As limited environmental resources, tighter profit margins and increased market competitiveness paint the picture of today, numerous global companies continue to amp up their game on “green” to build more sustainable supply chains and mitigate the impact of their business processes on the environment. And this month, Supply & Demand Chain Executive honors those that enforce green practices as a core function of their operations in our annual “Green Supply Chain Awards.”
Recognizing small, mid-size and large enterprises that leveraged green practices and solutions to further drive sustainable improvements in their supply chain, this year's fifth annual awards warranted a different theme across the board than in the past. Not only have global companies increased their sustainability processes in the last few years but many drive green adoption into the supply chains of their key partners as well. Crown Equipment Co., which in 2011 built its 500th forklift, is operated by a fuel cell to reduce fossil fuels, improve operator efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. Since 2009, Cascades Inc. initiated its own annual Sustainable Supplier Award to honor its most responsible suppliers. In Kenco’s case, the logistics provider works to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 14,000 tons over the 20-year lifecycle of energy-efficient fixtures it upgraded into two Chattanooga, Tenn.-based facilities—this is the air-scrubbing equivalent of a 149-acre forest, or removing 137 cars from the road, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
But perhaps most relevant for this year’s green awards are the sustainable practices that ocean freight companies enforce. This month, we shine a spotlight on the green efforts of Evergreen Line, Horizon Lines and Maersk Line, who lead the charge to deploy energy-efficient ways in moving cargo long distances while sustaining environmental protection strategies—most significant being the marine atmosphere.
Evergreen Line (www.evergreen-line.com)
Founded in 1968, containership company Evergreen Line has had an environmental philosophy since day one, implemented by Group Chairman Dr. YF Chang. The company monitors every aspect of vessel operations to ensure it is exceeding the guidelines required from the nearly 100 worldwide ports and communities into which its vessels sail. All of Evergreen's 70 new ships under construction are built with consistently upgraded green features. Its S-type “greenships” container ships come built with environmental features that still remain beyond worldwide compliance. This year, The L-type new vessels with more than 8,000 TEU are put into service with enhanced environmental excellence built in. The Evergreen L-Type vessel can reduce about 15 percent of CO2 emission rate. It also adopts the variable frequency control type motor on the main cooling sea water pump so that the motor speed is automatically controlled by the cooling sea water temperature and central cooling fresh water temperature to enhance the electrical power utilization and save energy.
Horizon Lines Inc. (Charlotte, N.C., www.horizonlines.com)
Horizon Lines’ approach emphasizes environmental excellence through conservation techniques, waste stream management, system upgrades and voluntary compliance. To protect the marine environment, Horizon Lines established several programs—including Emissions Horizon Lines and Sustainability Horizon Lines—in addition to the MARPOL and ISM codes created by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These also include vessel management controls, low sulfur diesel fuel usage and marine terminal pollution mitigation plans. The company’s efforts resulted in an estimated emissions reduction of 231,000 tons of CO2 over the past six years through its fuel conservation and emissions program. Through the EDGE process, Horizon Lines reduced overall fleet fuel consumption by 3.5 percent over the past six years. It also initiated a program limiting the discharge of any waste into the oceans, instead sorting its waste to facilitate recycling shore-side, where accepted. Neither U.S. nor international pollution prevention regulations require vessels to treat accumulated water in the cargo holds before pumping it into the sea. Horizon Lines voluntarily modified some of its vessels systems to provide for the processing of this water through its oily water separator or an independently installed Oil Content Meter (OCM) prior to discharge into the sea.