartWay tools and approaches to track and reduce emissions and fuel use from goods movement.

The Partnership currently has over 3,000 Partners.

“We pride ourselves on being a company that cares about responsible shipping and the environment. At OnTrac, we've taken big steps to go green by reducing emissions on our fleet of vehicles and optimizing driver routes. We look forward to doing our part as a responsible corporate citizen, and becoming a SmartWay partner reaffirms that our organization has a strong commitment to achieving environmental goals,” Vice President of Marketing Laura Peterson said.

OnTrac is the leader in regional overnight package delivery service within California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah and Colorado. Founded in 1991 as a division of Express Messenger Systems, Inc., OnTrac celebrates 20 years of on-time delivery. OnTrac has the expertise to provide superior service and value in the overnight delivery market. Our vision is to be recognized as the leader in regional time-critical delivery, consistently exceeding the expectations of customers, employees and shareholders. For more information about OnTrac, please visit our website at ontrac.com or call 1-800-334-5000.

For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership visit www.epa.gov/smartway.

Topics: EPA, environment, OnTrac Shipping, OnTrac, SmartWay Partner