Reduce The Climate Impact of Transportation


The Climate Case

Total greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. freight activities grew by more than 50% between 1990 and 2013 and greenhouse gas emissions from global freight movement are expected to quadruple by 2050.[1] As global economies continue to grow, so, too, will greenhouse gas emissions unless we get smarter about how we move our goods.

The Benefits

photo of a person on a bike

Adopting efficiencies in shipping cargo, logistics optimization, and intermodal transport can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the global movement of goods while also providing significant savings. Switching to alternative fuels and transitioning fleets from traditional gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles to hybrid and electric vehicles can reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from ground fleets. 

There are about 70 new technologies available on the market that can increase truck efficiency, with an opportunity to save between 30-40% on fuel costs. For example, capturing just half of under-utilized truckload capacity would cut truck emissions by 100 million tons per year (about 20% of U.S. emissions), and save more than $30 billion per year in diesel fuel expenditures.[2] And making use of intermodal transport such as truck to rail can reduce emissions by a whopping 75 percent.[3] 

“If just 10 percent of the freight that moves by truck moved by rail instead, fuel savings would exceed 800 million gallons per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 9 million tons — equivalent to taking around 1.8 million cars off the road or planting 215 million trees.” - Association of American Railroads

Companies have both the power and a financial incentive to reduce their environmental impact from the movement of goods to market. We need all hands on deck from the business community to leverage these trends and build the momentum.

Take Action

Companies making a commitment to reduce the climate impact of transportation will adopt practices such as measuring transportation greenhouse gas emissions, setting reduction targets and implementing practices such as adopting cleaner technologies, switching fuels, optimizing their logistics and employing intermodal strategies to increase the efficiency of shipping operations and reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Companies will choose the metrics and whether they are absolute, or normalized to per unit such as per ton of product sold, ton mile shipped or other relevant metric.[4][5]

Companies committing to reducing the climate impacts of transportation will be expected to complete an annual online questionnaire updating the Climate Collaborative on progress made toward the commitment. The questionnaire will be short and should not be burdensome to complete.

Here are some specific steps your company can take to move forward:

  • Develop a green transportation action plan to map the movement of your goods to market and identify opportunities to increase efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Develop performance metrics to track transportation efficiencies and establish both absolute and intensity-based targets for reducing carbon emissions. Implement systems for estimating the carbon footprint of your fleet or third party logistics fuel efficiencies and emission reductions.
  • Establish a method for tracking reduction of black carbon and other short-lived pollutants. Your company may want to consider participating in the Climate Collaborative’s short-lived pollutants commitment. Learn more here.

Get Support & Get Involved

Sharing information, coordinating across sectors and collaborating with industry stakeholders can all help reduce the learning curve and speed up the process of developing and instituting a green transportation action plan.

Here are some ways we can help:

  • We are developing a briefing paper (enhanced by webinars) to provide an overview of existing green transportation initiatives and opportunities for businesses with or without fleets. The paper will examine strategies, guidelines and information for:
    • Software and tools to track and benchmark emissions;
    • Clean technologies and fuel switching;
    • Efficiency practices by freight mode;
    • Logistics optimization and intermodal options;
    • GHG audits and transport provider performance; and
    • Strategies for transport provider engagement.
  • We will convene cross-sector coordination and working groups on green transportation strategies within the industry.
  • Over the coming months, we plan to compile best practices and provide peer learning and information sharing opportunities. Please let us know your needs and interests.


Make a Commitment



Our Transporation Resources page highlights case studies, videos, tools, and other resources from our partners.

[2] Green Freight Handbook – EDF.
[3] Freight Railroads Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
[4] GHG Protocol, p.78 shows comparisons for absolute and intensity targets.
[5] The Green Freight Handbook – EDF, p.7 shows different types of performance metrics.



