Today, many companies are involved in Corporate Social Responsibility efforts to take responsibility for the social and environmental impacts of their daily operations. For example, Dell initiated a 2020 Legacy of Good Plan that addresses community challenges by using their technical expertise where it can have an impact for people and the planet. Specifically, they are partnering with Camera Education to help train teachers in Ethiopia on how to provide computer knowledge to their classroom.
This example of a global initiative is great, but seldom in life can a company provide a product or service that contributes to all of humanity. I feel fortunate to be associated with a company that does exactly that, and on this Earth Day I would like to express my appreciation for the forward-thinkers who recognize that the changes they are making not only save their companies money, but to also acknowledge them for doing the right thing for society and the planet.
There have been literally hundreds of articles and commentaries written on the environmental effects on the transportation industry of the latest GHG Regulations that were finalized on August 16, 2016. While we all understand that the regulations will reduce millions of metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, few understand the long-term impacts on their operating budgets and their bottom line.
With the high cost of the emissions regulations of the 2000’s still reeling in the minds of many transportation executives, these new regulations may trigger ‘Particular Matter’ anxiety. However, this time is different, it delivers enormous cost saving opportunity that will last through the next decade—but only to those willing to change the status quo.
GHG Phase 2 Mandate - Affects on Heavy Duty Truck Fleets
A competitive advantage goes to the business visionaries that act faster than the competition to changes in the market providing a greater value at a lower cost. The initial Greenhouse Gas mandates have already saved Class 8 transportation fleets millions of dollars in operating costs by reducing fuel consumption. On August 16, 2016 the federal government passed the proposed regulation, GHG Phase 2, to further tighten emissions and improve fuel economy for heavy duty trucks by up to 25% from 2017 through 2027 model years.
The GHG Phase 2 final rule, issued by the US EPA and the NHTSA also contains the first-ever federal efficiency standards for new trailers.
The terms “government regulation” and “increased corporate profit” at first glance seem to be a conflicting association. In 2003 federal mandates went into effect to reduce heavy duty truck diesel exhaust emissions, Particulate Matter 2.5 and NOx—emissions harmful to human health, and continued through 2010. Manufacturers spent hundreds of millions of dollars in research to develop technologies to comply with the mandates and passed the cost directly to the consumer. Although the technologies reduced emissions by as much as 96%, the transportation sector suffered a decade of often failed technologies that caused severe budget and maintenance headaches within their operations.
As we planned to launch our blog on Earth Day 2015, we struggled for just the right topic until coming across a report on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, a budget and proposed reforms that address climate change efforts in the coal industry. This prompted a question to my colleague, “Do you believe in climate change?” “Absolutely!” he responded. He continued, “Has there always been climate change? Absolutely! Will there always be climate change? Absolutely!