While transportation is considered a sector that is “hard-to-abate” in terms of reducing emissions, it doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. The transportation sector was responsible for 27% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S. in 2020, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Though important, fighting climate change is no longer the sole reason to lower emissions in transportation. Stakeholders and regulations are increasingly putting pressure on large and small companies along supply chains to reduce emissions.
1. Regulations are Coming
In 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules that would require all publicly traded companies to disclose any potential risks that climate change poses to their business. If passed, the rules would also require companies to disclose their GHG emissions.
While many trucking companies have pushed back on these regulations, they are likely just the beginning when it comes to climate policies. There are also ongoing talks about making requirements to measure GHG emissions, and eventually lower them.
2. Pressure from Investors and Consumers
Consumers are more concerned about climate change and sustainability than ever before. They are increasingly demanding that the products they buy are made and transported sustainably. This is causing companies selling products directly to consumers to look at their supply chain emissions, including those emissions that come from transportation.
Investors are also focusing more on sustainability than in years past. Instead of solely focusing on profits and dividends for shareholders, environmental, social, and governance factors are evaluating the success and sustainability of a company.
3. Make the World More Sustainable for Generations to Come
Last, but certainly not least, reducing carbon emissions in transportation (and all sectors) will help reduce the negative impacts of climate change. More frequent and intense natural disasters such as droughts, floods, fires, and hurricanes are often linked to the changing climate. All people rely on a healthy environment to live a happy life, including our children and grandchildren.
The real monetary and operational threats that climate change poses to transportation companies are real. Maritime companies are considering hurricanes at sea for the damage they may cause to major ports and ocean vessels. Owner-operators have to deal with extreme wind, torrential rains, wildfires, and popup snow storms on the ground.
Starting the process to reduce emissions today can help your company get ahead of regulations and the expectations of customers and investors.