Companies Committed

Alter Eco
Amavida Coffee Roasters
Aurora Organic Dairy
Avocado Green Brands
Back to the Mother Microbrewed Kombucha
Backpacker's Pantry & Chef Soraya
Bhakti Chai
Big Tree Farms
Biotic Beverages
Blue Bus Cultured Foods
Black River Hemp Co
Bluebird Botanicals
Bread Alone
Bew Dr. Kombucha
Bright Future Foods
Brothers Drake
Buchi Kombucha
Busy Izzy
Califia Farms
Casa Sanchez Foods
Cascadian Farm
Cha's Organics
Chico Bag / To-Go Ware
Choquiero Chocolate
Clear Conscience Pet LLC
Clif Bar
The Coffee Barn
Community Grains
Cooper Mountain Vineyards
Cusa Tea
Davidson's Organic Tea
Deklo Technologies
Dr Hops Kombucha Beer, LLC
Dr. Bronner's
Dress It Up Dressing
Earth Friendly Products
Ecco Bella
ECO HUB INC, Build a Blend and Ingredient Hub
Eco Gloves
Eco-Bags Products, Inc.
EFFI Foods
Eden Foods
Endorfin Foods
EO Products
Essential Formulas
Essential Oxygen
Ethical Bean Coffee
Foggy Bottom Boys
Food Should Taste Good
Fruit d'Or
Fungi Perfecti
General Mills
Good Food For Good
Goodlight Natural Candles
Great Sun Trading Co., Inc.
Happy Family
Hippie Snacks
I and Love and You
Imlak'esh Organics
Immaculate Baking
Khala Cloths
La Vie
Lifeway Foods, Inc.
Lundberg Family Farms
Maple Wellness Foods
Martin Bauer Group
Marty's Meals/Shine
Mom's Modern Mixes
Mountain High
Moyee Coffee
Muir Glen
Nana Joe's Granola
Natreve Wellness
Natural Factors
Nature's Path
Neutral Foods
Olita Inc
Oregon's Wild Harvest
Organic India
Outdoor Herbivore
Peace Coffee
Pharmanza Herbal
Pines International, Inc. Plum Organics
Pratt Standard
Prosper Juice
Pure Kindness LLC
Revive Kombucha
Rogue Creamery
Rviita Inc.
Scratch and Peck Feeds
Seven Sundays
Shanbally Herb Dispensary
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co
Sol Cuisine
Straus Family Creamery
sunomi switchel
SunRidge Farms
Teadora Beauty
Teatulia Organic Teas
The Philosopher's Stoneground
The Republic of Tea
The Run-A-Ton Group Inc/Wholly Wholesome
Theo Chocolate
Tony's Coffee
Uncle Matt's Organic
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Vital Choice Seafood
Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water
Wave Soda
WN Pharmaceuticals LTD
Yellowbird Sauce

7 Stars Holistic Healing Center
Ashland Food Co-op
Billings ReFill Shoppe
Bryd's Filling Station
Co+opportunity Market & Deli
Common Crow Natural Market
Common Ground Food Co-op
Community Market
Crunchy Mama Box
Green Life Market
Green Zebra Grocery
Grove Collaborative
Hive Brands, Inc.
Kim'C Market
LifeSource Natural Foods
MaMa Jean's Natural Market
Maple City Market
MOM's Organic Market
Narrative Food
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
Oryana Food Cooperative
Outpost Natural Foods
PCC Community Markets
Pure Fresh & Organic
Rising Tide Co-op
Slo Natural Foods Co-op
Sunflower Natural Foods Market
The Merc Co+op
Thrive Market
Viroqua Food Co-op
Weaver's Way Cooperative Association
Wheatsville Food Co-op
Winter Ridge Natural Foods
Ypsilanti Food Co-op
Zingerman's Community of Business

Coke Farm
Dennick FruitSource
Hummingbird Wholesale
Mike and Mikes Organics
Veritable Vegetable
Wholesale Nuts and Dried Fruit

Adaptations Inc
Biji Kakao Trading Ltd
Danone North America
Eco Gloves
Fresca Foods
Giusto's Specialty Foods
JM Smucker Company
King Arthur Flour
La Manta Foods
Left Coast Naturals
Maple Valley Cooperative
Mountain Rose Herbs
Notas al Aire SLU
Nutriati, Inc.
Organically Grown
Sustainable Sourcing LLC
Sweet Additions

Global Family Farms
Kamut International
Rancho Llano Seco
Skinny Farm

1908 Brands
A Greener World
ADinfinitum, Inc
All Things Green PR
Amalgamated Bank
Associated Labels and Packaging
Beneficial Results LLC
Bioenergy Devco
B-Line Urban Delivery
Bliss Network
Brand Secrets and Strategies
Buy Pure New Zealand
Canteen One
Change Finance, PBC
Cheer Pack NA
Clean Energy Fuel
Climate Clean, Inc.
Climate Dads
Climate Positive Consulting
Community Planet Foundation
Cornucopia Group
Covet PR
Davidson Anesthesia, PLLC
Dirty Hands LLC
Down to Earth Organic & Natural
EarthyB LLC
Focus Healthcare Products
Fosterra, LLC
Fresh Ideas Group
Generate Capital
Good Company
Growing Naturally, llc, Brewberry Farms, llc
Hela Bima Rice Project
Hemp Press
HigherRing, Inc.
Hudson Transportation Group
Legacy Vacation Resorts
Marin Restorative Communications
Metis Consulting Group
Metta Earth Institute, Inc.
Meyer Family Enterprises
MK Library
Natural Network
Neighborhood Sun
Net Zero Analysis & Design Corp
New Hope Network
Nia Impact Capital
NY NJ Food Guru LLC
Onelement Energy
Orchid Holistic Search
Plan International
Planet+Purpose Solutions
Planetary Care
Planted Cuisine
Pure Strategies
ReGen Partners LLC
Roplast Industries Inc
Sensiba San Filippo
Soil & More Impacts
Studio Releasing
Sustainable Concepts Studio
TAP Synergy Works, llc
Terra Genesis International
The Determined
The Green Streets Initiative
The HERD Foundation
The Naturalist
Thinkshift Communications
Tiger Cool Express
Triage Limited
Tribal Code