Resources on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Freight Sustainability Planning
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) for large public companies around the world has become a business norm. Research shows that around 80% of all Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies now issue a CSR report. Many private, large, medium and small businesses have joined their ranks and publish reports on a range of environmental, social and economic concerns.
This page provides resources developed by SmartWay, its partners, affiliates and other stakeholders. These resources highlight strategies and real-world examples of how companies integrate sustainability into the transport of goods in their supply chains. It also links to several voluntary guidelines and frameworks commonly used by companies to report their sustainability performance. Lastly, it includes background research on CSR and why more companies include freight emissions in their CSR reports.
- Strategies to Improve Freight Efficiency
- Frameworks and Guidance for CSR, Sustainability Reporting
- Background Research on Freight and CSR Planning
Strategies to Improve Freight Efficiency
The following are some strategies and real-world examples of actions focused on improving efficiency, reducing and reporting emissions from freight:
Launching a Successful Freight Sustainability Strategy, USEPA SmartWay (2020)
A step-by-step guide for transportation and logistics managers to introduce SmartWay and freight sustainability to their organization, from the CSR team to the C-Suite, to raise awareness around the relationship between transportation efficiency and sustainability.
How to Factor Sustainability in Carrier Procurement, U.S. EPA SmartWay (2018)
A fact sheet to help shippers and logistics firms factor sustainability into their carrier procurement programs. SmartWay also publishes a guide that rates carriers based on their emissions performance that can be used in procurement and for benchmarking purposes.
Corporate GHG Inventorying and Target Setting Self-Assessment, USEPA Center for Corporate Climate Leadership (2020)
This website provides guidance and technical tools to help companies evaluate their approach to inventory and set targets to reduce GHG emissions, inclusive of their freight and logistics operations.
The Green Freight Handbook, Environmental Defense Fund, Supply Chain Solutions Center, (2019)
The Green Freight Handbook was created to help companies develop strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and overall costs linked to freight transportation. The Handbook was informed by insights from many leading researchers, service providers and logistics practitioners representing globally recognized brands.
Toward greener supply chains: A critical assessment of a multimodal, multinational freight supply chain of a Fortune 50 retailer, The International Council for Clean Transportation (2019)
This report uses real-world data from The Home Depot and EPA’s SmartWay program to assess the energy, climate, and health impacts of technology and other emissions reduction strategies.
The following are some common voluntary guidelines and frameworks available to help companies plan and set goals around their environmental performance, including their shipping and freight operations:
CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project)
CDP is a non-profit organization that provides a platform for companies and government agencies to collect and disclose greenhouse gas emissions from their business operations, including freight and other supply chain activities. CDP administers and provides a questionnaire to its members and their suppliers, including transportation service providers. CDP accepts SmartWay data for estimating freight emissions.
Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC)
GLEC is a voluntary partnership of companies and industry associations that have developed a framework for logistics emissions accounting and reporting. EPA’s SmartWay methodology supports the GLEC framework. The framework provides a harmonized system for calculating and reporting carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions across multi-modal supply chains.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
GRI is an independent international organization that provides a comprehensive framework for companies to report their business operations' social, economic, and environmental impacts, including their supply chains. Emissions reporting is one of the eight topics covered by GRI’s environmental framework. GRI accepts SmartWay data for estimating freight emissions.
World Resources Institute (Greenhouse Gas Protocol)
WRI’s GHG Protocol was launched in 2000 to develop internationally accepted greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and reporting standards and promote their broad adoption. WRI accepts SmartWay data and the methodology developed by EPA SmartWay for calculating freight emissions. Other reporting frameworks, including CDP and GRI accept the GHG Protocol and SmartWay data for reporting freight emission estimates.
International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)
IIRC is a global coalition of regulators, investors, companies, standard setters, the accounting profession academia and non-governmental organizations. Its goal is to support the alignment of capital allocation and corporate behavior with the broader goals of financial stability and sustainable development through cycles of integrated reporting and an organization’s culture. In 2013, IIRC published an International Integrated Reporting Framework to accelerate and support integrated reporting.
Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)
SASB is a non-profit organization that provides sustainability accounting standards for use in developing CSR reports and assessing the impacts of an organization’s environmental, social and governance principles on its financial performance. SASB provides unique sets of accounting standards for 77 industries, including various sectors within transportation and logistics (trucking, air, etc.). SASB accepts SmartWay data and the methodology developed by EPA SmartWay for calculating freight emissions.
Background on CSR, Sustainability and Freight Planning
The following provides some basic information on CSR, sustainability planning and how companies are working to include freight in their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals:
The role of legitimacy in pursuing environmentally responsible transportation practices, Miami University, Ellram/Golicic (2015)
This paper explores motivations for freight shippers and carriers to participate in voluntary partnerships, like SmartWay, to improve freight sustainability, focusing on the drivers for and benefits of participation.
Adopting Environmental Transport Practices - Miami University, Ellram/Golicic (2016)
This paper explores how environmental sustainability affects transportation practices and how freight shippers’ and carriers’ relationships are affected by voluntary environmental partnerships.
Carbon Footprint of Supply Chains – National Cooperative Freight Research Program, Blanco (2016)
This report presents the results of a study to define an approach to measuring the carbon footprint of freight transportation in supply chains. Existing methodologies, including SmartWay, were reviewed and used to create a standard definition of the carbon footprint of the transportation component of the supply chain.
An Examination of a Voluntary Policy Model to Effect Behavioral Change and Influence Interaction and Decision Making in the Freight Sector, Elsevier, Bynum, Sze (2016)
This paper examines how a voluntary public-private partnership, SmartWay, fosters behavior change, facilitates strategic interactions and enables more informed decision-making in the freight sector to improve performance and reduce emissions.
Handbook on Applying Environmental Benchmarking in Freight Transportation, National Cooperative Freight Research Program (2014)
This handbook is intended to be used by freight transportation professionals and other stakeholders who are benchmarking freight performance. It can be used as a management tool to improve environmental performance in freight transportation.