By sea, land and air: decarbonizing transport and logistics
This article is sponsored by HP.
Supply chain disruptions – spurred by COVID-19 closures and exacerbated by severe capacity and labor shortages – are felt in every industry, sector and geography of the world. Consumers are frustrated, businesses are scrambling, and economies are struggling as producers, manufacturers, logistics service providers, governments and others struggle to unravel the bottlenecks that choke global trade.
Never before has the global supply chain received so much attention, with the spotlight often on transportation and logistics. This increased visibility creates opportunities – and demand – for transformative sustainable solutions to mitigate environmental impacts.
For the world to meet the ambitious carbon emission reduction targets needed to prevent temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, we must work collectively to decarbonize the supply chain. Transportation is one of the most impactful places to focus on.
According to Statistical, transport is the fastest growing source of carbon emissions, accounting for about a quarter of total emissions worldwide. Globally, the United States is responsible for the highest volume of transportation-related emissions – about double the volume of China. Transportation accounts for about 29 percent of America’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions footprint, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. It is an industry ripe for innovation.
This is why companies like HP are innovating in partnership with transport and logistics providers, such as AP Moller-Maersk, United Airlines and Embark Trucks, and have embarked on initiatives such as the EPA. SmartWay program and the Climate Group EV100, to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport.
Developing zero-carbon sea freight
Ocean freight is one of the least carbon-emitting methods of transportation, but major shippers, like AP Moller-Maersk, are looking to invest in more sustainable ways of operating their ships. HP, for example, is working with Maersk on alternative fuel solutions for ocean shipments. In early 2024, Maersk will introduce the first carbon neutral oceanic container ships running on methanol. Starting with eight ships to replace older ships, Maersk estimates it will reduce around 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
These savings will contribute to science and zero carbon goals set by Maersk’s largest commercial shippers, such as Amazon, HP, Microsoft and The Procter and Gamble Company.
Advancing a market for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)
Aviation is responsible for about 12% of transportation emissions and about 2% of overall global emissions – and airlines such as United are partnering with companies to reduce emissions and accelerate the fuel market of sustainable aviation.
Earlier this year, United Airlines announced its Eco-Skies Alliance program, comprising HP and more than a dozen leading global customers, to purchase 3.4 million gallons of SAF in 2021, creating demand for more than production of SAF.
Driving autonomous technology
Electric vehicle technology is playing a role in short-haul freight transportation, known as dummies. Road freight contributes about 30 percent of total transport emissions with a much lower volume of wheels on the road than passenger vehicles. Statista reports that in 2020, 1.8 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide were emitted by just 64 million heavy and medium trucks. Finding ways to improve efficiency and reduce emissions at every stage of freight transport can have a significant impact.
Embark Camions Inc., a leading developer of autonomous driving software for the trucking industry, recently partnered with HP on Embark Partner Development Program – pilot the combined technology of electric and autonomous trucks. The pilot uses BYD 8TT electric trucks to transport cargo to and from transfer points adjacent to the Emark Freeway in Los Angeles, California. The load is then moved to Phoenix, Arizona, using autonomous trucks equipped with Embark Driver software.
This pilot’s electric trucks remove smog, diesel-emitting NO2 and urban center CO2 emissions, while self-driving trucks deliver an estimated 10% increase in fuel efficiency – and therefore less CO2 emissions. .
Preliminary research from Emark estimates that HP could remove up to 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from its distribution network over the next decade by adopting both long-haul autonomous trucks and dumpers. electric vehicles.
Move road freight smarter
Making even seemingly minor adjustments in the way freight moves through the logistics system, such as making more right turns than left turns, can dramatically reduce the carbon impacts associated with transportation.
In the United States, the EPA’s SmartWay program helps freight shippers, carriers and logistics companies improve shipping operations to improve environmental performance.
Freight shippers, carriers, logistics companies and other stakeholders are partnering with the EPA to measure, benchmark and improve logistics operations to reduce their environmental footprint. Since 2004, SmartWay has helped companies identify and select more economical and environmentally efficient means of freight transportation, reduce freight-related emissions, and provide a comprehensive and respected system for sharing related information. fuel consumption and emission reductions.
In the United States and Canada, HP uses SmartWay Partners for 100% of its products shipped by truck. In 2021, HP received the SmartWay Excellence Award for the 10th year for its demonstrated leadership in energy efficiency and environmental performance of the freight supply chain in the large shipper category.
Expand electric fleets and recharge
There are an estimated 1 billion passenger vehicles in the world, which represents almost half of total transport emissions. Driving the adoption of electric vehicles could drastically reduce these volumes (especially when powered by renewables), and businesses and governments are literally helping to lead that charge.
Countries are increasingly investing in national electric vehicle infrastructure and some, such as the UK, Norway, the Netherlands and France, have pledged to phase out fossil fuel vehicles, making both more economically viable and essential for companies to transition to electric vehicle technology. .
More than 100 companies have committed through EV100 to converting their fleets to electricity and installing EV charging stations for their customers and employees. These early leading companies are helping to increase demand, influence policy, and help expand charging infrastructure to make EV adoption more accessible to everyone.
As a founding member of EV100 in 2017, HP pledged to install EV infrastructure at every possible location in the world by 2040. By 2020, HP had reached 34% of its 83 target locations. And this year, HP extended its EV100 commitment, committing to convert its fleet to 100% electric vehicles by 2030.
Necessity fuels innovation
As we all see in real time, our global supply chain is a lifeline for our economy and our personal well-being. It must be strong, efficient and resistant.
It must also be carbon free.
With freight activity expected to almost double by 2040, our current trajectory is not an option if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The good news is that a sustainable transformation of our supply chain is possible and is already underway in some critical areas.
But transformation requires large-scale collective action. As business leaders, we have the ability to chart a new course that will transport us all to a more sustainable future. The time to act is now, while the world is watching.